Calvin Nicholls has been extremely grateful and fortunate in his art adventures. He says that people have stepped forward and allowed him to develop his craft. Papercraft and paper art has never diminished in popularity even after so many years of their existence. Today, Calvin is taking origami and kirigami to their next level by sculpting awe-inspiring scenes using this humble medium.
He was introduced to the idea of using paper as a medium during one of his art school classes. In the year 1983, he collaborated with the paper sculpture artist Jonathan Milne. While working on that project, Calvin was drawn towards the possibilities of paper sculpture in his career.
In the following year, he completed his first set of sculptures for several clients. He starts off with a quick line drawing, establishing planes and contours. Next, he maps out the topography of the piece. Every detail is drawn to have an understanding of the flow of fur or the feather layering. Calvin selects papers based on heavier weights for structure and lighter weights for fur and fine detail.
He constantly refers to his drawings and study photos. This is done to make sure that the assembled pieces remain true to the original plan. Upon completion of the sculpture, he sets aside some time to play with the studio lighting. The form and texture in the low relief sculpture are defined. For use in print, a high-resolution photo captures the work of art in its optimal lighting.
The sculpture is mounted on mats of conservation quality. It is then displayed under acrylic or museum glass to filter UV light. This also eliminates reflections for better views. The finished work is truly amazing. One would really find it hard to believe that it is sculpted from paper.
Inspiration comes from his moments spent in nature and it happens when least expected. At times, it is simply a rock formation, a tree, driftwood, or a random situation that inspires him. It allows him to plant a subject into the scene. Acting on the inspiration is the most satisfying aspect of creating sculptures according to him.
As it is difficult to relive the experience again, Calvin has to work on his inspiration immediately. Among his most beautiful works are the breathtaking landscapes of Canadian winter. Although he has managed to make a career out of his chosen niche, it certainly hasn’t been easy. He owes his success to his family and friends. According to him, hard work doesn’t always bring immediate rewards.
The key, therefore, is perseverance and it seems to have served him well. Another critical aspect is monitoring opportunities in the world of art collection and commercial licensing. He enjoys sculpting scenes of snow, wet fur, and feathered friends. Confidence in his work and acceptance are also the two magic formulas that have worked for him.
He also observes other successful artists for guidance in this competitive world. Although it is never easy, he certainly loves what he does. The struggle to find a place in the competitive market is never-ending. He feels that everything is a part of this grand adventure he has embarked on.