May 28, 2022

The Fourthny

Art is beauty

Sustainable Paper and Fiber Art by Leslie Espino

3 min read

The adhering to article was written by artist Leslie Espino.


If I had a superpower, it would be the capability to glimpse at any piece of trash and see its possible as artwork. I make sustainable artwork from trash to clearly show how you have the power to rethink squander.

I started out creating sustainable artwork by accident. Artwork is the risk-free house in which I rediscovered the endurance to make as lots of problems as I necessary to learn my craft. In letting go of this concern of failure, I also created stacks of failed paintings.

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

Awkward with the volume of squander I created in my pursuit of innovative independence, I began reusing these materials to examination new suggestions. I painted around them. I minimize them. I stitched them. Thankfully, the Strathmore 400 Collection and Visible Journal watercolor paper I use withstood the cycles of repurposing and exploration

These scraps turned into the embroidered paper crops that are now my signature sustainable fashion.

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

Sustainability bridged the hole amongst my vocation as an environmental scientist working at NASA and my job as an artist.

This sustainable journey is a self-propelled cycle. Once I fatigued my very own materials to reuse, I commenced consciously getting new elements. I researched manufacturers, examine enterprise environmental impact statements, looked for secondhand sources, and so on.

Paper, fiber, and paint are the most important resources in my storybook-design and style plant artwork. For paper, I appear for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified papers. FSC-certified papers are manufactured from pulp that can be traced again to the origin forests. This traceability minimizes unsustainable techniques such as illegal forest harvesting or using old-expansion forests for wood pulp.

Previous-advancement forests are an vital useful resource versus local climate adjust. They sequester far more carbon than new growth forests. The Tongass Nationwide Forest, for case in point, is the premier old-growth forest in the U.S., and it holds much more biomass per acre than any other rain forest in the earth.

An previous-expansion forest releases this stored carbon into the natural environment when it is logged. Compared with artifical carbon sequestration know-how, outdated-advancement forests presently exist and call for no improvement.

This will make old-advancement forests a uncommon useful resource for climate security that presently exists and requires no routine maintenance.

FSC-qualified paper, like Strathmore paper, does not occur from old-progress forests like the Tongass Countrywide Forest.

My quest for sustainable artwork materials spurred compact changes which produced a meaningful way of life adjust.

For illustration, I now shop for a lot more sustainable solutions to exchange one-use family objects these kinds of as sponges and plastic-bottled shampoo.

In short, becoming a sustainable artist manufactured me a sustainable purchaser.

Eventually, I want you to seem at my sustainable art and be captivated by some thing that was after trash. I want my art to be the visible catalyst for adjust.

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

Leslie Espino is a woman environmental scientist doing the job at NASA in Houston, Texas. She creates sustainable art for the reason that it is an open house where by she is cost-free from both of those exterior and inner anticipations. As a woman operating in the male-dominated disciplines of STEM and art, Leslie makes use of her do the job to investigate safe and sound spaces. Making use of new and repurposed fiber and paper, she produces storybook-style landscapes to recreate the planet as a safe and sound place for all. She hopes these landscapes invite the viewer to reconnect with their imagination and explore their electric power as a steward of their ecosystem.

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