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Maya Freelon Inspired Tissue Paper Art

Maya Freelon is a contemporary artist, this means that she is still creating art today. Maya is known for her beautiful and colorful sculptures created with tissue paper. Over the years she has experimented and play with tissue paper and says that she still continues to find new ways to create with it.

Take a moment to visit her portfolio and see her beautiful work - you can find it here:

She was inspired to begin working with tissue paper after finding some in her grandmothers basement that had gotten wet and bled into each other. Since discovering she could create with tissue paper, she hasn’t looked back. Maya believes that working with tissue paper is one way to continue to pay homage to her grandmother who used to tell her that “we learned how to make a way out of no way — how to make something out of nothing.” This quote referred to her African-American ancestors and inspires her own art. Maya has said that she wants people to recognize the beauty and strength of her tissue paper art, that is created from something that is often so fragile.

Now its your turn to experiment with tissue paper - how can you create something beautiful from something so fragile?

We have one project idea for you, but as Maya has taught us, there are endless amounts of ways to create with tissue paper, so play with the material, see what you can come up with on your own.


- watercolor paper

- bleeding tissue paper

- tape

- spray bottle

This is one of the projects we came up with though. Grab your piece of watercolor paper and tape some bunches of tissue paper to the top of it. Thing about what colors you are placing next to each other - which ones will blend together nicely? *tip- dont use too much tape, just enough to stick it to the


Once you like your arrangement, find a place you can stand it upright with something below it to catch the water, then spray the tissue paper with a spray bottle. What do you notice happening with the colors? (We ended up taping our artworks to a shelf and placed a plastic bin below it to catch the water runoff)

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