Artist 01: Anja Markiewicz

It was by chance that I stumbled upon Anja's nano-origami set on Flickr. I have been very intrigued by artists who work with paper ever since I went to the Slash: Paper Under the Knife exhibition at the MAD in New York and watched the PBS documentary Between the Folds. Anja's work speaks two words to me, patience and perfection. I believe the time and effort that Anja has been putting into perfecting all the tiny details would not be any less than any other larger-scale origami artists. It is through experiments and persistence that we're seeing this intricate collection. I had the pleasure in having a conversation via email with Anja, and yes, I was right, she is absolutely lovely.

1.Where are you from and where do you reside now? 

I'm from Leipzig, Germany and I live in Potsdam now which is very close to Berlin.

2. When and how did you start working with origami? 

This is a fun story and a little bit of a coincidence. A friend and I discovered nano-origami during a class when I was still in school about 4-5 years ago. Let's just say the class was not very interesting at all... The whole thing started out as the two of us sharing some chocolates to stay interested in the class, it didn't help. So we took the wrappings of the chocolates and started folding a ship. We started with a normal size ship, and then for fun, we cut the paper in half and tried it again. After that we just continued to size it down again and again until we simply couldn't fold any more. It was exciting and challenging to fold with such small pieces of paper that I was completely inspired to work on a series of nano-origami at home by myself. I had an absolute blast.

3. Do you still fold bigger size origami or you prefer the mini ones? 

I prefer the mini ones! I usually fold bigger size models as experiements and to test the procedures, but they are more like practices and plannings. And it is absolutely a challenge every time to start sizing the models down to nano-size, depending on the complexity of the models. The more details, the more difficult it is.

4. Besides folding these incredible miniature origami, what other fun stuff do you do? 

Oh, I only fold paper, nano-origami has become the passion of my life! It opened up a whole new world for me. I often drive to different cities to attend origami meetings and origami conventions to meet up with other origami artists (origamists). We fold together and share our experiences and tricks. And I always look forward to the weekly monday Potsdamer origami meeting which are pleasant openings to my weeks.

5. What is origami to you? 

Origami is my life. origami is my passion. origami is to meet with friends. and origami is relaxation (yes, folding nano-origami is relaxation!)