Friday, October 7, 2022

Paper Craft: Unfolding the Beauty of Paper Art featuring JV Calanoc

Paper Art as an Artform

The term "Paper Art" refers to a group of crafts in which two- or three-dimensional things are made primarily out of paper as the principal artistic medium. Paper stock can be folded, curved, bent, sliced, bonded, molded, stitched, or stacked, and they are versatile enough to accommodate many different processes. Paper art includes manual papermaking as well. Most societies that use paper are aware of paper art, and various crafts are particularly linked to particular nations or cultures. 

Various forms of paper art are employed in children's education in addition to their aesthetic value. Compared to the more challenging media like ceramics, wood, and metals that are generally employed in the creation of three-dimensional artwork, paper is a comparatively inexpensive, easily accessible, and workable medium. In comparison to paints, dyes, and other coloring supplies, it is also easier to work with. Scrapbooking, Origami, Cardmaking, Papier Maché, Paper Quilling, Chinese Paper folding, Paper Sculpture, and Layered Paper Art are just some of the most well-known forms of paper art.

Notable Paper Artists Today

With seemingly limitless imagination and talents to bring many unimaginable concepts to life, Li Hongbo, Asya Kozina, Eric Standley, Maud Vantours, Jen Stark, Jeff Nishinaka, Patrick Cabral, John Ed De Vera, and some notable artists of today bend and push the boundaries and expectations of a straightforward medium. Whether they create with Origami, Sculptures, Laser-cut, or Animation, their work is detailed, nuanced, intentional, and inspired by a love of paper. Both inspiring and energizing. Listed below are some of the most well-known and distinguished paper artists of this generation, as well as their most famous works of art. 

JV Calanoc: Craft Paper Artist of Muntinlupa

Alongside some of the best paper artists that are existing in the world right now, comes JV Calanoc, a 31- year old layered paper artist from Muntinlupa and a self-taught paper artist who finds inspiration in nature and man-made structures. He is deeply inspired by the works of some aforementioned international artists including Jeff Nishinaka, Patrick Cabral, and John Ed De Vera.

JV’s life as a Paper Artist

JV was part of a literary and artistic organization during his college days where everyone around him seemed to be very talented in their respective mediums. He wanted to find something that no one else was doing at that time, which catered to his minimalist and exceptionally intricate art style. He started carving books and fell in love with paper as his main medium and eventually started the sourcing quality paper and transitioned to his current layered paper art style.

He did find it very difficult to comprehend because no one was really giving him instructions or lessons on how to do this kind of layered paper art that he was interested in. He thought that a part of it was also freeing because he then managed to explore and experiment without pressure to have it look a certain way. Since no one he knew was doing this kind of art at that time, he just learned it by himself. It was very helpful for him to see paper artworks online that helped him find a way to deconstruct how it was made.

Layered Paper Art as his Main Medium

JV has a minimalist art style with an intricate execution. The artwork is achieved through multiple layers of hand-cut paper to produce intricate designs that play with light and shadow. The kind of paper art that JV does usually focuses on a lot of repetition and mental visualization. Repetition because the more that he cuts paper, the faster he becomes. When he sketches an artwork, it is still drawn as a 2D object. Afterward, he needs to visualize how he can turn this 2D image into a 3D artwork.

Since it is a layered paper artwork, he needs to take into account all the layers and how they will connect harmoniously with each other and execute it. He has been doing this for 11 years and he’s still finding new ways to improve and learn this craft

Influences in Pursuing this Form of Art

JV was deeply inspired by many artists, even in different genres. Artists like Hiroshi Yoshida and Katsushika Hokusai and their amazing woodblock prints made him fall in love with the arts. Even though their artworks are different, the method to create such artworks has many similarities. As he mentioned before, his art process has a lot of repetition which can also be seen in the creation of woodblock prints. They have many woodblocks for all of the different colors or elements of the woodblock print that work together hand in hand to create the final artwork. He finds himself following the same process but translating it through cutting paper. In terms of paper artists, he is inspired by Jeff Nishinaka, who was lucky enough to attend his online class about paper art. Other Filipino paper artists he looks up to are Patrick Cabral and John Ed De Vera.

Paper Arts as JV’s Passion and Lifesaver

JV realized that paper art is his passion when he knew that it was something he loved to do and that he can earn from it! Although he has been doing it for a while, he still feels like he has yet to reach his full potential, so there is always a goal to do and be better for him.

Paper art has helped him a lot in his personal life because he felt it was the best way he can express his true self. According to our exclusive interview, JV Calanoc stated that the process of creating the artwork can be very stressful and sometimes to the point of my brain hurting but when it comes to the actual cutting, it can be very therapeutic. It has also been a way to connect with so many people who share the love of paper art and art in general and being surrounded by artists has definitely made his life more enriching.

JV’s 3 Powerful Tips to all the Young Artists

1. Keep posting your work online! It is hard because of all the pressure and expectations that come along with it. Visibility is important so we really have to use social media and other online tools to make ourselves known and carve our own space in the artistic landscape.

2. Surround yourself with people who inspire you and who you trust to give their honest opinions about your work. It helps to have that support system especially when we can be our worst critics.

3. Don’t be afraid to message people who inspire you and ask for advice. The worst thing that can happen is they don’t reply.

Some of JV Calanoc’s best works

If you want to check JV Calanoc’s artworks and other information about him, visit his website and his Facebook page, JV Calanoc Art at

Written by: Jan Audrey Francisco

Jan Audrey Francisco is a Digital Marketing intern at PS Media Enterprise. He is a 4th-year Bachelor of Arts in Communication student from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

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