The other day, as we were trolling BEHANCE we stumbled upon the fantastic art of Will Pigg. The man has a lot of great things to feast your eyes upon but today we will focus mostly on his incredible paper cuts. Will has created sensational images for some of our favorite films including: The Iron Giant, The Lion King, Sleeping Beauty, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Totoro, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and….Star Wars. Needless to say, now that we have discovered his work, we will be spending a lot of our hard earned money in his OFFICIAL STORE.
We took a moment to reach out to Will to get some info about these fantastic pieces. He was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to give us some words about his work.
“Iron Giant and Hogarth” AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE HERE
BLURPPY- how long have you been doing paper craft cut outs?
Well, I’ve been doing the paper cuts for about 4 years. I had zero knowledge of paper cutting prior, so it sort of randomly fell into my lap. My friend and great illustrator Jacob McAlister had just gotten a table, at the last minute, to MegaCon in Orlando and asked me if I wanted to sell some art with him. So, needing to knock out some pieces, I sat down at my art table one night, geared up and ready to draw, and when I reached down into my wooden charcoal box my hand slapped the bottom of the box and… “crap, outta charcoals”. It was about 9pm so the art store was closed. I looked around and saw my x-acto sitting there, from cutting some bristol earlier to draw on, grabbed it, pulled over some black artagain and started using the knife like a pencil. I did my first cut, an 8inch bee. I thought it was pretty cool. As I was pulling it out of paper, the desk light ended up casting a cool looking shadow of it underneath and I liked the dimension it gave. So I got a bit excited, grabbed some more artagain and started immediately making a piece for MegaCon, a 3D Venom (after just having looked at a Dan Luvisi drawing. Then a TMNT piece. The next day I researched about how to frame and mount them in layers. The 27 pieces I ended up doing in 2 weeks for MegaCon were a hit – and that was that.
“Team Turtles Rooftop” AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE HERE
BLURPPY – what is the start to finish process when doing these amazing paper craft cut outs?
WILL PIGG – It really depends and I’m always evolving it. Every illustrative piece starts off with a sketch to get a feel for the composition and this is where I usually figure out (on the 3D pieces) how I will set up the layers. For one shots, most of the time I just freehand them. For open editions, each one needs to match as much as possible, so after my initial drawing I’ll scan it and bring it into Illustrator or Photoshop and get a good clean outline/tracing of it. At this point (for the 3D ones) I’ll break up the elements like a puzzle and split them off into their separate files.
I’ll print it out on vellum and use them so each piece is consistent. I make hundreds of pieces for conventions so this is a necessity. The small symbols are the same way except there is no reason to pre-sktech them. Sometimes I’ll simply make a sketch, tape it down and cut a one off. Before I start cutting I need to figure out what paper I’ll be doing it in and what colors. I have a bunch of shelves with different color papers separated by color then hue. Like a scrapbook store heh.
Aside from all the geek stuff that puked over my walls, you would see my stuff and assume I was a 70 yr old woman making memory books for her grandkids. So, after all that, I start to cut. After cutting I have to modify frames and turn them into shadowboxes. Pre-made shadowboxes are expensive, so in order to keep costs down for people and for my initial cost for each piece, I find thick framed frames, open them up and turn them into boxes. Then I cut cold press board and glue the backgrounds – then mount the piece to it. Finally, after cleaning out frame and glass I can throw it all in the frame and close it up with a point driver and it’s ready to hang.
AT-AT Walkers on Hoth – AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE HERE
BLURPPY – about how long does each one take? (do you have any process videos?)
I’m trying to work on a process video and have a great camera for it, I just haven’t had the time to figure out the set up for it, but it’s a priority and on my mind every time I make one heh. The time it takes to make a piece… hmmm it really varies from 15 minutes to 20+ hours.
Millennium Falcon Mos Eisley – AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE HERE
BLURPPY – are you in any gallery shows this year?
I’m constantly doing conventions. My “convention season” starts with MegaCon in Orlando (this yr I think it’s the 2nd week of April) – I mainly do them up and down the east cost – from Miami to NY. I have to drive everywhere with a trailer because shipping my show is way too expensive with all the glass frames (not to mention the chance for breakage).
Slave One on Cloud City - AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE HERE
I am trying to expand out west, and I’m hoping to hit some shows in Texas, Utah and California. But we’ll see how that goes. I do local art shows and galleries (here in Orlando), if I have time to make pieces for them. I also send off pieces to other galleries around the nation – but it’s pretty random. I would like to have pieces all over, but I haven’t had the chance to try to reach out. – Maybe someone reading this is a curator? :) I do have some pieces in upcoming HCG shows this year in L.A. which I’ll post on my social media when those are happening.
Aurora Sleeping Beauty Spinning Wheel – AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE HERE
BLURPPY – What’s the best way for fans to line up a private commission?
The best way to line up commissions or check what I have for sale is to check out my Etsy shop or email me through my website – willpigg.com
R2D2 – AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE HERE
Probe Droid - AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE HERE
We’ve only shown you a small offering from Will’s shop and it should be noted that he also has some fantastic illustration work for sale as well. Hit him up for private commissions of your favorite characters and scenes. Stay up to date with new releases via all his social media feeds.