Our July Artist of the month goes to Tove Svartkjønnli from Norway, a truly versatile paper artist who specialises in geometric shapes, origami and botanicals.
Full name: Tove Svartkjønnli
"Being an engineer, one of my passions is to see how things work. How to change set forms to the limits. Break rules and test the material's strength."
Where do you make your paper Art?
I mostly do my paperwork at home, in our kitchen/living room. I made
myself a small space under the basement staircase, wanting to be like a
paperworld Harry Potter maybe? But outgrow it quite rapidly. So now the
basement is filled with finished and ongoing stuff, while I do new paperwork
in between the 4 other two legged and 2 four legged members of my family.
I would like to have a studio space at one time, but since I work full time
besides creating paper art, I need to be social with my family at some point
How long have you been working with paper?
I’ve been working with paper in many forms since being a little girl, but
more and more for the last 5 years.
How would you describe your approach to paper art?
Being an engineer, one of my passions is to see how things work. How to
change set forms to the limits. Break rules and test the material's strength. I
like to do this with many materials, but have found that paper is a really fun
material to work/play with. The plane and simple paper sheet, turning from
2D to 3D and with just a little alteration.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find my inspiration everywhere. Nature, social media, magazines, etc, and
just by playing around with the material.
What are your favourite papers to work with?
Since I love both origami and paper flowers I have lots of different types of
papers. Both in colors, strengths and thicknesses.
For my big paper flowers I use 180g crepe paper, for my smaller ones it
varies from 60-180g from Cartotecnica Rossi.
For origami I’ve been working a lot with plain white paper, in 80-120g from
What tool could you not live without?
My bone folder, cutting board, glue and a good scissor! With that I can do
both flowers and origami. You don’t have to have all kinds of fancy and
expensive tools, as long as you get some that works for you.
What is the best thing about working with paper as a medium?
The best thing about working with paper as a medium is its ability to
transform. Is easy accessible, fairly cheap, quite resistant for its thickness.
You can fold it, tear it, paint it, cut it, and it transformers to what you want it
to be. You can build strong structures out of thin paper, and make the most
delicate papercuts with paper.
Who are your favourite paper artists?
There are so many talented paper artists out there! It's difficult to choose
just one. I think I can get away with a couple since I do more than one main
In the crepe paper flower world there is one Queen: Tiffanie Turner. She is
a pioneer in paper flower making with her eye for flower details, size and
In origami I love the way Beth Johnson, origamibeth combines traditional
folding with her own designs to make the sweetest origami figures. They
make me smile every time I look at them.
There is a paper artist that really pushes the border between paper with
form and structure, and it’s a Chinese artist, Li Hongbo. I just love his work!
If you haven’t heard about him and his works I hope you do now.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I’m working on some paper fashion ideas I’ve had for a
couple of years now. It will be a mix of both origami and paper flowers.
Maybe I also include some other materials or techniques, but I haven’t