Lova Blavarg has created art for national advertising campaigns and magazines, all from the same humble workspace: her family's kitchen table. "I have two younger siblings and we live in Manhattan," the 17-year-old says with a grin. A studio space isn't really an option.
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The high school junior embraced art as a child; she started making origami at age 6. Before moving to New York City with her family two years ago, she attended weekly art classes at Moderna Museet, Stockholm's modern-art museum. Lova makes origami and other paper crafts, but also paints and draws. Her work has both an American appreciation for color and clean, minimalist Swedish aesthetics.
"There are so many museums and things to see in the city," she says. "In Sweden, people have very much the same sense of style; here there are people from all over the world." Lova and her sister, 9, like visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art to wander the halls and sketch. "Marc Chagall is my favorite artist. His work is very colorful and dreamy," she says.
Lova's mother, photographer Susanna Blavarg, helped her get started making origami and other art for magazines, and the two collaborate on project ideas and photo shoots. Lova crafted 50 paper flowers that were used in an ad campaign for Ikea when she was just 14. One of her favorite projects was a layered cake with hand-painted watercolors on each tier that she made for New York Weddings magazine. Her creations have also been featured in magazines such as Sweet Paul and Elle Interior.
She squeezes in projects for clients between studying for the SAT and taking AP classes (English and art are her favorite subjects). "I'm pretty sure I want to do something with art," she says of life after college. "Almost certain."
Lova made these ornate hairpieces and other paper crafts with the pages of vintage books. She sources interesting papers and materials from Etsy shops and stores such as Kate's Paperie in SoHo.
This particular headdress was made from origami flowers and silhouetted butterflies cut from books. Different paper textures, like vintage maps and origami paper, are united by the soft color scheme.
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"I've always loved doing collages," Lova says. "When I was in Sweden, I would go to antique stores and buy old books with biological illustrations of animals and flowers."
The colorful patterns on these paper pinwheels came from a book of flower-illustrated poetry.
Vintage books and patterned papers serve as inspiration for Lova's crafts. She recommends this Etsy seller for their curated collections of books, papers, and stamps.
Pack & Post: "These old stamps are so pretty that you can just put a bunch of them on a paper and frame it! They are also great for making collages," Lova says.
Feeling inspired? Watch this video for a few decoupage ideas to try at home: