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Cardboard Takes Shape

by Larry Daley

This year-long illustration series explores my interest in children's storytelling via mixed-media fabrication, photography and digital illustration. My focus was on the primary use of cardboard as a versatile medium for building compositions, adding textures, manipulating light and exploring extreme depths of field. The collection below features a potpourri of found objects, household items, craft goodies and things you can only find in the shadows of your closet. 

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Balloon Craft

Cardboard construction photographed on a field made of stretched knitting yarn, cardboard strips and a plastic pond (that oddly resembled a sitting cat). Digitally painted in Photoshop.


Paper-constructed leaves mixed with an eclectic assortment of buttons, towels, yarn and a red swatch of an old punching bag. Digitally painted in Photoshop.

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Bus Stop

The bottom of a wine bottle was used for the wheel of this cardboard-built bus. Trees of colored yard blow behind the paper rain boot. Digitally painted in Photoshop.

Pool Party

Cardboard fencing surrounds a pool made of poster-board, with a tablecloth print added as a filter for the water. The girl and frog are cardboard with a touch of yarn sprinkled throughout the piece.

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Bats At The Drive-In

A complicated build in multiple stages, the bat alone is a digital assembly of wooden spoons, a winter coat, a fluffy keychain, spatula handles and a microphone cable. The parking lot of cars was a 38-car cardboard build with drive-in jumbo screen. The movie image itself is an entirely separate illustration, also made of found objects.

Robot Picking Flowers

A cardboard (toilet tube) robot strolls through the long grass of yarn and paper flowers. Digitally illustrated in Photoshop.

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Rabbit Ride

A cardboard and paper rabbit rides a bicycle made from a paperclip. The landscape are hills of yarn from my favorite sweater. Digitally illustrated in Photoshop.

A Whale For

My Fishtank

A paper mache whale hangs inside an oranges (fruit) net, while poking its beak into the window of the cardboard house. Brown yarn sits atop the heads of papercut Mom and her daughter. Digitally illustrated in Photoshop.

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