Art, Features

Crankbunny

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Featuring Norma’s paper craft work from Crankbunny

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Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am an animation director & artist who works under the name Crankbunny, but my real name is Norma V. Toraya. Besides doing animated commercials and small films, I also create paper dolls and mechanical paper toy objects. All my paper work is illustrated, carefully cut, and assembled to be hung or handled.

Additionally, I sometimes collaborate with other amazing artists on similar paper cut out projects through Von Zos (www.landofzos.com) or one on one, as with poster artist Brian Ewing (www.brianewing.com.) I also like to write how-to books and share with others how they can make pop up cards, paper dolls and toys. I do that with The Secret Society of Paper Cuts.

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Where does your interest in paper puppets, pop up cards, and other paper toy novelties come from?

They come mainly from two places. My love of old things and my background in animation. I grew up right at the edge of electronic fancy toys. It has made me personally fascinated with my own memories of playing with simple paper toys and using my imagination to fill in the gaps. I’ve also worked in animation for almost 10 years – primarily focusing on traditional techniques like drawn animation and flat 2D stop motion animation. Because of that work, I ended up making flat articulated dolls and props. They were always so wonderful to handle.

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Give us an idea of the process involved in converting paper into magic.

The technical answer : I totally obsess about a random topic and research the hell out of it. The topic tends to come about from researching for a previous idea. From there I try to figure out how to translate it paper. What is the appeal (the magic) of this thing and how can that be made with paper the simplest way possible? I don’t like over complicating things and am constantly auditing my direction. There is a maquette (prototype) that I then I build and do the final artwork. I tend to think about the production also – what is the best way in steps to make the objects.

The meta answer : Magic is imagination. Imagination lets you fill in the blanks.

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What inspires you to create?

Mania. Obsession. Freedom. My drive in the last 2 years has shifted to something very internal that is hard to describe. Making things is all I pretty much think about. I have a hard time sitting still if I’m not working on something. The research, making, problem solving and sometimes failure involved is an amazing feeling. Also, the fact I’ve taken a hiatus from directing has let me focus laser sharp on very specific personal creative challenges that always took a back seat.

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What’s the most rewarding thing about sharing your craft with the world?

I’ve worked in other fields and mediums that lacked the intimacy I get from making my paper creations available to anyone on a one to one basis. People can actually touch and play with my objects. They can place it around their homes and it becomes part of their life. They can give it as a gift and that moment becomes even more special. It is extremely touching when someone uses a card for a marriage proposal, announcing a new birth or surprise get away trip. It’s nice to know there is tons of joy associated with what I’ve made.

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Where can we find your work?

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shop site : shop.crankbunny.com

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etsy shop site : crankbunny.etsy.com

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The Secret Society of Paper Cuts (SSoPC) Books : www.ssopc.net , www.secretsocietyofpapercuts.com/

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Where can we find you?

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website : www.crankbunny.com

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blog/tumblr : blog.crankbunny.com

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instagram : @Crankbunny

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twitter : @Crankbunnyshop

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facebook : Crankbunny

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Thank you Norma *Crankbunny! I’ve long admired your paper handiwork. So glad to be able to feature your work here.

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