Most people view paper as a canvas for creating art, but for Calvin Nicholls, paper is the art. The Canadian artist turns drawings into elaborate 2D and 3D images of animals that look ready to spring off the wall and run (or fly) around the room. That includes five birds of paradise Nicholls created for a private commission currently on display at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, New York until October 25 and at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin until late November. 

After the initial drawing, Nicholls spends hours cutting slivers of paper with an X-ACTO knife, a scalpel, or scissors. He carefully layers the paper components to match the drawing and glues them into place. The labor-intensive pieces can take up to two years to create, depending on their size and detail. Many are created for corporate and private clients, although Nicholls also exhibits his paper art in museums and sells it online. View some of his works below, or visit his Facebook page or website.

All images courtesy of Calvin Nicholls 

[h/t This Is Colossal]