Not to get too personal, but how many toilet paper rolls do you throw away every year? For French artist Anastassia Elias, that answer is probably pretty close to zero. The multi-talented artist has found a wholly unique way to reuse these commonly trashed items: by turning them into stages for her tiny dioramas. Getting her inspiration from film, travel, and everyday life, she crafts each figure from a paper specifically chosen to match the material of the roll. She recently published a Blurb book, Rouleaux, that collects these pieces. Not only do the photos show off the intricacy of her work, her lighting turns each one into a dramatic shadow play. Anastassia Elias, who also counts painting, photography, collage, string art, and sculpture, among her talents, was kind of enough to take some time out from her work to answer our questions.
Blurb: Do you remember the day when this idea first occurred to you?
Anastassia: I don’t remember the exact day when I found the idea. One day I looked at an empty roll and wondered if I can do something with it. This cardboard cylinder could become an interesting frame to create something inside. And shortly after, I had an idea. It was in May 2009.
Blurb: About how long does it take to make each piece?
Anastassia: Once the idea of the scenery is found, I need a few hours to make one piece, 3-4 hours on average.
Blurb: Do you sell the individual rolls, or are they meant to be displayed as photographs?
Anastassia: Yes I sell the rolls. Anyone interested to buy them can contact me.
Blurb: Did you enjoy the process of putting your photos into a Blurb book?
Anastassia: For my first book, Rouleaux, I first tested Blurb BookSmart. It is very well done and offers many models of layout. Despite its richness, I finally decided to make my book as a PDF. I reserve BookSmart for my next Blurb book. I was looking forward to discovering the printed book and after receiving it my expectations have been fully met.
We’re incredibly thrilled to have Anastassia’s book in the Blurb bookstore. Check out a full preview there and pick up a copy–it’s only $22.26. We also recommend heading over to her website to check out more of her incredible artwork.