Colombian artist Diana Beltran Herrera has been continuing to grow her collection of paper bird sculptures to include over 100 species, and she’s expanded her paper zoo with a few beautiful butterflies. While she does use different methods to produce her pieces, Herrera always aims to use economical materials like paper, wood, and cardboard. Along the way, she works to learn more about these supplies with the hope that she can bring out their potential in her stunning creations. In an interview with Frankie Magazine, Herrera explained, “I am really interested in the simple processes of transformation that don’t need complicated tools or industrial processes.”
As for Herrera’s artistic awakening, prompting her to do what she does today: it all began outdoors. “I started to feel closer to nature, but more so, I recognized that I was in nature living at the same time as others, and I wasn't any more special than any other element,” Herrera told Smithsonian. “I had this knowledge of things living around me, but did I really know about them? I decided that it was time to play again, to rediscover the place where I was living.” This realization led Herrera to explore the natural world, to focus on the birds that perfectly represent the freedom of flight.
After some time passed and her bird series grew, the artist decided to study other forms of nature. That’s why, this year, Herrera plans to keep her birds company with butterflies, fish, insects, and plenty of plants! You can follow along Herrera’s growing paper menagerie as she shares updates on her Facebook page.