Interviewed on 22.05.2018
3 minute read

Tsvetislava Koleva

Papercraft artist & Graphic designer

Short intro

I’m Tsvetislava. I enjoy making things from paper, writing beautiful letters and riding my bike Bicicletta (Yes, my bike has it’s own name).

What do you do for a living?

My work is an interesting mixture of different elements. I work in Four Plus studio as a graphic designer with focus on Visual identity, Lettering and Calligraphy and in my free time I’m a freelance Papercraft artist.

Illustration for Take Away Give Away Sofia - The Postcard Guide

When did you find your passion for papercraft and design?

When I was little I loved to draw and make things. After I started studying in the National Academy of Art I found all of my passions (graphic design, calligraphy and paper craft). I graduated with a BA degree in Advertising design and a MA degree in Calligraphy. My love for papercraft started after my participation in Arjowiggins Second Skin Contest. The task was to create a mask entirely made out of paper. I was up for a challenge and I gave it a try.

A is for Ambience For the 36 days of type challenge Photo by Georgi Stoilov

How long have you been doing your craft?

Graphic design and Calligraphy for 2.5 years and Papercraft for 5 years.

Backstage in the studio.

Describe the beginning of your day

I wake up between 7.30-8.00. I get up, make coffee and breakfast, do some yoga, check my Instagram feed and at 9.00 I’m off to work with Bicicletta. Riding my bike to work gives me the time to think and plan the rest of my day.

What’s your workspace?

Messy! I have huge piles of paper, lots of little paper cuttings and my lovely white desk is covered with tiny black spots from the ink.

I’ve cleaned my desk for the photo.

What’s your source of inspiration?

I find inspiration in nature, traveling and other creatives work. Currently I’m obsessed with the work of Paloma Rincon, Martina Flor, Nina Minnebo, Vincent de Boer. Go checked them out:, , ,

I’m fascinated with birds. Here’s a little paper Goldfinch. Photo by Georgi Stoilov

Letters on the go. When I travel, my Moleskine is always by my side. I commemorate the trip with some lettering.

What works are you most proud of??

Probably, my MA degree project - Strokes, Shapes & Light. I worked on it for a year and it was an interesting experiment combining calligraphy, papercraft and photography. The project is a spatial design study of basic calligraphy techniques, interpreted by papercraft models. Each paper model is based on the trace, pressure and gesture of writing with a particular calligraphic tool. The result is a series of photographs combining interesting mixtures of structures, volumes and light. I was really happy when I found out that my project was among the winners in the 2018 Typography Competition by Communication Arts.

What are the tools you use in your day to day life?

The basic digital tools (tablet, Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom, camera Canon M10), pencil, Swann Morton scalpel, dental tweezer, Loctite Super Bond Glue, tape, cutting board, ruler and lots of brushes, nibs, parallel pens, markers.

Do you follow any set of principles for your work?

Plan your time carefully. Be patient. Enjoy the process.

Lettering for 24th of May - the Day of Culture and Slavic Script in Bulgaria Photo by Georgi Stoilov

What’s your favourite movie?

The Darjeeling Limited

What's your favourite book?

In Search of the Castaways by Jules Verne

What advice would you give to people that start out with design?

Take your pleasure seriously (a great quote by the designers Charles and Ray Eames) and practice, practice, practice. Don’t be afraid to explore new things and to push yourself out of your comfort zone. And finally - Trust your gut.

Fun fact: I had to screenshot this photo from my own Instagram. ha-ha Advice: Always save your photos.

Have you ever thought of empowering your creative community in any way, shape or form?

I’d like to see more festivals and workshops happening. Sharing knowledge and collaborating with others is so important for the creative community.

Meet Tsvetislava on the Social Media

Instagram Behance Dribbble Link for the photographer

I'm still amazed by your skill in papercraft. It was a pleasure interviewing you, Tsetislava.