Calvin Nichols has worked for 25 years to perfect his medium of choice: paper.
But he doesn’t just draw on it. He shapes it to create intricate works of staggering detail and beauty.
This particular series is appropriately titled, “Paper Zoo.”
To make the art, he starts by observing real-life animals and their movements.
He takes numerous sketches that he will later use as reference for his paper art.
He then cuts up thousands of tiny pieces of paper and pastes them together to form each animal.
The texture he is able to achieve with this technique is astounding.
Given that he’s only working with white paper, the details must be exactly right in order to create the appropriate depth and shadowing.
It’s incredibly delicate work.
Each small piece can take many weeks to complete.
While the bigger ones can take months, or even years.
His work has been featured in National Geographic, as well as numerous galleries and art shows all over the world.
He uses X-ACTO knives, scalpels, and scissors in the construction of his critters.
Fur is an especially difficult texture to create, so animals make for a distinct challenge.
Feathers are also very hard to replicate.
Just look at the texture on the hummingbird’s belly.
They almost look like they could be alive!
Calvin’s Facebook page and website feature a whole lot more of his amazing works and they’re really worth your time.
The commitment these amazing pieces of art require is just mind-blowing. Talent like this is not solely inherited; results like this come from dedicated deliberate practice which takes hours (10,000+) of hard focused work over many, many years.