We recently got to sit down with Miranda Winkler, a half Indonesian American who has lived in Kuwait for a little over 5 years now. As an Origami hobbyist, pencil artist and, more recently a painter as well, she continues to enjoy a multi-facted artistry that pushes boundaries. Self-taught in the arts as well as home-schooled overall, it seems that a “do it yourself” mantra was instilled in her at an early age. As her origami skills continue to evolve and improve into 3D masterpieces she continues to innovate and grow as an artist. We check in to see how she got started:
How did you first get into origami?
It started sometime before I was 12, although I’m not sure how old I was exactly. I had a maid that showed me how to make an origami tulip. I was so fascinated to find that one could make such beautiful things out of something as simple as paper.
What is the hardest part of origami?
There are a lot of things that are hard about origami. The part that is hardest about it to me though, is memorizing the steps. Once I’m done making one thing and I make it a lot, I tend to forget how to do it later since I always move on to so many new things. It’s easy to forget since some steps are so complicated to memorize forever. With 3D origami the hardest part is making the tiny pieces that I use to build my sculptures. It takes a lot of time to make the amount of pieces I need to make certain things.
Have you made any of your own shapes, or do you generally follow other ones?
When I was starting out I copied what other people did, to some extent I still do now, but I prefer to make my own things. I learn from people online so that I can use some of the elements to help me make my own. There are so many amazing origami sculptures that people make online, it’s amazing. I hope to continue to practice my craft so that I might be just as good as they are one day.
What is the biggest and smallest thing that you have ever made?
The biggest thing I have ever made is a dragon, which was roughly the size of an oversized book. Given the 3D component, it was also about 2-3 novels wide. It took me one week to finish and I never left the house and stayed in my room to make it. The smallest thing I made is a rose about the size of my thumb.
How have people reacted to your art?
People have been very interested in my art so far, and often say that they have never seen anything like 3D origami before. Luckily, I had orders for my sculptures before I even started selling them. Everyone said that I was amazing and that I was so talented—it was weird being praised by my friends.
Tell us about your other work?
I have always liked to draw—that’s where my art started. I loved drawing primarily cartoons and animé. I loved drawing faces and would try endlessly to make the features I would capture of them as accurate as a models face. I’m not as fast as other people, as I like to take my time when I draw. I could easily take days to finish one drawing. I have never used color (thus far), and prefer to draw only using a regular pencil.
I also do watercolors, which for me started when I was kid; I always wanted to paint! I loved the idea of playing with colors and using something other then a pencil to make art. I have only been painting Watercolor’s for two years now, so I am still learning; but I am enjoying the difficulty of it.
Is there a prevailing message that you are trying to communicate with your pieces?
I haven’t really thought of that, to be honest. I just love what I do, and I hope it shows in my work. I want to do so many things still. I don’t want to be stuck doing just one thing. I guess I also want to show people that if I can do so many things, then they can too!
What is your dream for your art, and what would you like to accomplish in the future?
My dream is to have a good job that gives me the time aside to continue my art. I don’t want to make art my full-time job as I feel that it may take the fun away from it. In the future I hope to have my pieces in a gallery and be able to make a name for myself.
Is there anywhere we can find or buy your work?
For 3 months last year I built up a collection of ornaments and sold them at BSK bazaar, almost reaching 300 KD. I want to build up a collection before I sell again, and then put it on display at a future time, whether online or at a gallery.
Miranda Winkler continues to fold the world into beautiful pieces of art, one page at a time. You can reach her at: [email protected]