While the history of paper quilling dates all the way back to the 15th century, it’s still a relatively niche part of the contemporary paper art scene that is dominated by scrapbooking, paper cutting, and flower making. Among the few, one creative carrying the torch for this unique way of making whimsical paper design novelties by coiling and rolling narrow paper strips is the talented Sena Runa. Making multicolored and joyful designs of various themes and topics, Runa has managed to build a following among paper enthusiasts, including us.
With a passion and interest for art since childhood, Sena Runa turned her beloved hobby of paper quilling into a career as a paper artist, after swapping a corporate position in HR for the love of papercrafts. “I discovered paper quilling in 2013 while I was searching for a hobby. In 2015 I decided to leave the corporate world for good and began a new chapter in my life, pursuing my newfound passion – art! I have been working as a full-time artist since”, Runa tells us.
Paper quilling chose me, I didn’t choose it, lol!…one photo I saw on the internet of the paper quilling technique made me try it and adapt different ideas to paper quilling. I think finding a new kind of art attracted me to it at first since I was not aware such a type of art existed.
Above anything else, a passion for quilling and creating drives paper artist Sena Runa to create new work
Upon asking what exactly drew Runa to the intriguing technique, it becomes obvious how passionate she feels about it. “Paper quilling chose me, I didn’t choose it, lol! Most probably I saw paper cutting first but it didn’t trigger me to try it. But one photo I saw on the internet of the paper quilling technique…It made me try it and adapt different ideas to paper quilling. I think finding a new kind of art attracted me to it at first since I was not aware such a type of art existed.”
This passion for the craft can be seen in Runa’s work, in its meticulously produced details and the overwhelming feeling of happiness that her designs always carry. With themes ranging from animals to botanicals, and everyday objects to personalized portraits, the artist works for both commercial clients, commissions, as well as on personal projects. “I find inspiration from almost anything. When I watch tv series, listen to music, scroll through the internet, or someone asking for a new project, the list goes on.” And when asked if any topic or theme rises above the rest, Runa explains how “this really depends on my mood! Currently, I made the replica of Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” artwork. It was something I never tried before. I really loved the result.”
My main technique is paper quilling, I like to play with the shadows of the paper strips. But also I like to try new things and combine styles.
Runa spends her days working from her own home studio discovering new ways and styles of paper crafting, and working on her 3rd tutorial book on paper quilling. “Every working day for me is pretty much the same. I work in my studio all day long, most of the time I watch all the tv series and sometimes I listen to music. If it’s a ‘shipping artwork’ day, I prepare the packages and leave them at the post office. After that, I concentrate on creating artwork until I go to sleep. My main technique is paper quilling, I like to play with the shadows of the paper strips. But also I like to try new things and combine styles. For example, when I created the hot air balloon, I mixed quilling with watercolor. Or mixing paper quilling with papercutting, lately, this is my favorite!”
Explore below some of our favorite works by the artist, and follow her on Instagram for future inspiration.