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Diana Brings Kevin from “UP” to LIFE!

Diana Beltran Herrera, the brilliant paper sculptor & illustrator on the C&C roster, is the best of the best at turning paper into amazing life-like creations.

So, when Pixar needed someone to bring Kevin from "Up" to life in celebration of National Bird Day, it was only right that they called Diana. After working on such a cool commission, we had to catch up with Diana to hear all about it.

When you're asked to recreate a well-known character or object, what's your process like? How does it differ from an original idea?

When I get comissioned to create an object or character I do the same process that I do with my own works. I start by researching and getting as many photographs as I can find to get an overall idea of how to approach this subject. I later develop digital sketches that help me define all the elements of the sculpture or cut out I am working on, as well as design templates and define the colour scheme.

When I am working in personal projects I usually sketch a bit on paper and develop prior to jumping on the computer.

The digital sketches are really important because is 50% of the work, I use a cutting machine that helps me with the load of work and I also like to paint the paper beforehand with spray paint, acrylic or watercolour since many of the references I use just come in basic tones.

You have curated really engaging content on your social media and, because of this as well as your creative skills, have booked some big clients. How does it feel to be acknowledged for both your art & content creating skills?

I spend a lot of time photographing my work and arranging my studio so that I can show my work and working environment in the best possible way, I think I do that a lot because I am a designer and I am constantly looking at images of clean interiors and beautiful set ups of objects and spaces. I love how a set up or situation can elevate an experience so I try to mimic that with my sculptures and works. When you work with real objects it’s really hard to share them because there are so many elements affecting them such as light and space which is different with sharing a drawing or a digital artwork. This makes the task harder, but also, I believe that hard work always pays off and is due to the amount of time that I invest in presentation that I can communicate my work in the best way and clients and others feel attracted and interested in what I do. Social media is such a great way of communicating with others and I have been lucky to get fun commissions by sharing my process and results on a daily basis.

Was there any added pressure when working on this commission, since the process was also a part of the final product? Did your process have to change at all?

I didn’t do anything different. I had to be mindful that creating a process video is also a way of sharing an experience so I needed to pay attention to what were the key moments that will allow the viewer to understand in an organised way my process. Time is never on my side since I had to deliver a video, images and have the sculpture ready in 2 weeks, but I just took the pressure off and tried to enjoy the process. I had a rough schedule of how much work  I needed to do everyday in order to reach my deadline, and believe that I could do it!  I was lucky that the sculpture look good at the end because I did not have time to remake it or fix it anything at all. It is always a bit scary since there is no room for error but somehow I always manage.

Did you get to keep the Kevin sculpture? Is there now a huge Kevin sitting in your studio? lol

Kevin lives happily in my studio among my other creations and standing in a good spot. And yes, I got to keep the sculpture which is great. I dont usually get to keep the things I make which is sad, and also, since packing and shipping things is another long process, I am glad with this one I had nothing to worry about 🙂

Explore more of Diana's beautiful work on her portfolio and check out the process behind some of her most iconic pieces on her Instagram.

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