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Paper Quilling Genius Uses Impressionist Techniques With a Contemporary Twist

Quill Paper

Paper is a powerful tool in creativity. Aside from being a place for effortless sketches, it can be folded and sculpted into three-dimensional works. Yulia Brodskaya is one artist who transforms the everyday material into wondrous and colorful creations. She does so with her amazing paper quilling art, which involves her coiling and shaping strips into a design. The practice dates back hundreds of years to the Renaissance but has had a recent resurgence thanks to artists like Brodskaya.

Since we last checked in with Brodskaya (last year), she’s continued to produce artwork that employs a variety of techniques. She will often curl the paper (one of the telltale signs of quilling), but her most striking approach involves tightly packing the paper strips into thin, angular arrangements that mimic the look and feel of an Impressionist brushstroke. It’s a beautiful collision of the two worlds, and it continues to push the age-old field of paper quilling forward in new and exciting ways.

Brodskaya shares her work in progress—including behind-the-scenes videos—on her Instagram page. Her videos are an incredible look at the hard work that goes into creating paper art of this caliber.

Yulia Brodskaya creates paper quilling art that is a contemporary twist on a technique that's been around since the Renaissance.

Paper Quilling Art by Yulia Broadskaya

Free Spirit

Paper Quilling Art by Yulia Broadskaya

Free Spirit (detail)

Quilling Paper Art by Yulia Brodskaya


Paper Quilling Art by Yulia Broadskaya

Tough (detail)

Quilling Paper Art by Yulia Brodskaya

‘Irises' by Vincent van Gogh

Paper Quilling Art by Yulia Broadskaya

Pond Leaves

Paper Quilling Art by Yulia Broadskaya

Pond Leaves (detail)

Paper Quilling Art by Yulia Broadskaya Quill Paper Quill Paper

See how Brodskaya works her paper magic in the two process videos below:

Yulia Brodskaya: Website | Instagram | Facebook

All images via Yulia Brodskaya.

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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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