Ross Symons of Instagram account @white_onrice set himself a challenge on January 1st, 2014, with the goal of making one origami figure a day for a year.
Symons explains that the idea of doing one thing every day for a year had always intrigued him, and that it has taught him patience, planning, and that in order to get better at something (anything!), practising it daily is the best way to go about it.
Images: @White_OnRice on Instagram
Today, Ross has over 48,000 followers awed by his creations.
We managed to catch up with the creative mind behind @white_onrice, to find out more about the one-a-day origami challenge he set himself:
Tell us a bit more about yourself. When did you make your first origami?
I am 32. I live in Cape town, South Africa. I have a very close family and a cool group of friends. I quit my job in advertising eight months ago to start a business with a friend of mine. What I didn’t realise at the time was how folding paper was going to become such a big part of my life.
The first time I folded origami was when I was about 21. My brother asked me to try and fold a crane for a project he was busy with at design school. I found the diagram, learnt how to fold it and just never stopped. I would fold a crane (“tsuru” in Japanese) every time I had a piece of paper in front of me. I’d tear the labels off beer bottles and do the same.
What inspired your journey to make one origami a day?
I always wanted to do one thing every day for a year. So I decided at the beginning of 2014 that I was going to fold a different origami figure everyday for the entire year. I had seen a few 365 projects on the go at the time. Lorraine Loots, a Cape Town based painter, had done a project where she painted a miniature painting every day for the whole of 2013. This was someone who inspired my project a lot. I had no expectations of what would happen or where it would take me. All I wanted to do was to stick to doing one thing diligently for a year, to prove to myself that I could.
Image: @White_OnRice on Instagram
How has the incredible number of followers you have on your Instagram account changed your life?
The more people I am able to reach out to and connect with, the more I hope to inspire. I feel that part of my duty is to help others see that it’s okay to try and do something as random as folding paper and to make a career out of it. Also, the more people I connect with, the more chance I have of telling the world about what I want to do with my life, which is to become a full time origami artist and to teach origami. So having all these people watching what I am doing is an honour. I feel grateful to have them around to share this passion with. Without them, I would not be where I am right now.
Where do you draw inspiration for your origamis?
I get inspired by what is around me. Mostly people. Conversations I have with friends or strangers seem to spark ideas off in my head that follow through into my art. I love folding animals and getting them looking great, too. But an open space waiting to be filled with hundreds of paper figures is what really gets me going. I sometimes look at an office or a shop window and think, “hmmm, that area could do with some paper shapes“.
I have folded every single one of these pieces and photographed them myself. But the designs are taken from other origami designers around the world, whom I give full credit to every time I post a new picture on Instagram. I don’t want to take credit away from myself here, but I would like to state clearly that the real rockstars are the designers of these beautiful works. My real work lies in the persistence, patience and dedication to my love for folding paper, and becoming a better origami artist each day, with the help of the designers who came before me.
What’s your favourite origami so far?
I really loved folding the green frog. It was one of the most challenging. But anything I’ve designed myself is always fun to fold, too.
Image: @White_OnRice on Instagram
What would be your advice for anyone trying to accomplish something creative?
If you feel some desire to be creative or do something, be it a mild or overwhelming desire, take that and use it. Use it until it’s gone or until it moves you onto the next desire. Try as many things as possible. Don’t be worried about what others are going to say if you do try something different. If I’d told people I was going to become an origami artist they would have laughed, but I didn’t stop trying. There is nothing more rewarding than going out, creating something and feeling good about it, regardless of what others think. Be present, be aware and don’t ever stop trying.
Thanks for your time, Ross! We’re looking forward to seeing what origami creations you come up with over the last two months of your challenge.
We’re feeling so inspired by his one-a-day origami challenge that we’re keen to start one of our own. Perhaps something that involves the whole office… Have you ever set yourself the challenge of creating something every day for a year? We’d love to hear about it!