Inside his small studio in east London, where he’s worked for over 20 years, artist Rob Ryan creates intricate papercut works all by hand. Many of them contain pieces of writing that read like beautiful love letters. For example, in the one above, the message reads, “I always said that I’d do anything for you, now you know I meant it. There isn’t a sea wide enough that I wouldn’t cross to be with you again.”
Though the length of time it takes to create just one papercut may vary – depending on the size and intricacy of the piece – it can take him up to several weeks to complete just one.
His work is part of a new book called Paper Cut by Owen Gildersleeve that features astonishing works from twenty-five of the world’s top papercraft artists like Yulia Brodskaya, Jeff Nishinaka, Chrissie Macdonald, and Kyle Bean.
Here’s the description of the book: “More and more the design world is turning away from digitization and once again embracing the imperfections of handmade, craft-based practices. Written and collated by noted papercraft illustrator Owen Gildersleeve, Paper Cut offers a unique perspective into this burgeoning field of contemporary illustration.”
Now, here are some of our pieces by Rob Ryan. Because some of the messages are too small to read, we’ve typed them out for you.
“Our adventure is about to begin.”
“I opened my heart to the wind and felt it wrap its arms around me and hold me all day long. I opened my heart to the air and it lifted me up and rushed around me filling me up with life and joy until I thought I might burst. But caught between land sky, caught between one life and another, nothing could ever compare to the day when I opened my heart to you again.”
“Stars and planets are held in place by the power of gravity and the tiny nucleus of an atom cannot live without its fellow protons and neutrons. The leaf cannot survive away from its tree just as much as the tree needs the soil in which it lives. When the part becomes separated from the whole it withers and dies. If everything in the universe is connected to each other then why not us too?”
“So my darling, close your eyes and don’t be afraid and as she did he sand this song…All we do is live from day to day and I want to grow old with you until my feathers go grey and my beak wrinkles up and my wings are too weak to fly, all we can is live from day to day. And as he whispered these words to her she fell fast asleep.”
“You are my universe. Moons circle planets and planets circle stars, stars and galaxies rotate eternally and you and I circle each other for you are my universe entirely and I will always be yours.”
“I can’t forget and I never will, you smiled at me and from nothing something came. Now the world is new to me again, I will remember still, you smiled at me and now I dreamed a dream of good.”
“Countless moons circle countless planets and countless planets circle countless stars. Stars and galaxies rotate eternally and you and I circle each other for you are my universe and I will always be yours.”