The Elegant & Intricate Papercut Art of Josefina Hernandez

Josefina Hernandez works magic with a small knife and a piece of paper. I was enamoured of her work before, but I especially delighted in the recent work that she did in honor of the bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab: a delicate rendering of the room where He declared His mission. Below you’ll find a series of photographs capturing that breathtaking piece, as well as a few words from Josefina about her art.

Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I grew up in Bogotá, Colombia in a very creative home, and I have been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. My parents are both creative people, my dad is an architect and my mom a textile designer. They were very supportive and encouraging of artistic expression.

When I was sixteen, I moved to Toronto, Canada where I went to high school and later studied Visual Studies and Art History at the University of Toronto. My program was an interdisciplinary program and I was able to experiment with different mediums such as printmaking, photography, drawing and painting. In my last year of school I took a class called Works on Paper which explored the potential of paper from drawing to object-making. This class opened my mind to the possibilities of papercutting and I’ve been working to develop my art practice in that medium ever since.

Baha’i Blog: What inspires you?

I am inspired by nature, architectural forms, light and fleeting moments of beauty that get us to slow down as we rush about our day. I am also curious about the ways we are connected to our environment and how our spiritual and material realities relate to the spaces we inhabit.

Baha’i Blog: What is your creative process like?

I am constantly looking at my surroundings for inspiration, capturing moments and spaces with quick snaps that later gets translated into drawings, and ultimately into papercut compositions hand cut with an x-acto knife. Once I have the composition drawn, I begin cutting and make decisions about positive and negative spaces as I go along. For me, the cutting is a meditative process where I let my intuition guide me.

Baha’i Blog: What projects are you currently working on?

My most recent project was a large papercut piece in commemoration of the bicentenary of the Birth of the Bab, entitled Break of Dawn. Currently, I am working on a series of works based on photographs I’ve taken in the last two years in the neighbourhood where I live, Washington Heights, NYC.

Baha’i Blog: What are some words of encouragement you might give to someone interested in pursuing the arts?

I am encouraged by the Baha’i Writings on the importance of the arts, so I would like to share one of my favourite with you:

“O thou servant of the One true God! In this universal dispensation man’s wondrous craftsmanship is reckoned as worship of the Resplendent Beauty. Consider what a bounty and blessing it is that craftsmanship is regarded as worship. In former times, it was believed that such skills were tantamount to ignorance, if not a misfortune, hindering man from drawing nigh unto God. Now consider how His infinite bestowals and abundant favors have changed hellfire into blissful paradise, and a heap of dark dust into a luminous garden.”1

Baha’i Blog: Thank you so much, Josefina, for sharing this with us!

You can find out more about Josefina from her website: You can also follow her on Instagram. Her handle is @josefinahernandezart


  1. Selections from the writings of Abdu’l-Baha []


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About the Author

Sonjel Vreeland

In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a mother, a wife and a bookworm but professionally she is a museologist and a library technician. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.

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Discussion 3 Comments

  1. How beautiful and remarkable! So happy to hear of her inspiration and how it is so beautifully expressed. And about the author, how lucky you are to live on Prince Edward Island, we just finished watching all three seasons of Anne with an E, which takes place there, it’s beautiful.

    1. Hi Jaleh! Yes, Prince Edward Island is an enchantingly beautiful place! Thank you so much for reading this interview and taking the time to comment!

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