Using simple, everyday materials, artist Diana Beltran Herrera crafts creatures that are full of life. She transforms paper, wire, and wood into realistic birds whose detailing is nothing short of incredible. The meticulous paper art features individually cut and scored feathers—mimicking the real thing—that are layered into majestic plumage. Through these rigid and repetitive structures, Herrera still manages to capture the feeling that they could go into flight at any moment.
Previously, we’ve admired Herrera’s bird and butterfly sculptures. There is, however, another passion project she’s worked on for the past couple of years—bird-themed postage that shows the creature in its real ecosystem. Here, the exquisite paper art sculptures are incorporated into oversize postage stamps from countries across the globe. Flowers and text also adorn the designs.
“I always felt inspired by postage stamps as they are little windows of the world,” Herrera told Colossal, “specifically those that contain birds which are often traveling around the word. I have collected a few and I felt that I wanted to open those stamps to a much more realistic scale to learn more about that particular animal and its landscape.”
Herrera’s love of nature drives the creation of her sculptures, and she uses them as an opportunity to learn more about the environment. “I feel like a kid still with this need to discover,” she explained to Smithsonian. “I love to feel this surprise and enjoy this experience in a mature way that I did when I was a child.”