Ross Symons: The art of origami (Part 1)

Ross Symons quit his job in the advertising industry and became an (almost accidental) origami artist.

“I never imagined ever becoming an artist, ever,” says Ross Symons. “My dad always uses this quote, he says ‘if you don't know where you’re going any road will take you there.’ And that’s kind of how my life has unfolded up to this point.”

Two years ago Symons wouldn’t have been able to predict that he would be so immersed in the ancient art of folding paper. He began 365 photo project on Instagram to learn some new origami skills and it gathered quite a following. A few months in, he quit his job as a web developer at a big advertising agency and his life as an artist began.

In traditional origami, a single sheet of paper is folded in a series of steps to create a model, with more intricate forms requiring more a more complex sequence. The first piece of origami Symons ever made was a crane in 2002. He can now make a crane in under 30 seconds with his eyes closed and many of his own designs can take him up to two hours of focused-folding to pull off.

In the first half of a two part interview, Symons talks about how his journey started and what a day in the life of an origami artist involves. Watch part two, where Symons talks about the business of going solo.