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Matt Shlian started school as a ceramicist, but it was only when he realized that he was “interested in everything” that his work really took off.

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He creates sculptural artworks from flat pieces of paper that show the incredible diversity of the medium while creating beautifully inspiring forms. They are also doing something rather surprising: inspiring scientists.

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Along with a team at the University of Michigan he won the NSF (National Science Foundation) award on a nano-origami project that combines both art and engineering.

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In the process he’s using his art to help others understand the flexible nature of nano-structures. It’s not the first thing you think of when it comes to cutting and folding paper.

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Shlian’s process is an interesting one, and one that other creatives should take note of: he often works within a series of limitations.

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“For example on one piece I’ll only use curved folds, or make my lines this length or that angle etc,” he tells Strictly Paper. “Other times I begin with an idea for movement and try to achieve that shape or form somehow. Along the way something usually goes wrong and a mistake becomes more interesting than the original idea and I work with that instead.”

For more About this impressive and unconventional artist see his Tedx Talk and video with Ghostly International:

& visit Matt Shlian Official Website .

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