The humble piece of paper is a largely versatile material when it comes to craft but Anna Trundle of Alta Papercraft takes it to a whole new level – constructing crisp 3D geometric animals that pop off the wall at you. We recently spoke to Anna about her unique design process and artworks.
Tell us a little about you and your work
I’m Anna and I’m the designer behind ALTA Papercraft in Melbourne. I’m an artist and illustrator, and I create three-dimensional geometric artworks and installations entirely out of paper.
How did you get started
Growing up with some crafty relatives meant there was no shortage of paper and glue around when I was little – the availability and tactility of cutting, arranging, folding and gluing scraps of card and paper was something I’ve spent a lot of time doing over the years! It developed into a more focused practice during my years at university studying illustration, where I began to create physical paper models of illustrations and patterns I’d designed on the computer. The technique sort of frankenstein-ed itself from there over the years and I’m now creating commissioned artworks, selling DIY kits and papercraft at markets, exhibiting work and running papercraft workshops – craft heaven!
What has been your proudest creative accomplishment?
I definitely have a few artworks that I am super proud of and will never let go of, but I’m actually just proud of being able to spend my days creating papercraft and sharing my technique and skills with others – it’s how I make a living and I love every minute of it.
What does creativity mean to you?
It’s an opportunity to express an idea or an emotion in a unique and powerful way. There are no limits on what can be done when you work creatively – particularly in craft-based design, where there’s such a huge array of materials and techniques out there that can be reworked and combined with new things to create something really special.
Is there a creative skill you would personally like to master?
I’m actually currently working on improving my animation and CAD abilities so I can integrate projection-mapped elements into my artworks and sculptures. I’m definitely not going to master it as there’s so much to learn, but I’d love to be able to use light and movement in my installations for some future projects.
Tea or coffee?
Couldn’t choose one over the other – I need both equally in my life to function.
Who is your biggest creative crush?
There’s a French duo called Zim&Zou that blow my mind with the range of work they produce and the insane level of intricacy they achieve. They’re also not shy in their choice of colour palette, which is always awesome to see (I live for colour!).
Where do you turn for inspiration?
I actually get a lot of ideas and suggestions from my clients and customers, which is lovely! The unusual way that I create my work means that people interact and ask a lot of questions, so there’s lots of great dialogue happening at the events I show work at. I’m also a huge digital hoarder so I have a massive catalogue of images, screengrabs, websites and references that I pour over in between projects to get inspired for the next venture.
Tell us about your creative process… is there a ritual or process or do you just follow the call when it strikes?
Very much a ritual – my process involves a healthy balance of sketchbooks, computer tech and experimentation with paper so I like to stick to a process as much as possible to avoid getting totally lost! I always start with sketches, work through to digital illustrations, and refine those until they’re ready to be 3D-ifyed in CAD software. From there it’s a fair amount of hair pulling and computer wrangling to turn the artwork into templates ready for printing, cutting, folding and gluing… and then the best part, assembling it all like a massive 3D jigsaw puzzle.
When is the most creative/productive time of the day for you?
I’m an afternoon/evening person. Mornings are sort of my creative warm up and admin time – I’ll respond to email inquiries, make to do lists, and get my head around the day’s tasks, until I’ve got enough figured out to get stuck in to the actual designing and making.
Can you share a technique you use for getting your creative juices flowing?
Working in a shared studio space has had such a huge impact on my productivity and creativity – having other creatives around to work alongside, collaborate with, and discuss things with has become so important to my workflow. Before I had a space to work from, even just grabbing a coffee with a friend or brainstorming with a client face to face helps me get motivated and inspired.
Favourite weapon of craft and why?
Do you even need to ask!? Paper – always and forever. It’s tactile, it’s ancient but it’s sort of ephemeral. It’s such an unassuming material to work with but you can use it in so many ways that captivate and surprise people.