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8 Tips for Creating Successful Origami Designs

One of the challenges that all creative people share, including Origami designers, is how to come up with new creative ideas. Here are some tips that I have used to create my own designs and can help as you explore the development of your own original Origami design ideas.

  • Find inspiration in the natural world. Take a walk or hike in a park or nature preserve and observe patterns, shapes, and structures in plants, animals, and landscapes. Use what you see as prompts and translate or interpret your observations into origami forms.
  • Deconstruct and recombine concepts by breaking down existing origami models into basic folds and components. Mix and match these elements to create new hybrid designs.
  • Set design challenges with specific constraints like setting a limit on the number of folds on using a particular paper, color, or pattern. Folding with non-traditional materials (cloth, metal foil, plastic) to discover new textures and structural possibilities. Fail boldly!
  • Collaborate with another origami artist to merge your distinct styles into a new co-created model. Or, combine origami with another art form such as painting, sculpture, or fashion. Explore creating new origami units that can be tessellated or combined in novel ways to yield new modular structures.
  • Tell a story. Create a narrative in a series of models that tell a sequential story or represent a theme. As the narrative evolves it will guide your designs.
  • Utilize 3D modeling software or computational origami tools to aid in the design process to expand the realm of feasible geometries and continuously fold slight variations of a model, making incremental adjustments, to progressively evolve and refine the design.
  • Bend the rules of realism to create surreal, abstract forms that convey emotion or symbolism rather than literal representation. Continually expose yourself to diverse sources of inspiration. Experiment fearlessly and relentlessly and approach your design work from new angles.
  • Document all your efforts whether you think the outcomes are successful or not. Notes made of your creative process are seeds that can help you identify ideas that might eventually mature into successful model designs.

Image: The Little Prince (Leyla Torres) video tutorial.

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