Sabeena Karnik is a graphic designer and illustrator from Mumbai, who specializes mainly in paper typography. That is to say, she creates type and letters by hand using only paper, which is the primary thing that sets her work apart from other typographers. She says that this “evokes many reactions from the viewer, especially because it is all handcrafted by me and nothing is done digitally”.
Basically Sabeena creates the visual elements by combining typography and illustration made with paper strips, which she then attaches onto a base. She uses the paper to produce different types of effects with lighting and shadows. It is quite a long process which first starts with a sketch and many days of careful work manipulating the paper by hand. The drawing serves as a guideline for sticking on 5mm or 10mm wide strips of paper. She explains, “The strips are curled, curved, folded, rounded, beautified and then glued on the edges for pasting on the base.”
One illustration can take around 7-10 days to finish, with each day generally lasting 12 hours. The process requires a lot of patience, precision and careful handling of the paper, since it is very delicate and easy to crush. Once the art is ready, Sabeena then takes it to the studio to be photographed. She says, “The effect light produces when it falls on the paper art is quite magical and makes the art complete.” Finally in the end, it materializes as a three-dimensional piece of art.
Sabeena admits that, to a large extent, her work really reflects who she is as a person. She likes things to be precise and neat when it comes to what she creates, and this applies to her life as well. “Experimentation and taking risks is essential in work and in life,” she says, “There shouldn’t be any restrictions. There are days when I consider myself to be as delicate and fragile as the papers I work with.” After her paper creations are photographed, they are kept, cared for like babies, and stored away in boxes that she also makes herself. Sabeena says, “Someday I hope to exhibit them all under one venue.”
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You can also buy her artwork. Go here and check her out!
You’re welcome beautiful people.