Napkin Origami

2007 - illustration +

This was a project I was approached to illustrate. It’s a good example of why it’s important to use a specialist rather than a “jobbing” illustrator, when producing origami titles. The original author (Rick Beech), for reasons best known to himself, had simply traced models from websites and other books, without approaching the individual creators or publishers. To cut a long and sad saga short, I had to identify the authors by the models and seek permission before we could go ahead. Some refused (and I don’t blame them) but most granted permission for the usual arrangement of credit and a free copy.

For the refusals, I had to create models that resembled the already photographed designs, but didn’t breach copyright. An example was the origami bootees shown below. It was a difficult, if creative task. I refused the offer of putting my name on the cover, it didn’t seem appropriate.

To any potential publishers reading this, please insist that all designs used have written permission from the creator before you use them – many people still believe that all origami is somehow traditional and free from copyright, which isn’t the case!

Sad to report, it’s been in print for over two years and neither I nor the people who contributed designs have been sent the complimentary copy we were promised. Hollan Publishing – think twice before you let them use your work.