“I’ve loved making things ever since I was a child,” explains Kyle Bean. “At university, I became frustrated with drawing and painting. There was also a lot of illustration created entirely digitally, but I wanted to get back to creating something physical.” Paper was the student’s material of necessity, but it soon became his medium of choice: “It’s liberatingly versatile and comes in so many colors. Because it’s accessible, you can experiment more.”
And so, he founded his career on this material, however, has evolved much from there. Discover this truly creative artist, his work, his view on making things and see the artwork he created for Victorinox.
Craftsman, paper artist or tactile illustrator?
It’s difficult to pigeonhole a true maker, and Kyle Bean is no exception. Bean has collaborated with Victorinox to create a diorama of the Swiss landscape out of interlocking layers of paper that represent the iconic Swiss Army Knife and the workings of a Swiss watch. It’s featured in the movie below as well as in the attached PDF that allows you to make your own with.
Kyle rejects the title ‘craftsman’, saying, “I feel that’s someone who specializes in a particular material or process.” And, as a creative entrepreneur who works for fashion houses, major brands and global publications, he’s also been reluctant to accept the label ‘artist’. What he is, specifically, is a ‘tactile illustrator’.
Traditional crafting and leading edge technology
A look at how a maker works
Collaboration is also a key part of Bean’s methodology. “Because much of my work ends up as an image, I value the input a photographer can bring – for example, lighting to maximize the tactile effect. And I’ve worked with people who have expertise in large-scale construction or creating models for animation.
I’ve built up a network of other makers, which makes a project better than if I worked alone.” Bean’s collaboration with Victorinox is as innovative as it is obvious. His model of the company’s Ibach factory uses the Japanese kirigami technique. How to make one yourself is easy, too. Kyle has maped out all the steps necessary in this PDF.