The process behind each EmLavArt original, high-density collage is the first thing people ask about. How long do they take? How do you make them? How did you learn how to do this?

Each original takes anywhere from 150-500 hours depending on how big they are or how many times changes are made through the process. Learn more below and see a few pieces in progress. Check out facebook.com or instagram.com @EmLavArt for time-lapse videos and current works.

Each original begins as a hand-drawn illustration. This image usually is based on an inspiring photo or image, but also can be imaginative scenes, personal memories, or portraits.

The first layers are usually done with larger pieces of paper. All the paper scraps used in EmLavArt originals are pulled from donated children’s books and used magazines. Occasionally fine paper is added for embellishments.

As the layers build and the pieces of paper used become smaller, the image seems to reappear through the paper. These final layers of paper are usually small and require an exacto and tweezers to place. Often tracing paper is used to make sure the shape of the paper placed fits correctly. These final layers or outlines and plain colored paper are usually the ones needed to bring the piece together.

The final layer are the embellishments. These include string, both used as straight lines but also twisted together or coiled, beads, stickers, glittered paper, found objects, glitter and spray paint. These last layers are what make each EmLavArt original so truly unique.