It was a groggy Wednesday morning at the office and I was just finishing up the last dregs of my XL coffee before I could even think about tackling my inbox or opening up Illustrator, when suddenly I STUMBLED UPON THE MOST INCREDIBLE PORTFOLIO OF A CUT PAPER ARTIST. And just like that, I was wide awake. You see, I had the privilege of looking at the portfolio of Elsa Mora (here & here) and at her vast library of mixed-media work, which is breathtaking. Take a gander.





6a00e3981de7fa88330167678a2d2e970b-800wia cut paper RING.



6a00e3981de7fa883301630696971d970d-800widrawings too!




I’ve always had an affinity for cut paper work. I once completed an 8 page cut paper book in a college design class, that had to center around key scenes from a movie we liked (ahem, Breakfast at Tiffany’s for me). After pulling all nighters in the week leading up to the due date and cutting paper details so tiny I thought I would A.) go blind or B.) slice my finger off as a result of my compromised state, I have a HUGE appreciation for the level of skill, dedication and fastidiousness it takes to complete a work like Elsa’s.

Her work is very singular and her cut paper illustrations have a hint of the macabre, animals and fairy tales. As you let your eyes wander across each piece, you’ll discover more detail within the layers, which is what I love most about her work. Scenes within scenes. Animal parts morphing into human bodies. Girls coiled up within the shapes of rabbits. It’s not only perfectly executed but interesting to view. She really uses the negative space within the illustrations – not only to show the cut paper technique with her silhouettes, but as an additional canvas for the scene she builds, where she adds even more detail.

I hope that looking at Elsa’s work brings you as much wonder and joy as it did for me this morning as I sat in a tiny cube, in a tiny corner of this state, completely bursting with inspiration to go home and create something beautiful.