This Artist Uses Paper To Create Mind-Boggling Creations That Can Fit On Your Plate

In some ways, paper is the perfect medium. There is no drying, and therefore waiting, time, if you make a mistake you can simply unfold and refold, it is relatively cheap and it makes limited mess comparatively. Sena Runa certainly champions the material and has transformed her hobby of paper quilling into her full time job.


From grand pianos to butterflies that looked like they emerged from a chrysalis on hallucinogenics, Sena’s creations take around a day to complete and can be based on anything she feels like. “Creating your style gives you a sense of freedom. I really enjoy designing things that I’ve never seen quilled by anyone else”, she told us when we spoke to her.

Her work, and her spirit, know no boundaries and her designs are constantly entering new territories, not bound by theme or genre or size. Though her creations are colourful there is a unity of palette across all pieces, they are diverse and individual yet very clearly born out of the same brain.


Playful and upbeat, the designs would make a perfect addition to a child’s bedroom and it’s hard to believe that Sena, with all her playful creativity, once worked as an HR specialist. She quit her job in early 2015 to pursue her love of arts and paper quilling is now her full time job.

We spoke to the artist about paper, process and lack of patience.

The Plus: How did you first start creating paper art?
Sena Runa:
I began quilling four years ago. While I was searching the internet for inspiration to find the right hobby for me, I found a colourful picture that was made from paper using the quilling technique, but I had no idea what it was called. I tried to make it (I had colored papers left over as I used to do origami), but it turned out awful! After exploring many quilled creations online, I soon found my own style.


TP: How have your creations evolved over time?
At the beginning I was creating only a few shapes (heart, owl etc.) but soon found my own style of combining paper quilling and sketch. Also day by day the number of different designs I make increase. Some of them are my own ideas and some of them are the designs that people ask me to create.

TP: What is the process for creating each piece?
After I decide on the image, I draw a template, then I decide which colors I am going to use. After this, everything is spontaneous (details within the papers, I mean). The creative process for each item changes, so I can say that preparing one piece takes approximately a day to complete, and this is for the designs which I’ve made before. Creating a new design usually takes longer.


TP: What is the most difficult piece you have created?
The most difficult piece I have created was the World Map. It took a very long time to complete it, about 4 months. It was placed in a 70x100cm frame which is much bigger than I normally use for my other designs. Also it has many details especially at the coasts and islands.

TP: Why is paper such a good medium to work with?
I am very comfortable with paper – I get the effect I want. Also it is possible to get the result instantly, this is not possible with other mediums, such as oil painting for example – you have to wait to get the final result. Another advantage is that it is easier to make a correction or to remove a part if I don’t like it.


TP: Tell us about yourself
Currently my hobby is my full time job. I want to try new and different things but I don’t have enough time for that. But when I find some time, I want to make water color, oil painting and paper cutting.

TP: What is next for you?
I have started to make bigger designs, for example a butterfly creation placed in a 50x50cm frame. In the future I want to increase the quantity of them. Also I would love to see my designs created with different materials and different sizes.