While typically used as a vehicle for artistic media, the creative possibilities of paper in and of itself can't be overlooked. Origami artist Chris Conrad knows this very well. He is known for his intricate origami sculptures made out of a single sheet of paper. One of his latest and most impressive pieces is a dragon slayer created from an uncut square of 27.5 inch (70 centimeter) painted Wenzhou paper. The work is so full of detail that, at first sight, it looks like a 3D-printed sculpture or a clay creation.
“This was a blast to fold”, writes Conrad on Instagram. “I made a ton of modifications while shaping, including adding a face, adding the sheath, shaped scales, totally changed the torso armor, plus minor tweaks to the dragon's head, wings, sword, arms, and legs.” Originally designed by Matthew Winnagun, the dragon hunter features a creature-shaped helmet, wings, and patterned armor.
Given that these sorts of origami sculptures take around 15 hours of careful folding to be completed, Conrad is well acquainted with the patience needed to thrive at this craft. “I usually go through at least two or three iterations before I find proportions and details that I'm satisfied with,” he previously told My Modern Met. “Sometimes I get it right the first time and the whole design process takes only a couple hours, other times I've worked on-and-off for a month or more to get something to work just how I want.”
All of this care and attention to detail pays off. “My favorite detail has to be the pupils in the eyes, which I plan to use in my own work going forward,” says the artist. “I think this might be my best non-original interpretive work to date.”