Imaginative 3D Worlds From A Paper Theater

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In her little paper craft theater, Elly MacKay meticulously creates, lights, then photographs dreamy scenes. Although the final product looks like an illustration or painting, the actual process is much more fastidious. Once MacKay comes up with an idea for a scene, she begins to conceptualize it with thumbnails, drawings and words. Using a plastic material called Yupo paper, she draws and cuts out the layers she will need. Using wires she carefully places each piece where it belongs and adds additional touches, like parchment paper skies or tissue paper for landscapes in the distance.

When the scene is ready to be photographed, MacKay plays with the lighting from all sides of the open diorama until she gets the effect she was hoping for, and then she photographs it- up to 50 times- to get the image just right. Her clever crafting has gotten her much attention on her Theater Clouds Etsy shop which will be up and running again after the holidays. The well received artist has begun using her talents to illustrate children’s books and her first one, If You Hold a Seed, will be coming out in February, but you can pre-order it on Amazon now! See more of the fanciful works of Elly MacKay on her website.

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