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curiosity, cut, & fold

Friends, I think I lost the meaning of curiosity there for a while. Sometime after the countless hours spent pretending with my siblings as kids and somewhere past high school biology amazed and delighted by the intricacies of the inter-workings of all living things, I misplaced it. I forgot that curiosity isn’t something we outgrow when we reach adulthood. And maybe it just looks a little different.

I want to remember how to notice and listen to my curiosities, so I’ve been practicing this. And one thing I've picked up on is how working with paper collage has had my curiosity piqued ever since I first picked it up at the start of pandemic. The signs that point me in the right direction and help remind me that this is curiosity?

  • Colors, textures, and shapes in my everydays keep catching my eye. The font or imagery on a piece of junk mail, the colors and patterns on the eco-friendly packaging my toilet paper's wrapped in, see-through 'windows' in envelopes where the address shows through, paper-thin bark that’s blown into my path from my neighbor’s eucalyptus tree across the street. I’m drawn to them all for the possibility they hold to cut-and-fold and join other materials that were never intended to ‘belong’ when first created, but somehow do.

  • My fingers seem itch to sort through tids-and-bits, paper clippings, and found words from old books- navigating with a certain intuition, editing in an instant what to pick up or slide aside for next time.

  • How order can be created from chaos and balance can be found in the midst of disparate things.

  • I’m no longer resistant to certain colors- not when I didn’t make them myself. Something about the fact that they already existed long before I came across them, it’s like being introduced to something unknown and its own, and enjoying getting acquainted.

These are some of the things that remind me that curiosity is still alive and well in me even though I'm not running barefoot in the backyard pretending to be shipwrecked on an island with my siblings or examining a mudpuppy through a magnifying class. There is so much more to uncover, unearth… even remember. And this makes me happy and hopeful and inspired to keep on trying new things and paying attention the process as I do.

Lately, I’ve been curious about the many ways we can cut and fold paper to create positive and negative space or connections and intersections. How we can highlight certain elements and subdue others simply by what we choose to reveal fully and what we layer beneath another materials to alters the affect.

This #lacelitpaperlings exploration was something I created during my Bits & Pieces Guided Creative Retreat last month, and has been scratching that curiosity itch. Inspired by origami and a love of lines, I had so much fun playing with this piece. I even like the mottled pattern the paste made beneath the velum layer!

How about you, friends? What has piqued your curiosity lately? Perhaps something you read, saw, or experienced first-hand? Or, maybe something more subtle that’s been quietly peeking into your garden or weaving into a familiar recipe? I’d love to hear!

♡ Kimberly Kuniko

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Words, Art + Photography by

© Kimberly 國子Taylor-Pestell


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Welcome to the personal blog of of Kimberly Kuniko, a Nikkei American illustrator, collage artist, poet, and host of cozy, virtual guided creative retreats with a new theme each month.

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