Paper is an incredibly delicate medium, but British artist Pippa Dyrlaga isn’t fazed by potential rips and tears. She uses a precision knife (and plenty of patience) to carefully hand-cut intricate, nature-inspired designs from single sheets of paper.
Dyrlaga grew up in Yorkshire, England, where she lived on a canal boat for most of her childhood. Living in a rural setting and surrounded by British wildlife, these early experiences have helped influence the work she creates today. Many of Dyrlaga’s paper cut-outs capture the diverse beauty of flora and fauna. In one piece inspired by orange poppies, Dyrlaga cut out countless thin paper strips to represent delicate leaf veins and petal ridges. In another work, she created an incredibly detailed goldfish, complete with intricate scales.
Dyrlaga has been practicing the art of paper cutting for over 10 years, and her experience shows. Each piece features countless details made by cutting out tiny sections of paper, one by one. But before she begins the meticulous cutting process, Dyrlaga first draws out a loose outline on the paper. She then uses her knife and works in sections, slowly bringing the piece to life.
Each piece takes several hours to complete, but Dyrlaga values her process just as much as her final pieces. “The simplicity of a blank sheet of paper appeals to me,” she says. “Paper is used in so many aspects of our lives and used to communicate with each other, and I want to do this through my work.” The artist adds, “There is nothing as ordinary as a blank sheet of paper, but it has so many possibilities and can be turned into something beautiful or meaningful, without adding anything to it.”
Check out some of Dyrlaga’s latest paper illustrations below and find more from her portfolio on Instagram.