Yulia Brodskaya: Paper Art

Artist Yulia Brodskaya’s client list includes Starbucks, Hermes, and now, Reader’s Digest. But for this Russian expat, success comes from within.

Interview by Damon Beres
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    "I always had a special fascination for paper."

    "I’ve tried many different methods and techniques of working with paper, but quilling [an art form that features paper rolled, folded, and glued into patterns, as seen here] turned out to be ‘the one’ for me," said Brodskaya. "I’m still eager to use it despite that it is a very slow and labor-intensive process.”

    "I need to have a very clear idea of what I’m doing from the beginning.”

    “I always make pencil sketches first and don’t start the ‘paper work’ until the sketches are approved by the clients (or I’m totally happy with it if it’s a personal work)," said Brodskaya. "Sketching is very important because once I’ve glued a piece of paper I can’t remove it, thus there is no room for error."

    "Once the work is done it is photographed."

    "Photography plays an important role when it comes to 3D paper artwork," said Brodskaya. "Basically, it can make or break an artwork. It is possible to change the entire look of the work by experimenting with lighting and angles from which the work is shot.”

    "I need something else to concentrate on."

    "One of the main challenges of paper craft is the fact that with this technique, I need to work for many hours a day doing very meticulous, precise and repetitive actions," said Brodskaya. "I like listening to audiobooks because they can provide me with sufficient mental distraction from the monotonous working process and help me avoid the thought that must be avoided at all times: ‘this process is taking unbelievably long, it is so slow, I’m never going to finish.’”

    "Initially, I was concerned about the limitations of the quilling technique."

    "The material from which the work is constructed – paper and cardstock – very much dictates what can and cannot be said within the boundaries of the medium," said Brodskaya. "However, now I think that this material limitation turned out to be a strength for me: it made my work distinctive and unique.”

    "I don’t like to give advice to people."

    "I can only say that personally I learned that you need to keep doing what you believe in and keep pushing through all the self-doubt," said Brodskaya. "Sooner or later the door will open.”

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