The more you stare at one of Diane Q ‘s faux papercraft pieces, the more you realize how insanely multi-layered it is. You could make the same comparison about the artist. Diane Q (Moonblossom) does a bit of everything. She writes for the Cut & Run fandom, creates photo manips, designs fanfic book covers for her favorite writers, customizes Funko Pop toys, and my favorite of favorites, she makes this cool thing called faux papercraft.
If you don’t know what faux papercraft is, think papercraft but digital.
Diane’s work in this unique medium has such a sense of depth and texture that you could easily forget the fact that she creates everything digitally. She sources patterns and textures online to build images that are intricately detailed, while at the same time stripped down, reducing iconic characters to their defining components.
You would also never guess that she is “stereogramaticaly blind” or has no depth perception, as she explained to me. If you think about it, she could be considered an AU female Matt Murdock who was blinded by chemicals at young age, losing her sense of depth and now has super depth perception powers. I hope you don’t mind Diane, I’ve just changed your origin story. Yes, I’m going with that. Enjoy the interview!
There’s always an interesting story behind someone’s fandom handle. How did you come up with yours? Moonblossom?
Haaa, as much as I’d like to pretend there’s some deep and insightful meaning to it, there really isn’t. I’ve always closely associated with the moon. My real name is a francization of Diana, the moon goddess. So about… god, a dozen years ago now? I’d decided to buy myself a domain. Moonflower was taken. So I went with Moonblossom. And it’s been the same since then. 🙂
You’re very lucky to have picked a name that grew with you!
Yeah. I’m glad I didn’t get like…. xXx~ladyravenblud~666~xXx or something. XD
Sometimes when Moonblossom is taken, I’ll revert to bastardized half-Japanese, usually tsukinohana or tsukinoblossom. (No offense to xXx~ladyravenblud~666~xXx!)
So how long have you been in fandom? With the tsukinohana reference did you have a stint in any anime fandoms?
The Japanese came from my kimono collecting hobby, actually. Is there such a thing as the kimono collecting fandom? I made a few wallpapers and winamp skins for Sailor Moon, Evangelion, and Ah! My Goddess! But I don’t think I’d have classified myself as involved in anime fandom. I didn’t interact with people or read fic or anything.
There really should be a kimono collecting fandom!
There sort of is, I suppose. A couple of forums (I was a mod on one actually, but it’s defunct now), and some Facebook groups and things.
So what was the first fandom that you created works for?
The first graphics I made would be the anime stuff I mentioned earlier, and the first fandom I wrote fic for was Sherlock. I also did an alarming number of pencil drawings of Marilyn Manson and Trent Reznor in high school, but nobody ever saw them so I’m not sure that counts.
Had you written before Sherlock? I know fandom inspires some to start writing.
Prose, not at all. I’d done some technical writing and editing. But Sherlock was my first attempt at any sort of creative writing.
So what about Sherlock inspired you to write for that fandom?
Honestly, I’m not even sure I can pinpoint exactly how it happened. I’d always sort of shipped Holmes/Watson in a kind of passive background way. But then I saw Sherlock and my brain sort of went “no, these two are totally boinking” and I made a few jokes with friends about ideas I had for fic, and they basically went “well write it!”
Are you a fan of the other incarnations? Ritchie, Granada etc.?
Books and Granada, primarily. I like the Downey movies but they’re a bit too… swashbuckly? I guess? Also The Great Mouse Detective. Pretty sure that’s the gateway drug to Holmes for a lot of people. I feel like, for me anyway, the BBC was the perfect blend of the canon dynamic and the interest of modern-day AU type situations. Come to think of it I shipped House/Wilson pretty hardcore too. XD I suppose that counts.
So had you read fanfiction before BBC Sherlock?
Barely any. I mean, I think I jokingly read bits of things like My Immortal. But really, I had almost zero interest in online fandom before Sherlock. I had no idea what a creative, talented place it could be.
I met you very briefly at Sherlock Seattle, was that your first fan con as well?
Fan-specific con, yes. I’ve been going to Montreal Comic-Con for years, but that’s partially because I work in a collectibles/action figure store. And I used to go to Anime Expo and Fanime in California, because I volunteered for Gaia Online.
So now that you’re more a part of fandom has the experience of going to those cons changed?
It definitely has. I find myself spending a lot more time in the artist alleys and hang-out areas. Less corporate promo, more enthusiastic fan stuff. I used to basically just check out the large store booths, the media booths, and possibly one or two celeb type panels, but now those sorts of things are the last thing on my radar. It’s why I loved things like Sherlock Seattle and 221Bcon so much. They’re very much “for fans, by fans”.
So you kind of went from not being into online fandom to being really involved in online fandom! You create in a lot of mediums, fiction, art, manips, fanfiction book covers, faux-papercraft…
Jack of all trades, I guess? XD Or… can we call me a polymath? That sounds much more erudite.
Can you tell me a little about yourself? When did you become interested in art? How did you start?
I’ve been drawing and doodling for as long as I can remember. When I was very young I wanted to be an architect, but I don’t have a mind for numbers. My father was an avionics engineer and my mother was a classics scholar who fell into technical editing, so they’ve always been very encouraging of both artistic and technical endeavours. I’m very lucky.
What mediums do you work with?
You name it, I’ve probably tried it. Pencils, markers, acrylic paint, charcoal, needlepoint, traditional film photography… Now though, I pretty much stick to digital, both for drawing and photography. I also made nerdy jewellery for a while. I used to sell it online but it got too stressful.
So when did you start making faux-papercraft? You almost can’t tell it’s digital art.
I made the John and Sherlock one first… I guess a few years ago now? (February 2013, thank you tumblr!)
So how you start, how did you come up with the idea?
I’d seen similar silhouette-type graphics on tumblr before, and I wanted to see if I could make something similar myself, but I wanted them to sort of stand apart from the typical featureless-silhouette style. So I thought… what if I tried to make them look sort of 3D. And then the idea of making them look like paper came to mind, so I experimented, and it really worked out.
Yes, they are super unique and textured. Which is what I love about them, they have a real sense of depth.
Thank you! It’s funny, all this talk about depth and 3D and whatnot as I am stereogramatically blind. So I have literally zero depth perception. It’s a genetic defect, my father has it too. I’ve often wondered if it actually helps me. Since I have to perceive depth in my head. I’m (not to gloat or anything, but I can’t figure out how else to say it) excellent at reading blueprints and doing isometric drawing. My shop professor in high school speculated it’s because I’ve been doing that sort of thing in my head my entire life to compensate, which seems plausible.
One of my first jobs, I was temping as a clerk at a contracting management company. Within four months, without any prior training, I was reading the blueprints and HVAC drawings and awarding contracts and stuff on my own.