Sisters Tamara and Elzeline are Europe-based paper artists bringing the Japanese art of origami into the 21st century. In addition to their folded paper sculptures, paperfection dabbles in hand-bound books and notebooks, cards and more!
Tell us about your work—why do you create what you do?
For me and my sister, crafting was always our favorite pastime. Every few years we would try something new. Mosaic, drawing, knitting, filting… We tried a lot of different things but now we specialize in paper creations. When I was eighteen, I started the study Japanse Language and Culture. Since then, I’ve been fascinated by the art of origami. For my sister, her love for paper and letter design started during her study of Graphic Design.
How did you learn your craft?
During my study, I spent a year in Japan. There I learned how to make modular origami creations from my Japanese friends and from origami books.
How has your work evolved?
I started with very simple origami techniques. In de last few years, I tried more difficult techniques. The Internet has been my guide: there are so many examples and tutorials available on the net.
What is your greatest challenge?
I’m not as commercial as I would like to be. My challenge is to reach more people with my work. I’m now starting a new webshop for Dutch customers.
What inspires you?
I love themes and colors. I’m inspired by different cultures, different seasons and the beautiful work I see here on Etsy. When I go out shopping, I always come back with some materials which inspire me. Usually, I just start somewhere and the ideas come as I continue working.
Tell us about your etsy business.
My sister discovered Etsy when she was browsing the web. We started in 2008. Beginner mistakes: at that time, our shop was not full enough and even now we find it difficult to keep the shop full. For now, Etsy is a hobby next to our jobs. In the future, we would love to create more and work less.
What advice do you have for new etsians?
Try to be as commercial as you can. Use Google Ads, make flyers and business cards. Be active on the forum, join groups and make friends.