Out Of This World: Felix Semper’s Stretchable Paper Sculptures Are Lit!

Felix Semper has a catchphrase that you’ll find all over his social media: “Stretching your imagination.” In my opinion, this phrase perfectly sums up his stretchable paper sculptures. That’s because although they look rigid on the surface, you can stretch them apart as wide as a pair of elastic pants.

These stretchable thingies almost have a magical vibe about them, thanks to the visual deception at play. Indeed, the USP of Semper’s craft is how it changes from something seemingly firm into something flexible. Trust me, when you’re admiring a glorious paper bust, the last thing you’d expect to see is someone stretch it by the head.

The prolific artist has crafted many different stretchable paper sculptures that resemble everyday objects. Cereal boxes, musical instruments, Jordans, life-size dogs — you name it!

Recently, Watercooler got the chance to interview Felix Semper. During this, he talked about various topics, including his sculpting process and his NFT project, Felix the Lion.

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Semper’s “Eureka” moment

According to Semper, his desire to stand out from the crowd is what spurred him to make unique art. He candidly revealed, “I wanted to do something different. Something that no one was doing, in a unique way.”

The 58-year-old artist recalled the moment he first got the inspiration to create stretchable paper sculptures. It was back when he was working in a print shop, fresh out of high school. He reflected on his time experimenting with paper, “I used to cut paper. I used to see how it would shift and create forms.”

On his love for paper and the sculpting process

But, of all the materials available, why did Semper choose paper for his sculptures? That’s the burning question we had, too. Answering this, the sculptor said, “I love paper because it’s such a common material. It’s a material that we all have.” He continued, “Gluing it in a certain way and then carving it — it is fascinating.”

Moving on, Semper touched on the basics of creating stretchable paper sculptures. For him, it’s all about gluing together stacks of paper, sculpting them using DIY tools, sanding them, and then painting them to look hyper-realistic. The way he defines it makes it sound easy, though the task is no child’s play.

When quizzed about the inspiration for his work, he gave credit to the everyday stuff, such as a cereal box or a cola can, which others may see as mundane. And yes, he’s made flexible replicas of these items as well.

About his NFT project and its future

Out of all the sculptures Semper has created till now, Felix the Lion is his favorite. In his own words, perfecting such challenging, highly detailed pieces “takes weeks, if not a month.”

By the way, Felix the Lion is not just an avatar but also an NFT that he plans to release by 2022. As per his website, he hopes venturing into NFTs will make his work more accessible and affordable.

Moreover, Semper revealed his excitement for the launch of his NFT and said it was “going to be amazing” and “a lot of fun.” He further explained, “We’re building this community from the ground up, where I’ll be giving away a lot of my art to the members of our community of the NFTs.”

Advice for aspiring artists

It’s no secret that taking up art as a career is a privilege that many do not have. For those artists who still wish to make a viable job out of their passion, Semper’s advice is to “be yourself,” “do what you love,” “follow your passion,” and “do something different.”

The charismatic sculptor underlined, “Don’t follow what anyone else is doing. Follow your vision, follow your love, and just do it. Don’t wait for anyone to give you the green light. Just go ahead and do it.” Highlighting the value of a vision and its imaginative application, he wrapped up by saying, “It’s art, and you’re the creator stretching your imagination.”

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