You might think of tissue paper as only being used for gift wrap, but Stacey Elaine has another use for it—the raw material in her illustrations. “The idea to work with tissue paper came to me as I was falling asleep one night,” she writes, “and since I started working with this medium it has felt more natural and effortless than anything else I’ve ever made.” Using an X‑Acto knife and careful cutting, she creates portraits of creatures often paired with flora or other natural elements. Each piece has small, decorative patterning, whether it’s in the wings of the bird or the arrangements of the tissue paper itself. When scanned, the flattening makes these pieces look like they were done with printmaking techniques; the opacity of the tissue paper mimics the roll of a brayer.
Stacey is hard at work on her latest series. “I’m currently working on completing a collection of works featuring tissue paper illustrations of collective nouns for animal groups! I got the idea after creating a piece titled ‘Huddle of Walruses,’ which was one of the most difficult pieces I’ve ever completed,” she shares with me. “I’m working with a restrained color story, focusing especially on creating strong designs, all cut free-hand from tissue paper. My hope is to compile them all for a children’s book that I hope to have published someday.”
Stacey sells her work as originals and prints through her online shop. See her work in progress on Instagram.
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