In the latest edition of The[Crafty]Gamer, we feature PA native Christopher Beaumont, the man behind Cubeecraft (a website home to tons of excellent game-related papercraft). In this post you'll learn more about the artist and get a Cubeecraft special edition "Game Buddy" that features the GI logo!
Full name: Christopher Beaumont
Hometown: Rockledge, PA
Occupation: Interactive Media Designer at Sesame Workshop
Tell us about Cubeecraft. What inspired the creation of the website?
I had come up with the Cubeecraft template while I was in college, but didn't launch the site until a year or so after I had graduated. I had been working at an animation studio and was just kind of bored and hadn't worked on anything for myself since school, so I challenged myself to do a new character every week and wanted an easy way to share my designs with friends.
Explain how one papercraft piece is designed from start to finish. How long does it take?
With Cubeecraft I have a standard template so the most laborious part of the process is already taken care of. If I'm doing an existing character I'll gather a bunch of reference material and sit down with my trusty pencil and paper and start working out how it might translate into the Cubeecraft shape. When I'm happy with the sketch I set it to work on the computer in either Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. Work can take an hour or two, more if it requires a lot of intricate detail or needs additional pieces made up. I usually start with the head, then move onto the body, legs and arms. When everything is done I'll create the little 3D illustration and put all the pieces together one one page.
If you were to go all the way back to template inception then you are talking about sketching and refining the shape you are going for and then working out exactly how it fits together... it can be tedious (but rewarding!). I do new templates from time to time for different projects.
How many of the papercraft items featured on the site are your creations?
Between all of the original designs (30) and fan art characters (290) on the site, I'd say about 2/3 are mine. The rest are guest artists who've submitted work.
Which of the papercraft items featured are your favorite?
Choosing one would be like choosing a favorite child! I can't do it.
How can guest artists submit art?
Right now you can submit by simply e-mailing me, and there is a blank template to download in the FAQ section. I always prefer to get original designs. I am working on some new submission guidelines and a way for them to get reviewed on the site by fan voting or something similar. Otherwise, there are a ton of artists who've done their own customs on sites like Deviantart that are really good.
What are some of the challenges of maintaining the website? Challenges designing papercraft?
The biggest challenge is the challenge I gave myself when i started -- to make something new every week. It's really easy to slack off, but i've been pretty good so far.
As far as challenges in designing papercraft goes -- well that's the fun part. It's sort of problem solving -- literally taking something from your brain, and not only putting it down on paper, but creating a physical object within the limitations of the medium. Working out how this 3D shape is going to flatten out and be able to be assembled. It's a great process and very rewarding when you are looking at your final built kit when it is all done.
Which type of paper is best to use for the papercraft found on your site? Any assembly tips?
You can use plain paper, but I'd recommend something a little heavier -- so if you have any card stock or something like that it will hold up a bit better. Just remember to score where you will be folding so the paper doesn't buckle or break apart when you make your folds.
Do you create any other type of art other than papercraft?
In my free time I do some illustration work, but pretty infrequently these days. Life drawing is still pretty important to me.
Anything else you’d like to share about yourself or the website?
There are a couple of hidden Cubeecraft kits on the site. Here are some clues:
You won't get 30 Lives by entering the code on the homepage, but...
Check out the Cubeecraft website for printable papercraft of your favorite video game characters and more! For your GI "Game Buddy" click on the image below for full size.
The[Crafty]Gamer has officially moved from the Editor Blogs section to the Features section. Check out our previous entry on Dan Rouse and his 8-bit Mario pillow. I'm regularly looking for new entries, so if you'd like your work featured, please send me an e-mail to express your interest and I will follow up with details: email@example.com.