Bovey Lee is a Paper Magician

LA-based artist Bovey Lee turns paper into works of magic. Using Chinese rice paper, she creates intricate paper cutouts, employing a technique she describes as “drawing with a knife.” Her creative process is both traditional and modern, relying on Chinese paper cutting techniques alongside digital helpers.

Her creative process is three-fold: hand drawing first, then digital rendering, and lastly, hand cutting. “Typically, I develop drawings before making a digital template on the computer,” she told Design Boom. “After completing the template, I print it out and use it as a positioning and visual guide. the template is largely photographic and I spend a lot of time translating continuous tones into patterns of solid and void. The final step is to spend lots of hours, hand cutting the image.”

But long before she was a paper magician, Lee took to other forms of art. Born in Hong Kong, she practiced Chinese calligraphy since the age of ten and went on to study painting and drawing in her formative years. With a BA degree in Fine Arts from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, she came to the US in 1993 as a painter and went on to earn her first Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a second MFA in computer graphics and interactive media from the Pratt Institute in New York.

It was only in 2005 when she created her first cut paperwork. “After practicing digital arts for years, I began to miss creating with my hands,” she recalls. “I sought an expression to satisfy my creative impulses and combine my skills.”

Take a look at some of her artwork in the gallery below.