Fallen leaves become the material for intricate carvings in the art of Lito. The self-taught Japanese artist picked up this art form in 2020 as a way to help manage his ADHD. He found that the act of transforming delicate fallen leaves into unexpected designs helped hone his concentration.
With patience and steady hands, Lito carves a range of whimsical narratives on a miniature scale. Oftentimes, he will use one half of the leaf to carve animal characters, and the other half as the setting, using the vein of the leave as the “ground.” Amazingly, Lito is able to render faces on his subjects so that viewers can make out their expressions, when the piece is held up to the light.
Despite the meticulous level of detail in his work, Lito manages to keep the leaf intact, never breaking the material even when the carvings become a single fine line. Furthermore, he often adds tiny perforations within the compositions, such as pawprints in the “grass” or windows in the “buildings” to add more finesse to the finished piece.
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