Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pop-up Books and their Engineers

In a time when e-readers are becoming more popular, pop-up books and the field of paper engineering mark an important contrast to an increasingly digitized world. In a pop-up book, paper is not the passive canvas on which the text provides meaning, paper is a sculpture, a dancer, a story in itself. I'll be posting several posts on pop-up books, but this first one is mainly to educate about some of the important paper engineers working in the field today. If you click on these artist's names the link will take you to their websites all of which include "how-to" sections, to make your own pop-ups at home.

Robert Sabuda is the world's most popular pop-up artist. Besides some beautiful original works such as Christmas Alphabet or Winter's Tale, he has created pop-up re-tellings of familiar tales such as Alice in Wonderland (left) or Beauty and the Beast or the lyrics to America the Beautiful (above). He often works primarily in white or solid colored paper, which really shows off the stunning artistry of his work.

David A. Carter is a paper engineer and illustrator who has done some really lovely abstract pop-up art for readers of all ages. His more recent books feature bold colors, in dramatic, innovative designs showing off a beautiful intricacy of design as well as some spreads of absolute simplicity. White Noise is book partially about the sounds paper makes as it flutters, or folds, or flaps, or saws. The spreads are united by a free-verse poem which dallies with the sensual beauties of paper. Pictured right is 600 Black Spots, a beautiful book containing exactly 600 spots for those interested to count them all. It's reviewed with more charming pictures of this girl here: 

Matthew Reinhart works a great deal with Robert Sabuda collaborating on some of the Candelwick pop-up encyclopedia books, such as Encyclopedia Mythologica: Gods and Heroes. He has also illustrated some classics such as The Jungle Book (left). His Pop-up Book of Nightmares, and Pop-up Book of Phobias lend a darker side to the realm of pop-up books for adults. 

Bruce Foster is another name which means a great deal in pop-up circles. He does some beautiful work on pop-ups in a large variety of projects. Perhaps most famous for Harry Potter: A Pop-up book based on the Film Phenomenon, he has also worked on an incredibly beautiful work on Angels, which is soon to be released, and a book holding paper models of some of the greatest architectural wonders of the world. 
 I'll post some more about pop-ups soon!

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