Amanda Witucki is a self-taught artist living in Austin who has been creating consistent bodies of work since 2018. Her focus is paper sculpture and origami. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Psychology with a minor in French from the University of Kansas. She is an active, exhibiting artist around Austin, Texas.
Utilizing techniques of origami and simple folding, she creates intricate, crisp design. Repetition and clean lines are a primary focus. Using simple folded shapes multiplied hundredfold, Amanda creates geometric landscapes that almost resemble topographic maps. In tangent with these mathematical paper shapes, color is a primary focus of her work.
“Color palettes are like music to me—each combination of colors speaks a feeling, or a memory, or an impression, and my job is to convey the feeling I experienced to the viewer. Color is the destination, paper is the vehicle.”
She creates these colorful geometric blankets and applies them to canvas, but also creates larger versions that are much more experiential-sometimes measuring 30 feet in scale. These installations envelope the viewer into a world of color, texture, and joy.
When did you first begin creating art?
I’ve been creative my whole life, and briefly studied art in college before switching majors to something I thought was more “practical.” P.S. I’ve never used my Psychology degree; it turns out art was always my future. My first creative business was in 2013 as a wedding and event designer, but I really found my creative voice once I started exclusively using paper as a medium. I’ve been creating paper-based installations and canvas art actively since 2018.
When did you first consider yourself to be an artist?
It took me a long time to find my voice within the medium of paper. Since I have a background in event design, I considered myself an event designer for years, and never allowed myself the title of artist. Everything I created was a one-off project and I never felt there was any continuity to what I was doing. It wasn’t until I discovered how to incorporate origami and paper pleating into my work that I made my first collection of art, and this is when I started to call myself an artist.
Who or what influences your practice?
I’m inspired by larger-scale paper installations. Anything from window displays to set designers influence my work. I’m also fascinated by the Guerilla art movement. There are a lot of amazing paper artists out there that always inspire new ideas. I love discovering new concepts by taking a simple shape, and repeating it hundredfold to create something larger. The simplest shapes can create something truly impressive with the right colors and a lot of repetition.
Tell us about a specific moment in your career that you would consider a turning point.
There are two major moments that I have to thank for everything: 1) discovering the origami shape that is most frequently used in my work. I found it on Pinterest as an origami tutorial that was meant to use two paper shapes to create a diamond-shaped pendant. Out of curiosity, I pressed the shape in the center and inverted it, which led to a whole new way of working with it. My background in design led me to experiment by gluing many of these shapes together to create a larger modular backdrop. I had never seen anything in this style before, and I simply chanced upon something totally new. 2) The second major turning point was choosing to make the modules smaller, and attaching them to a canvas so it could be sold as wall art versus an installation. A fellow artist friend suggested this to me, and I’m forever grateful for her advice. I had been an event and installation artist for so long, and making smaller canvas-based pieces was the step I needed to bring me into the fine art world as opposed to the event industry.
Where would you like to see your artwork go in the future?
I want to create large-scale temporary public art. Maybe it will be a secret identity kind of thing, or maybe it will be commissioned public art. I’m hoping for both. I’m very inspired by the Guerrilla art movement, and would love to inspire joy with temporary paper installations. For the last few years, I’ve been perfecting my craft and have been expanding my library of concepts so that I’m able to do more public art in the future.