Today we’ve got our first origami enthusiast on Feature Fridays! Leyla Torres has many talents, but one she is most passionate about is origami.
Why are you passionate about origami?
I love origami because it’s an art of infinite possibilities within a small piece of paper. It is relaxing and meditative. It is portable. It is a small performance in which the process of folding as well as the finished piece are intriguing. And it is social, you can break barriers and connect with other people by giving away a model and receiving a smile in return. Also it’s easy and rewarding to befriend other people who love the art of paper folding
What got you started with origami and being creative?
I have been creative of my life. My mother always encouraged it. I paint, write and fold paper. My love for origami started as a child, but it lay dormant since that time until one cold December night in 1988 in New York City. My husband and I strolled by the office of Japan Airlines on fifth avenue. There was a Christmas tree four times as tall as me, rotating slowly and displaying dozens of origami models. I was immediately enchanted. My passion for origami has been growing ever since. Also, I love writing and teaching, so a few years ago I started a blog, now called Origami Spirit, to write about origami as a creative pursuit in my daily life and that of many other people. I’ve also written some children’s books in addition to creating origami.
Do you have a favorite piece to make?
It’s hard to name a favorite piece in particular. I love models that are simple and elegant, which evoke the essence of what they represent with just a few folds. I also love action models such as the classic flapping bird, which are easy to teach and share with young people or young at heart. I am fond of a hen I created, which is a container too. I called it the Abundance Hen. It pleases me that people from all over the world have folded it! Also, I love a butterfly created by Evy Binzinger, simple and gorgeous.
What exciting future plans do you have for your work?
I want to open myself more to designing new models. I plan to continue writing about origami and creating more video tutorials with exciting models to share.
Do you have any tips/inspiration to share?
Creativity is a driving force that we should encourage in ourselves and in other people. It is something that can be applied in any field or situation, not only in art. To me it’s important to let creativity surface in an organic way in many facets of my life, and let it take me wherever it might, regardless of what I have done in the past.
Thanks Leyla! I love how you were inspired by a Christmas Tree of origami! Keep spreading origami around the world!