Artist Uses 4,000 Pieces of Paper to Bring Her Bird and Butterfly Sculptures to Life

3D Paper Art by Lisa Lloyd

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Artist Lisa Lloyd brings winged creatures to life through meticulously crafted paper sculptures. Using scoring, folding, and fringing, she creates birds and butterflies that are striking in their realism and awe-inspiring in their attention to detail. Lloyd constructs their feathers and wings with tiny pieces of scalloped paper, and this often results in a staggering 4,000 paper pieces on a single model.

Before sculpting her winged figures, Lloyd gets a sense of how they act in real life. “I research the subjects by studying YouTube videos of them in motion as well as static images from as many angles as possible,” she tells My Modern Met. “I study the details but I also like to watch how they move, their head movements, and mannerisms to try to capture their personality.” Additionally, she visits her local natural history museum, the Booth Museum, in Hove, where she lives. “I get to go behind the scenes to study them up close, which is especially helpful for exotic animals which are less familiar.”

Once her research is complete, Lloyd builds her birds and butterflies from the outside in. “I create the internal skeleton in card and paper, sculpting the structure to tilt the head to capture the personality,” she explains. “The models are 100% paper—apart from the wire feet so they can grip their perch and Fimo clay eyes coated in high gloss varnish.”

Three of Lloyd’s latest pieces—a great spotted woodpecker, blue tit, and robin—took her about two months to complete. They have since sold, but you can purchase some of her other original artwork through her online shop.

Artist Lisa Lloyd brings winged creatures to life through her 3D paper sculptures.

Bird Sculpture Made of Paper by Lisa Lloyd

Using a staggering 4,000 pieces of paper per sculpture, she crafts beautifully lifelike birds and butterflies.

Bird Sculpture Made of Paper by Lisa Lloyd

Bird Sculpture Made of Paper by Lisa Lloyd

3D Bird Sculptures by Lisa Lloyd

3D Bird Sculptures by Lisa Lloyd

3D Paper Art by Lisa Lloyd

Lisa Lloyd: Website | Instagram | Facebook

My Modern met granted permission to feature photos by Lisa Lloyd.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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