Rob Kelly

Art has always been my thing. And so has science. My training has been in Fine Arts, sculpture, and animation but I’ve also been involved in the electronics and technology fields. I’ve been working as a paper engineer professionally for over 10 years and I’ve been fortunate to have won various awards and to have been granted several patents for my unique paper mechanisms. But I’ve come to realize that I’d actually been practicing paper engineering and making kinetic paper sculpture since long before I knew such things existed. My earliest inventions and sculptures were created from paper out of a child’s necessity and limited access to tools and materials. I always felt compelled to create and soon found that with just scissors and Scotch tape I could make ordinary paper twist, turn, bend, rotate, flip, and spring.

When I was a kid I took my toy robots apart to try to find out how they moved. I still have a shoebox full of animated flipbooks—drawn on little tablets—that I drew as motion studies, though most of them seem to be about exploding monsters and flying spaceships. I’m inspired by anything kinetic, whether it’s mechanical, electronic, or natural. I also draw inspiration from playthings, games, and magic. Anything that can amuse, surprise, confound, or entertain influences and informs my work.

So I’m an artist, a paper engineer, an animator, a tinkerer, an inventor, and all-around maker of things. I’ve found that creating things the way I do reconciles both the artistic and technical drives for me. This blog is meant to be a chronicle of my creative work and hopefully it can act as a motivation and inspiration – for myself and others – to experiment more and create great things.


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