Featured Interview

Paper Planetoids: Interview with Johan Scherft

Dutch artist Johan Scherft makes paintings, etchings, drawings and papercrafts. Among his subjects are mysterious landscapes,strange animals from another time and realistic paper birds.


‘Planetoid’ Oil on wood. Life is good and peaceful here, although there is not much space on this miniature planet! The painting itself is also a miniature: 13 x 15 cm

Johan Scherft has created another small world. This time, it is the small Planetoid, a 3 dimensional, miniature world first made from an original oil painting.

Using his papercraft technique, he has created this 3-d miniature world and attached it to a battery clock second-hand indicator for movement.

I recently contacted Johan on this creation.

How did you come up with the idea for a paper planetoid?

First I made a painting of a ‘planetoide’. (Oil on wood). It’s a miniature world, a romantic scene with a little waterfall, a small church, green meadows and woodlands. I suppose the life is peaceful there, although there is not a lot of space available.

I always like to paint these small worlds, in which people are locked in. Last year I also painted a little ‘ecosphere’ scene. More or less the same idea: people living in an enclosed but peaceful place.

In my oil paintings it’s a returning theme. It is not something I invented. In art history you can find more like this, especially in surrealism, and even in computer games you sometimes find the theme of the floating Islands, or satellites.

'Ecosphere' A miniature world. People are locked in a little paradise. Not content with their fate they are looking for a way out. Oil on wood. 2015

A miniature world.
People are locked in a little paradise. Not content with their fate they are looking for a way out.
Oil on wood. 2015

Later the idea occured to me that I could make the planetoide of paper, and attache it to a ‘creeping second indicator’ of a battery-clock, in the same way a my previous paper seahorse which slowly spinns around, making a turn every minute.

To create the infinite depth of space was tricky to do. I choose to use a mirror.


The mirror creates an illusion of depth, while in the same way the artwork is not deep itself.  The video I made of the planetoide was my most succesful video so far on Facebook. It shows the painstaking, but also enjoyable, process of making the tiny planetoide. If you listen carefully you can hear the soft sounds of a small village at the end of the video: church bells, the waterfall and some roosters calling. Because it’s morning every minute on this planetoide, it will drive the roosters living there crazy.  (see the video below for the full effect of the Planetoid with sound!)

What have been some of your latest works and works in progress?

I tried different things. I made a series of small oil paintings. Now I am experimenting with casting some of the smaller papercrafts in epoxy.

Have you created any paper birds lately?

I made a large bird, a Kookaburra. Which took me quite some time to get it right. Also I made some smaller birds again. I used templates I designed earlier for this. At the moment I am working on a white wagtail. It is tempting to make the tail move, but I don’t know yet if I will do this.

'Laughing Kookaburra' Made of paper.

‘Laughing Kookaburra’
Made of paper.

How was the Real Is Me exhibition in Amsterdam?

As every year I participated in this artfair, which is especially for all realistic art. My work is represented by gallery Petit, a gallery in Amsterdam. This year we showed three paper birds, and also two big charcoal drawings of extinct animals: the cavebear, and the megatherium (giant ground-sloth.)

To see more of Johan’s work, see these other 2 features from previous interviews:

Johan Scherft: Papercraft in Motion

Paper Birds: Interview with Johan Scherft

Johan S

Johan Scherft has been working as a professional artist in Holland since 1993. He has been working as a free artist mainly concentrating on painting, but also etching, papercraft, mezzotint, drawing and illustrating.

Photo Credits and Links

Johan Scherft Official Website
Johan Scherft Facebook
Johan Scherft Papercraft Paintings Drawings Facebook Page

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