It was a dimly recollected school project that led London-based Russian illustrator Yulia Brodskaya to develop the technique she has fast been gathering renown for in the art world.
Having long used paper as a tool, whether in collages, origami or Chinese paper cuts, some five years ago Brodskaya remembered about "quilling" - essentially a three-dimensional technique that involves standing paper strips on edge.
Since then, Brodskaya - whose first solo exhibition is on show in Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui - has taken the craft to a whole new level.
"I just love paper as a material, it is so versatile and exciting - the possibilities are endless," she says. "However, quilling turned out to be 'the one' for me."
After using the technique for the cover image on a brochure of her work, exposure online led to commissions for other magazine covers and from commercial brands.
"I was the first to use the technique in a new 'free' way, as if I am drawing with paper," she says. "The technique is simple. The main challenge is … that it is very slow and labour-intensive. You have to sketch the design; cut paper; take a single paper strip to shape; roll or curl it; measure; cut; dip into glue; put in place and hold till it sticks; then take a new paper strip and so on …"
Not actually that simple after all, then.
Brodskaya's works will be exhibited at LCX, in Harbour City, until May 31. The show also features a flower-themed installation built by the artist in Hong Kong. An "Art Walk Corridor" lined with 2-D images of her work and touched up with 3-D acrylic elements will be in place by early May.