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.