Sena Runa is a paper art designer who uses the traditional medium of quilling to create intricate designs. She uses wider strips of paper to create larger shadows in her work giving the effect of painting.
How did you get started quilling? Always an artist, or was there a “moment”? Were there other mediums before paper?
I have been interested in art as long as I can remember. I used to do acrylic paintings. I loved watching Bob Ross when I was a kid. I remember that moment when I discovered quilling. The first paper quilling photo I saw was on Pinterest, it was colorful and fresh. I still remember the feeling!
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What do you do differently? What is your signature that makes your work stand out as yours?
Unlike traditional quilling, I use wider strips of paper. Because when I use wide paper strips, the shadow of the strips falls on the background and it gives the effect of being painted. And this color on the background changes according to the tone of the light.
What is the most important takeaway you want readers to gain from your book(s), especially your new title, Quilling Flowers?
Actually, I’m trying to teach a different perspective on quilling. In my Quilling Flowers book, I tried to use a different quilling technique for each flower so that I could show as much as possible how different shapes are used in various projects.
Do you plan your work out ahead of time, or do you just dive in with your materials and start playing?
I don’t plan much in advance. I only prepare a template so that I plan the boundaries and size of the artwork, the quilling part develops completely spontaneously.
Do you have a dedicated space for creating? If so, what does it look like?
Yes. I work from home and have a small studio. Mostly a chaotic environment 🙂
Paper of different colors is gushing out from everywhere! There are two tables, on one table I cut paper and on the other I quill. I have a big closet and it has everything related to quilling or not! Colored markers, acrylic paints, a hammer 🙂 My favourite thing in my studio is that the works in the frames hanging on my walls are constantly changing!
What is your favorite lesser-known tool for your trade? Have you taken something designed for another use and repurposed it for your studio?
Actually there are many! For example, the quilling needle I used when I first started quilling, it was a pointed tool used to remove blackheads. The kitchen precision scale for weighing the cargo packages. The boxes with magnets on the back sold as spice racks (I used them to place my artworks and sell them as mini quilling paper artworks). And a makeup brush to clean the tiny pieces of dust from the artworks. These are just the ones that come to my mind right now 🙂
Do you use a sketchbook or journal? How does that help your work develop?
No, I don’t.
How often do you start a new project? Do you work actively on more than one project at a time?
It changes from time to time! If it’s a piece of art that I sell in my shop, yes I work on more than one at the same time. Currently I’m working on a big project and I am giving all my concentration into it.
Can you tell us about the inspiration and process of one of your works? How does a new work come about?
I find inspiration from almost anything. When I watch TV series, listening to music, scrolling through internet, or someone asks for a new project, list goes on. Creating process starts with drawing a sketch, but just the outline not the quilling part. Then I decide which colors I want to use. After deciding the color scheme I cut my own paper strips. Then the creating process of the quilling part starts, after that everything happens spontaneously:)
How has your work changed over time?
Over time, my quilling has developed by combining different crafting techniques. However, I still use the idea of combining drawing and quilling that I discovered when I first started quilling (hot air balloon – one of the projects in my second book). Another improvement in my style was combining paper cut and paper quilling.
Do you critique your own work? What is your process?
Yes! I usually ask my husband, and I like to get opinions from my mother as well. Sometimes their comments helps me to finish the artwork much quickly. However, I do not always listen to them, there are times when I listen to my own inner voice that I do not change the parts they say to change.
How do you know when a piece or project is finished and needs no additional work?
In fact, I always feel like I need to add something until I stop. When I decide the artwork is finished, I take a photo, I can actually say I take it to look from afar. And sometimes I take a break for 1-2 days. Then I decide if I need to add something or not.
When was the first time that you remember realizing that you are a creative person?
I guess when my classmate asked me to draw for her in art class in middle school 🙂
What traits, if any, do you think that creative people have as compared to people who are not creative?
I think everyone has a talent. Not everyone has to be creative, but there is something that everyone does well.
What (or who) has been your biggest inspiration in keeping your creative energy going?
Nature! Observing landscapes, flora, and fauna can stimulate creative thinking and offer a fresh perspective. Nature’s colors, patterns, textures, and rhythms often find their way into artistic creations.
Where can people learn more about your work?
Interview posted June 2023
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