By now, everyone must be familiar with the name, White on Rice (Ross Symons), the man behind the art of origami, with over 100K followers keeping an eye on his daily folds.

Origami (折り紙?, from ori meaning “folding”, and kami meaning “paper” (kami changes to gami due to rendaku)) is the art of paper folding, which is often associated with Japanese culture. Ross started folding as a hobby, a pastime, and it quickly turned into a calling.

Origami by Ross Symons
Origami by Ross Symons


I have been folding paper for a while and I started enjoying it so much that I decided to turn it into a career and share my love for origami. I do commissions, installations, stop motion animations and my Instagram account keeps me busy too.


“The idea of doing one thing a day for a year has always intruiged me, so at the beginning of 2014 I decided I was going to fold a different origami figure a day for a year. I posted each figure onto my Instagram account, which you can check out here. It taught me patience, planning and that if you want to get better at something quickly, do it everyday for a year. It was during this project that I started designing my own figures and shapes.”

Origami by Ross Symons
Origami by Ross Symons

We got in touch with Ross to tell us about his interesting line of work and how he became Cape Towns most well known Origamist.

We just love what you’re creating. What or who inspired you to do this?
I have had a number of things/people inspire me to get to where I am now. Firstly my brother, who was the first person who asked me to learn how to fold an origami crane for a project he was busy with in 2002.

My biggest origami inspiration has to be Sipho Mabona, who is a Swiss/South African origami artist. I was fortunate enough to meet him and we share ideas around origami now and then.

With regards to the stop motion animations I make, the person who inspired me the most when I was younger was William Kentridge. I remember seeing his work, Felix in Exile, at a gallery in Johannesburg in 1997 and after seeing that I always had a fascination with stop frame animation.

Origami by Ross Symons
Origami by Ross Symons

What is your best advice for creatives today?
Try not let other people’s opinions of your work effect you. If you like what you’re doing, then do it.

What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
I try and focus less on the future and more on what’s happening right now. But I would love to do installations in different cities around the world. Toyko, New York, Paris.

Origami by Ross Symons
Origami by Ross Symons

Is there a project that stands out to you?
There is a account on Instagram that I love following called @shundeez_official. He takes awesome photos of lego figures in different scenarios. Something different and fun.

What are you currently fascinated by and how is it feeding into your work?
Japanese animated films. My girlfriend Nikki and I have been binge watching all the classic films created by  Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli. I can see how the stories and animation styles are filtering into my ideas, particularly my animations.


You can keep an eye on his website here to find out more or check out his Instagram to see what he’ll be folding next!

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