Art Talk with Hermien Greeff, Paper Craft Artist from South Africa
Paper craft art is a very creative artistic medium. We think that Hermien's work shows us how creative art with paper can be. Her work is filled with incredible beauty and detail! Furthermore, her mesmerizing pieces prove that paper craft art is in fact, artistic in every single way!
Musa Creativa (MC): Tell us about you, and your paper craft art.
Hermien: I am 35 years old and recently decided to make a big life change, by walking away from 15 years in Architecture, to pursue my art fulltime. I stumbled onto paper craft 7 years ago, when I bought a single paper flower from a little curio shop. At first just a hobby, but soon it grew into an obsession. I briefly got pulled into the wedding industry, but realised quickly that is not the direction I want to take my art.
The time spend doing weddings, opened a lot of other doors, through connections with photographers. I was doing one styled shoot after the other, where my paper art was transformed into dresses, Avant Garde outfits and full wall installations. I have worked extremely hard to make my paper creations more than just an arts and craft hobby. Calling myself an artist was a big step, it was the first step I needed to take in order to elevate my art to the next level, and to give me the courage to quit my comfortable day job.
MC: How is your personality connected to your paper craft art?
Hermien: My love for nature is the biggest inspiration behind all my art pieces. I find the same calmness outdoors in a kayak or hiking up a mountain, that I experience when I am sitting down, cutting the same flower petal by hand 500 times. I am an introvert with buckets full of patience, who is extremely comfortable in my own company and can easily loose track of time when I am exploring new paper forms.
MC: If your artwork could dance, to which music would it dance to, and why?
Hermien: Having two left feet myself, I am not sure if my art even knows the steps to any music. It would rather just quietly stand in the corner and sway from side to side, while listening to the La La Land soundtrack. “City of stars, are you shining just for me?” And observing the room from the side of the room.
MC: How do you get into your creative zone?
Hermien: Inspiration and then some more inspiration. Instagram is such an amazing platform to follow other artist, nature photographers and creative souls. A quick scroll through other people’s creative works, always gets me motivated to go and create. My wall is filled with images that indirectly inspire my work, images of textures, shapes, and movement. Never images of other paper art. But most importantly, a clean work environment also sets up my day. Everything needs to be in its place and straightened up.
MC: We love your paper flowers! How is the creative process for these, and how long do they take to complete?
Hermien: I never start a piece with a specific end goal in mind. It starts out as loose elements. When I have enough, I puzzle them together until I am happy with the layout. Sometimes I only use a few elements and decide the piece is done. Other times I must go and make more pieces several times, until all the gaps are filled. This art piece only has 15 elements. Some of my other works has over 200.
The bottom of this piece is half an angel wing. I was not happy with its original shape, so I re-used it here. These elements were all made over a period of months and then one rainy day, all assembled in the same space. I have boxes filled with smaller made pieces, just waiting for their moment to shine. I am unable to confirm how long each piece takes, but this is as I like to call it slow-art.
Connect with Hermien and follow her paper craft art!
Hermien is currently working on her online shop where she will have both original and prints of all her art. Follow her on Instagram to stay updated!