What it’s Like To Create Origami


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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Two $50 Costco Giftcards (Giveaway now closed)

Starting July 19th, Girligami will be on sale for you and your best gal pals at Costco stores nationwide! Today, we’ve partnered with Tuttle Publishing to give away two $50.00 Costco giftcards to two lucky readers!!!! Scroll down to learn more!

How to Enter

To enter, simply leave a comment here telling me what’s the best/favorite purchase(s) you made at Costco and/or your favorite memory of Costco. Entries must be posted by Saturday, July 26th at 11:59 pm EST, and two winners will be chosen at random. Sorry, limited to U.S. readers only. Friends and family of the author and Tuttle Publishing staff are not eligible. Please do not leave your email or web address in the body of the comment, only in the allotted boxes. The winners will be contacted by email once comments close, and announced at the bottom of this post soon after.

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Design and origami in music

Design and origami in music exhibition was held last month at the International Museum and Library of Music in beautiful Bologna, Italy. Created by Elisa Cavani and Marisa Cortese and organized by Manoteca and Nipponica, this immersive and interactive exhibition played with the evocative power of origami and music. It’s aim focused on the intention to redefine the space, creating harmony between natural elements, sound, paper. Upon arrival, the visitor will not only be a spectator, but become part of the space by playing and creating.