When Daphne Lee started turning paper into beautiful art pieces, she had no idea her work would find an audience of thousands just two years later. Working under the name JUDiTH+ROLFE, Daphne turns thin strips of paper on edge to create her complex paper sculptures – and the results are mesmerizing.

A key to JUDiTH+ROLFE’s success is undoubtedly the almighty internet. Almost immediately after creating her first works, Daphne decided to share them on Instagram. And she got noticed. She says, “My audience has definitely grown on Instagram and honestly, I have to thank Design Milk for that. Design Milk has featured my work twice now, and every time that happens, I get a few more thousand people following me so that’s really great.”

Instagram also provides some perspective. Daphne says, “It’s really interesting to look back at past work because you can see how much you’ve grown. I’ve actually started archiving some of my older posts because I felt like it didn’t really relate to what I’m doing right now. But then again, I also want a new person coming to my page to see my growth, because I think that’s important.”

A former architect, Daphne can also trace her first exhibition as an artist to her online presence. “Fiskars, the scissor company, contacted me to create artwork pieces for the 50th anniversary of its orange-handled scissors. I created a huge floral piece that had flowers flowing from a pair of scissors kind of telling you that, you know, creativity can bloom from just a simple pair of scissors. And then I also created these radial pieces that were kind of like scissors in different configurations. Those were displayed at the Helsinki Design Museum in Finland, which was my first exhibition ever.”

Our friends at Rewire spent time talking with Daphne about the challenges of being a full-time artist and how she’s created a community with her 15,000-plus followers on social media. See the story below.

Minnesota Music: Cloud Cult, John Mark Nelson
Production Team: Marissa Blahnik, Amy Melin

This story is made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the citizens of Minnesota.