It’s been somewhat of a quiet year for the most part. Lots of small projects, promises of some larger ones, some that have progressed, some that have stalled or even been canceled. But today I plan to begin posting a series of announcements about a few of these. Come back soon for more!
First up: Build Your Own Minions! is being released mid-September. This is a paper craft project I designed last year with Little, Brown, and Co. Build Your Own Minions is a collection of pre-cut, pre-scored, punch-out, easy-to-build set of Minions from the summer hit, of course: Minions. Along with a story by Brandon T. Snider, author and comedy writer for Amy Schumer, here you will have over 25 minions in their evolution through time from hapless cro-minions to hapless modern side kicks as they search for Bosses to assist. Illustrations began as mine but were refined and detailed by Minion expert, Sean Millard. You will be able to populate your favorite shelf with Egyptian minions, vampire minions and even a minion riding a corgie (among many many others!)
This past year, Chuck Fischer and I collaborated on our fifth project together.
Commissioned by the White House Historical Association, this fully popped replica of the White House includes pop-up movable furniture, and even Air Force One helicopter PLUS a booklet with a fascinating, illustrated history of the White House.
One of the great pleasures of my vocation are the opportunities to visit schools across Texas, introducing new generations to the magic of paper engineering. As part of the presentation I show the students how they can begin to build skills in creating their own pops. Afterward, librarians and teachers sometimes share with me the results of this new found passion in these students. For instance, Abby McGown at Hamilton Elementary shared this pop up with me that she created following my recent visit there. Thank you, Abby! Nice job! Glad you enjoyed the visit too! (Click on photo to see it enlarged). I also plan to post images of other pop-ups created by students from time to time, so maybe you will see YOUR work posted here sometime!
Working with Milk Agency and AC Production, I was asked to create a single page pop-up for use in an advertising campaign running both print and television. The pop-up is based on a Russian folk tale about the origins of the world: in the beginning the world was borne on the backs of three benevolent whales. This campaign, for a leading bank in Moscow, was translated into an island featuring pre industrial revolution Russia being borne on the backs of the three benevolent whales. The illustrations were a collaboration between myself, Oleg Oborin and Georgy Safarov of the Milk Agency.
The project was on a tight deadline and fearing that customs would delay shipping a model that I had built, we elected instead for me to send files and step by step video instructions (42!) to AC Production in Moscow, who would then recreate the pop up for use in the photo shoot. And they did a marvelous job with a very difficult piece of engineering!
Finally got around to giving my worn out website a new look. Bear with me while I work out any bugs and if you experience any, please let me know. My hopes are that this cleaner site will be easier to read and will be a better fit for your mobile devices.
For now, that’s the news. But stay tuned… Exciting news coming soon!
My friend and colleague, Matthew Reinhardt, has added a new chapter to the pantheon of paper engineering with his new pop-up book with Insight Editions, Game of Thrones. The pops are his usual now-expected over-the-top jaw dropping splendor, but what he has added here literally opens a new way of viewing a pop-up book. Unfolding it in a certain way actually recreates the map seen in the opening credits of HBO’s Game of Thrones….with the pop-ups rising up across the map’s landscape. It is a marvel and an inspiration. But Matthew, along with Manhattan book seller Peter Glassman, in an interview with Studio360’sSruthi Pinnamaneni, also is sounding the alarm about the dire straits excellent pop-up books now find themselves. Lovers of pop-up books, you have been called to arms! Watch the trailer for the book, see the image below of the book unfolded into a map of Westeros, listen to the interview itself streamed below, and then ask yourself: Do we really want a near future where books like these will not exist? Support the art form. Buy these books and keep the art form alive….
My friend and paper artist, Helen Hiebert has just announced the release of her newest how-to book, Playing With Pop-Ups, as well as her new boxed set of pop-up letterforms, Alpha Blocks.Now available for pre-order. Playing With Pop-Ups also features the work of a number of contemporary paper engineers as well as projects you yourself can make, including my dragon vs knight pop-up similar to the project I taught children at workshops in Seoul, South Korea last summer. Delivering sometime in May.
About Playing with Pop-Ups: Enter the enchanting world of pop-ups! Throughout the chapters in this book, I will guide you through choosing the materials and tools you need to make pop-ups. Learn the basics – parallel folds, angle folds, and layered pop-ups – while creating six basic pop-up structures within the first few pages of the book! Enjoy creating 15 projects to play with designed by renowned paper engineers from around the world: a pair of pop up paper earrings, clever cards featuring pop-up dragons and flowers, a doll house and other interactive pieces that everyone will enjoy. A gallery section at the back of the book features contemporary pop-up artists, whose beautiful work will inspire you to make your own amazing paper art.
UPDATE: Hasbro has been airing a TV commercial for the new line of games in a marketing tie-in with StrideRite. And you can also see this preview from the Hasbro booth at the 2014 Toy Fair in New York.
Continuing my exploration of pop-ups incorporated into game board design, Hasbro invited me to contribute to a line of Disney Princess games loosely based on Candyland. The central piece is the Disney Princess Castle itself. Then add-on games can be added to either side, allowing the game play to move across all three boards, although each side game can be played individually. The first two add-on games feature Rapunzel’s tower from Tangledand Cinderella’s carriage from well, you know…. Coming soon will be two new game boards: The Stonehenge-like setting from Brave, featuring MumBear and Merida, as well as a board featuring the IceCastle of the recent smash, Frozen.
UPDATE: My visit to Dennos Museum was a wonderful winterland experience. I want to thank museum director, Gene Jenneman, Jason Dake, graphic designer Erin Deloney, and the entire staff at the museum for their enthusiastic welcome and assistance. Most of all I would like to thank Linda Ross of Linda Ross Contemporary/Art + Projects for curating the show and extending such a friendly and welcome invitation to join her at the opening. The museum will be posting a recording of my presentation soon, so check back for a link to that. Hello also to Matt Shlian, ingenious paper sculptor and mathematical wizard, who I finally was pleased to meet when he and his family attended the opening. Those of you who don’t know Matt’s incredible work, should check him out. Mind-boggling. The exhibition of pop-up art runs through April 6, 2014.
If you are in the area January 18, please join me as I present workshops and a presentation on the art and process of pop-ups at the Dennos Museum, Traverse City, MI in conjunction with their exhibition on pop-ups, Making Paper Dance. For more information, visit the Dennos Museum website. I will be conducting a workshop for children that morning. Register soon as there are limited spots available. Click HERE. Additionally, I will be conducting a workshop for families and adults that afternoon. Again, register soon for the limited spots. And then, join me for the presentation that evening at 8pm, preceded by a reception at 7pm, as well as a presentation at 6pm by quilt artist, Gwen Marston.
This year I have been dabbling in game design with USAopoly and Hasbro. Recently released for the 75th Anniversary of Wizard of Oz, I worked with USAopoly’s creative team and illustrators Mike Butkus and Otto Sturcke to create a four scene pop up for the center of the board. Available wherever games are sold, including Barnes and Noble and Amazon.
Watch for news about my collaborations with Hasbro soon!