The first time we saw Camille Ortoli use one of our FineArt papers in one of her projects, was for Nina Ricci perfumes, where she crafted our Rice Paper into a beautifully colourful and floral paper sculpture.
From a flat sheet of paper, Camille Ortoli gives life to 2D and 3D decors for worldwide known luxury houses, advertising decors and window displays of great stores. Today, we will be exploring the world of paper design with you, through the eyes of artist – Camille Ortoli, who is breaking the conventional ways of using paper and creating beautiful art in the process.

Camille Ortoli, what is a Paper Designer?

Being a Paper Designer involves working with paper in all its forms. It can be cut, bound, curved, glued, modeled, sculpted, built and worked in many other ways. With the goal to create a décor, an architecture, an ambience.

How diverse is Paper Design? Where would you find it?

It’s a diverse job as it can be used in different fields. Creations in paper can be used for decoration in store windows, or for events (showrooms, fashion parades, parties, etc.). They can be used in advertising as set design or as displays, or also as material for Haute Couture. It can also appear as a picture.

How did you get into art formthis style? Is there specific training to become a Paper Designer?
There isn’t any specific training to become a Paper Designer. As far as I’m concerned, I have studied graphic arts at the EPSAA. During my studies, I helped my sister, Solène Ortoli, who is an object artist some projects for the agency Solab, where we created all the decors by hand (in cardboard, paper, etc.) for video clips. During this time, I decided to create all my decors for my school projects in paper, take pictures of them and rework them in graphics.

What do you like about working with paper? Do you have a special connection with this medium, as a painter would have with their paints?  
This job requires a lot of patience and this process calms me a lot while creating my sculptures. A quality I find challenging when working with paper is its fragility. You have to handle it carefully, to understand how it works and then, paradoxically it becomes a very solid and rigid material.

According to which criterias do you choose the papers for your work ? Due to the paper properties or regarding your affinity ?
Yes it depends on the project. Usually, I chose the paper according to its grammage e the smaller the decor, the thinner the paper has to be. So I can cut it and work with it easily.

When working on different projects, do you choose the paper you work with? Or does the customer give you the paper he wants to use for the project?
Usually, for a white paper, the customers rely on me. I am used to working with the same papers. When I have to work with coloured papers, I propose different papers to the customers and then we chose them together.

What are the different steps to create a paper sculpture?
I begin with drafting my work. I think about the sculpture, I draw it, then I show a model of my ideas to the customers in Adobe Illustrator. When the project is agreed, I begin with my favorite moment! I cut, I bound, I curve and assemble the whole thing.

Do you take your inspiration from Parisian architecture or from what you see in other cities or elsewhere?

Yes, I’m so fascinated by Architecture! I’m working on a personal project inspired by the Haussmannian architecture. I love all the details and complex elements.

What will be the scale of this project?

I have created a series of buildings, 80cm in height. The next sculptures I will create for an exhibition, will be twice as big, while keeping the same scale for the details.

What difficulties do you encounter when working with  paper ?
Rounds, cylinders and columns need more techniques as the paper can easily be damaged.

What would be your biggest dream as a Paper Designer?
My first step would be to create bigger decors. For events or store windows. I would like to grow my team and work on largere scale projects. Then I would love to travel the world with my creations, and work in foreign countries.

Would you like to share your experience and know how?
Of course! I’ve been contacted by students involved in the Arts who wanted to do some training with me. At the moment, I think it’s a bit too early for me, but if one day I managed to build my team, I would love to share my job!

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1 Comment
  1. Trevor van Eck

    I really enjoyed the fine detail in these projects; and I especially like the fact that a traditional, “old fashioned” commodity, in this case, paper, becomes the basis for a modern, contemporary, forward-leaning design process. I hope to see an exhibtion of this artist´s work one day.

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