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Anything can be turned into a work of art if you try hard enough. Even something as ordinary as cardboard can take on an incredible new life of its own if it’s put in the right hands.

One amazing artist has shown incredible skills by being able to transform strips of cardboard into wonderful works of art, which he shows off on Instagram:

James Lake is a disabled artist who likes to work in an unusual medium: cardboard. Using different types of recycled cardboard, he’s able to create very detailed human sculptures that really capture the essence of the human body.

It’s a painstaking process, but Lake takes major pride in his work and how each piece of cardboard fits into the bigger tapestry that he creates.

As Lake explains to Wired, “The tools of my trade are very, very simple, and kind of paired down. I use cardboard, masking tape, hot melt glue gun. I use scissors, I use a craft knife. I very much like the idea that when you’re working with card, it’s brilliant to have a restricted palette of colors as it were. Because you don’t have a sophisticated set of materials, you have to be really creative with the marks that you make.”

Like every artist, Lake is the first to admit that he’s made mistakes in the past, but it’s these mistakes that have gotten him to where he is. Over time, he’s learned to integrate his mistakes into his work, leading to each piece of his being entirely unique.

Lake has mused over the differences between his chosen medium versus others. Lake has shared with Wired, “So it’s very different to say carving in stone, where if you might make a mistake, and I make so many mistakes with my work that you would not believe. And it’s in those kinds of imperfections that you kind of find the personality, and the various kind of aspects that make the work individual.”

Besides being deeply influenced by his mistakes in his art, Lake’s disability has also been a tremendous influence on how he came to start working with cardboard in the first place.

Photo: YouTube/WIRED

He stated his many reasons for working with cardboard, saying, “I work with cardboard for its immediacy, ease of availability and low environmental impact. My disability and dyslexia have also influenced my choice of material and the way I create my sculptures. For over twenty years I have created life-size three-dimensional portraits of people. I have also made animals, anatomical models, furniture, and other large-scale work for commission. I believe in art for all, art beyond race, gender, age, ability, and disability.”

What do you think of his artwork? Let us know!

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