Some of us struggle to make origami, let alone make it look beautiful – let alone make it in miniature form.
But former web developer, now full-time origami artist, Ross Symons (aka White On Rice) is attempting to do just that; create an Instagram post each day for an entire year based around miniature origami sculptures – and we mean miniature.
Each hand-folded figure is excruciatingly tiny, and placed into a scene which emphasises the scale of how small the fold is, such as the size of a die or not much bigger than a jellybean. The sculptures include a range of exotic animals, plants, and even a cheeky snowman for Christmas.
Ross completed a successful year-long origami project in 2014 – and we’ve featured his stop-motion projects and designs for Google – but this time he needed a new concept as a means to connect with other creatives and grow the White On Rice social brand, so he decided on '#MiniatureGami'.
Finding a new concept each day has proved a challenge, because rather than simply placing an origami sculpture next to a coin or a hand and be done with it, Ross aims to tell a story with each post, even if it’s a colour story or showing scale in a quirky way.
Now on day 70, Ross admits the series is proving to be harder than expected.
"The challenge is in choosing what size paper to start with in order to get a finished fold that still has the same character as the normal sized one,” he explains.
"Also, your fingers can only do so much, then you have to use tweezers and unless you have stable hands, that becomes really tricky."
He says there are multiple sculptures which don’t make the final cut.
"Sometimes I'll spend an hour folding something and when I try and photograph it, it just doesn't look like I want it to. So I move onto the next one or I try fold it slightly bigger."
It sounds like this laborious creative process is not for the faint hearted.
Once an origami sculpture is completed, Ross works with a range of props in his studio to create a background of accompanying elements. Don’t be fooled into thinking they’re digital environments.
"When I have an idea of what I want to create in the scene I play around with placing the origami and the props in front of the camera to see what works," he says.
"Sometimes I get it right straight away but sometimes it takes me ages. I also use wire and clips to hold things in place and then edit them out if I need to. But I try do as little editing as possible."
Ross is behind White on Rice – a brand which creates origami content for brands and private clients such as commissions, installations and stop motion animations.
The brand was born out of the success of his 2014 year long Instagram project in which Ross folded and posted a different origami figure every day. This project grew his Instagram following from just over 120 to 100,000 in under 18 months. He hopes to run workshops and create interactive origami installations.
With ‘#MiniatureGami’, Ross hopes to gain more exposure for White On Rice, but also to keep himself focused for entire year on a creative project.
“Who knows, maybe I end up creating a book of all these folded pieces which you can put on your coffee table,” he says.
See more from his '#MiniatureGami' series in this feature.