You’re certain to jump out of your bed if Tina Kraus happens to place one of her paper insects in your bed! Yes, they’re so realistic and lifelike. This German freelance illustrator and paper artist, who resides in Münster, Germany, creates such detailed paper sculptures of insects, animals, plants, and others that they’ve to be seen to be believed.
Kraus creates these critters out of paper and these not only include paper sculptures, but also paper toys and pop-ups that require expert paper engineering. But, why paper? She explains it on her Website, thus, “The work with paper as a medium fascinates me because it’s so versatile and easily obtainable. I constantly experiment with it and develop new ways to work with it.”
Kraus studied illustration in Münster, Germany, and also got the opportunity to stay in Seoul, South Korea for a few months as an exchange student. However, since childhood, she was in love with papercraft. Her preference for crepe paper stems from the fact that its texture infuses a realistic look to her creatures and its flexibility is such that there’s no shape that can’t be accurately reproduced with it.
In an interview with Best Pop-Up Books, Kraus shares, “I started to craft with paper as a young child and spent many afternoons crafting and painting. When I was older, I got some instruction books for crafting with paper and also for making pop-ups…it was by Paul Jackson, I think. In the book were instructions and templates to many basic mechanisms, but I soon started to take it as a challenge to recreate the pop-ups that were only shown as examples without any template or instruction. In my last year of high school, I made my first pop-up book.”
Kraus creations include plants, not only the traditional ones but also not-so-traditional plants, such as the Venus flytrap. She started creating insects, that to her is akin to plants since they disguise as flowers or sticks. Creating animals came much later. Her passion for paper sculptures and pop-ups continues to this day.