Sustainable Paper and Fiber Art by Leslie Espino


The next posting was composed by artist Leslie Espino.


If I experienced a superpower, it would be the capacity to glance at any piece of trash and see its possible as art. I make sustainable artwork from trash to display how you have the ability to rethink squander.

I started out making sustainable artwork by accident. Artwork is the safe and sound room wherever I rediscovered the patience to make as lots of mistakes as I essential to find out my craft. In permitting go of this anxiety of failure, I also generated stacks of unsuccessful paintings.

The artistic in me was fulfilled. But the environmental scientist in me was dissatisfied.

Awkward with the total of waste I made in my pursuit of artistic independence, I started off reusing these elements to check new ideas. I painted more than them. I slash them. I stitched them. Luckily, the Strathmore 400 Series and Visual Journal watercolor paper I use withstood the cycles of repurposing and exploration

These scraps turned into the embroidered paper vegetation that are now my signature sustainable model.

Leslie Espino 3- Tongass Understory 02- Organic Earth Paints and Strathmore, Tongass Understory 02 by Leslie Espino (built with Pure Earth Paint gouache, acrylic brush pens, and Strathmore 400 Sequence and Visual Journal  Briston paper.

Sustainability bridged the gap amongst my career as an environmental scientist functioning at NASA and my profession as an artist.

This sustainable journey is a self-propelled cycle. At the time I fatigued my individual supplies to reuse, I started consciously paying for new products. I researched makes, go through firm environmental impression statements, looked for secondhand resources, and so on.

Paper, fiber, and paint are the key elements in my storybook-type plant artwork. For paper, I search for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) qualified papers. FSC-accredited papers are built from pulp that can be traced again to the origin forests. This traceability minimizes unsustainable practices these types of as unlawful forest harvesting or applying outdated-growth forests for wooden pulp.

Aged-growth forests are an important source from weather adjust. They sequester more carbon than new development forests. The Tongass National Forest, for illustration, is the biggest aged-growth forest in the U.S., and it holds extra biomass for each acre than any other rain forest in the world.

An old-progress forest releases this stored carbon into the natural environment when it is logged. In contrast to manmade carbon sequestration technology, previous-expansion forests already exist and demand no development.

This can make previous-advancement forests a rare resource for climate security that already exists and necessitates no routine maintenance.

FSC-certified paper does not arrive from previous-growth forests like the Tongass Countrywide Forest.

My quest for sustainable art materials spurred modest adjustments which created a significant way of living modify.

For instance, I now shop for extra sustainable solutions to substitute single-use domestic things these types of as sponges and plastic-bottled shampoo.

In brief, turning into a sustainable artist made me a sustainable buyer.

Ultimately, I want you to look at my sustainable art and be captivated by something that was the moment trash. I want my artwork to be the visual catalyst for modify.

If my artwork can aid you rethink trash, it will spark an recognition that fuels your have particular sustainability journey of smaller way of living adjustments.

Leslie Espino is a feminine environmental scientist doing the job at NASA in Houston, Texas. She creates sustainable artwork for the reason that it is an open up room where she is absolutely free from both exterior and inside anticipations. As a girl doing work in the male-dominated disciplines of STEM and artwork, Leslie works by using her do the job to check out risk-free areas. Employing new and repurposed fiber and paper, she makes storybook-style landscapes to recreate the environment as a protected area for all. She hopes these landscapes invite the viewer to reconnect with their creativeness and explore their power as a steward of their natural environment.


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