Who said arts and crafts aren’t for adults? While most of us haven’t played with paper and scissors since preschool, Rich McCor – better known as Paperboyo – turned his love of those tools into Instagram stardom.
McCor gives recognisable landmarks a new lease on life by transforming them with paper cut-outs. The images often have a tongue-in-cheek playfulness, inviting viewers to see familiar landscapes in ways they haven’t before. Imagine the Arc de Triomphe as the limbs of a Lego man, or Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue as half of a famous scene from Titanic.
The Instagram account began as personal project for McCor, but his creations quickly caught attention and he earned his first commission from Lonely Planet. Since then his fanbase has exploded on Instagram, and his travels have taken him around the world from Europe, to Asia, to South America, to the United States and back again.
“By combining photography with my paper-cutting skills I came up with the idea of turning Big Ben into a wristwatch,” he explained. “After that I started looking at the landmarks and architecture around me in a different way, and I kept on taking photos.”
Insta-fame and travel opportunities are obvious perks, but McCor insists they aren’t the best parts of the job.
“It’s been great to have people from all over the world say that they like what I do,” he told Mashable. “However, the best reaction is when someone comes up to me (whilst I’m taking a photo) and asks what I’m doing, because when I show them they usually smile (either because they think it’s clever or they think I’m silly).”
Behind every image – clever or silly – is a meticulous study of vantage points, fun facts, pop culture references, and even wind conditions. When they go wrong, they’re relegated to a special digital graveyard.
“It’s fun but it’s not as glamorous as I make it look,” McCor told Vice. “On my desktop I actually have a folder called ‘failed photos’ just full of photos that are awful looking attempts that didn’t work.”
Check out some of the images that escaped the folder in the gallery above, and view more of McCor’s creative cut-out masterpieces on his Instagram page.