Those who’ve tried their hand at paper crafts will know that patience, an ability to pay close attention to detail, and a gentle touch are the keys to creating neat and delicate sculptures. While some of us never quite succeed at neatly wrapping a gift, let alone folding tidy paper cranes, others go on to become established artists who employ paper as their medium to craft impressive works. Through an extensive assortment of projects, one of these clever individuals has demonstrated that her knack for creating paper birds far surpasses making the simpler origami kind. Paper sculptor Diana Beltran Herrera makes detailed, lifelike birds by layering light, vibrantly coloured paper feathers, which she curls and ruffles once they’re fastened. Drawing on the help of her own memories, photographs of real feathered species and a reliance on two very steady hands, Diane builds upon a paper, avian-shaped structure and completes her birds with paper eyes and beaks. For support, the artist gives the curious creatures wire legs so that each finished product can appear as realistic as possible. Having viewed Diana’s convincing works, fellow bird lovers have begun sharing images of birds with the artist, inspiring her various projects. The young sculptor’s collections have included vivid exotic birds – from pink flamingos to expressive cranes and blue herons – alongside more common bird varieties, such as jays and woodpeckers. Studying her subjects in their natural habitats has enabled Diana to select true-to-life poses for her sculptures – an eastern bluebird is represented mid-flight, a quetzal is depicted with a startled gaze, while a heron looks on with watchful eyes, as if seeking out its chosen prey.