Sure, origami can be simple — you might’ve even folded some as a kid. But your basic crane (or airplane!) is just the beginning of this craft. Contemporary origami artists are building on traditional techniques to create works of art that have us gawking (and wanting to try it ourselves!).
1. Neal Godse, @origamibyneal
Neal Godse specializes in making complex interlocking shapes like this one, titled “Invictus.” The colorful paper pieces form a tetrahedra that comprises “twenty three-gons.” Figuring out how he produces such intricate works like this will make your head spin, as will trying to understand the naming conventions of these nutty shapes.
2. Coco Sato, @giant_origami
Coco Sato folds origami — both simple and complex — and arranges it in aesthetically-pleasing ways. She makes it looks effortless, but there's some major work behind the Instagram photo here. To create such uniform roses, precise folding is essential. Coco does this by lightly folding guides on the back of the paper so that they “magically morph into shape.”
3. Ross Symons (White on Rice), @white_onrice
Ross Symons, aka White on Rice, took the plunge and “quit his day job to fold paper.” Since then, he's grown his business just by doing what he loves. He’s currently participating in a 365-day project via Instagram that he calls #MiniatureGami. Every day, he folds a tiny creature (or other character) that fits on the tip of his fingers. Wild.
4. Cristian Marianciuc, @icarus.mid.air
Since 2015, Cristian Marianciuc has been expressing himself by folding paper cranes. He's made over 1,000 of them, and they’ve become even more intricate and creative over the years. This particular crane took him a few weeks to produce. “A little every day. Cutting out each feather, scoring and folding them one by one. Then attaching them to the wings,” he wrote . “As always, it’s been a highly meditative experience.”
5. Ekaterina Lukasheva, @ekaterina.lukasheva
Born into a family of scientists, Ekaterina Lukasheva was driven to make things from early age. “...my own creations were rare, ugly and paper-consuming,” she recalls . “And usually required glue.” In 2008, she produced a her first “glueless unit,” and her work began to take the shape of what’s on her Instagram today. Her creations include tessellations and origami balls created by repeating simple shapes like stars and waves.