Local artist Cheryl Teo creates 3D everyday objects and food with paper
On Instagram, Cheryl Teo (@captain.lulo) posts everything from instant noodles to birthday cake. But the hundreds of likes she gets for each one isn't because of how delicious they look, but for the fact that her 'edible' creations are actually made of paper.
The graphic designer and community artist has been dabbling in paper art for the last eight years. "It never occurred to me that so much could be made with just one single medium," says Ms Teo, who had been researching artists who work with paper for school when she stumbled on this art form.
She creates 2D and 3D paper artworks which can range from food items, to quirky characters such as a surfing Santa Claus. She favours a playful approach, hence, "I love creating whimsical images of everyday ordinary scenes, sometimes with a touch of humour."
For her 2D pieces, Ms Teo draws the image digitally before breaking it down into layered paper pieces, which are glued together to form a picture. Once that is complete, she photographs the artwork, with deliberate lighting, playing with light and shadow to create depth to each piece. She then sells these giclee prints on Etsy.
About a year ago, Ms Teo progressed to making 3D pieces to sharpen her skills. "3D paper art is harder, as the thought process that goes into it is a lot different," explains Ms Teo, adding that it gets more complicated because of the depth and scale involved in shaping an object, compared to the relatively straightforward 2D.
Her 3D pieces are diorama scenes which she creates and places on a matchbox structure. Her range is diverse and includes whimsical versions of a sewing machine, boat and even an escalator. Each miniature diorama piece takes her about four to five hours to shape.
She stores them in a cardboard box, and hopes to sell some of them one day, once she figures out the best way to house and ship them safely.
Ms Teo welcomes private commissions, and has been working on small art pieces for her clients' homes. In the past month, she has also started designing paper props for advertisements.
"Paper is such a ubiquitous material that is easily accessible, and yet there is so much a person can do to manipulate its form. The possibilities are endless," she adds.