What it’s Like To Create Origami

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As I reflect on my body of work, I’ve realized that creating origami has taught me the important life skill of staying persistent, even when it’s hard.

Every pop, twist, and fold that make up a beautiful origami holds the promise of smarts, creativity, and most of all, perseverance. The decision to fold left, right, up or down is hard earned. The sum of all my decisions will result in an origami that someone can recognize with delight or curiously ask, “What is this?”

What’s more, the process of creating a new model is the furthest thing from being an instant guarantee success.

I’m also always fighting conflicting emotions. Overcoming imposter syndrome, takes nearly everything from me.

Sometimes before I even make a crease, thoughts of “I can’t” gets replayed what feels like a thousand times. Fortunately, the self abuse eventually subsides. How long? Usually hours later. Dare I say it? Sometimes it can take days. That’s when I’m tired of complaining to myself.

Then, what follows is my fierce determination to keep trying. I cheer myself on, “I can do it!”

And so I soldier on and start folding.

I summon courage, creativity and patience to experiment with various folds. I give myself time limits. Everyday, I must fold at least an hour and then I get to go home.

On days when I’m not making any progress, when I feel like I’m folding nothing, I still fold until the hour ends.

When I’m feeling inspired and think that I’m making progress, I allow myself to continue folding until I’m tired.

Fold an hour a day, until the origami is complete. And that is what it’s like to create origami.

How Origami Unlocked My Inner Creative Genius

I have always thought of origami as a clever and beautiful art form. It has a rich history that dates back to the first or second century AD in China and gained prominence in the fifteenth century, when high-class Japanese samurai warriors practiced it as a form of gift-giving at banquets. However, I could never understand why origami continued to be such a popular pastime. I thought about it for a long time and came up with my own theory.

When I was ten, I really wanted to wear a pair of high heels because I thought I would look cool, but never found the occasion to get a pair (truth: my mother wouldn’t let me). Now that I am old enough to wear heels, I still have to dream about looking cool in them — because the reality is, I can barely walk in them! There is one consolation, though. If I can’t walk in them, I can at least fold them. This is why I started folding high heels. While folding shoes, I stumbled upon folding different kinds of sweets, which brought back fond memories of first dates, and excursions with girlfriends celebrating life’s joys and sorrows (which of course then made me hungry for real sweets). Each new project brought memories to mind, which in turn inspired other new projects.

Origami has always been an interesting way to engage and connect with our dreams, memories, and desires. As we fold origami creations, we think about what they represent, and the connections to our past and future lives — all with just a simple piece of paper!!

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Met Museum’s ManusxMachina: Fashion in an Age of Technology

Later this week, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will soon make public a beautiful exhibition titled, Manus x Machina. This exhibition is a thoughtful and timely dialogue that explores how designers are reconciling the handmade and machinery in fashion.

We’re please that origami is part of the conversation and loving the origami inspired piece by Dutch Designer, Iris Van Herpen.

Opening to the public Thursday, “#ManusxMachina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” presents a series of case studies to unravel the realties and mythologies of the hand/machine conundrum. The exhibition features a series of rooms based on traditional métiers of the haute couture, including embroidery, featherwork, artificial flowers, pleating, lacework, and leatherwork, which will be presented alongside versions that incorporate innovative processes, such as 3D printing, computer modeling, bonding and laminating, laser cutting, and ultrasonic welding. Be among the first to see the exhibition during @MetMembers Previews tomorrow and Wednesday. Join today at metmuseum.org/join From left to right: Madame Grès (Alix Barton) (French, 1903–1993). Evening dresses, 1968 and ca. 1935, haute couture. Iris van Herpen (Dutch, born 1984) Ensemble Spring/summer 2010, haute couture. #TheMet #CostumeInstitute #MetGala

A photo posted by The Met (@metmuseum) on