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Lincoln artist and author creates origami children’s book

Lincoln author and artist Linda Stephen is taking origami to new levels with her new children's book.
Published: Jul. 3, 2020 at 6:57 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - From trying new recipes to learning new art skills, social distancing at home has created time for some to pick up new knacks. A Lincoln artist is now hoping you'll give origami a try.

Origami is a form of Japanese art, meaning "folding paper." Lincoln author and artist Linda Stephen is taking origami to new levels, hoping to get both children and adults more involved.

The first time Stephen picked up a knack for origami was in the fourth grade, but it was 17 years ago when living in Japan that she turned her hobby of origami into her passion. She's now created an origami children's book featuring one of Lincoln's biggest parks.

The Day We Went to the Park takes readers on a walk around Lincoln’s Holmes Lake Park during the summer.

It took Stephen about seven months to create the artwork for The Day We Went to the Park. Using more than 300 different types of paper, she built more than 1,000 origami sculptures seen throughout the book.

The book focuses on nature and friendship, while aiming to promote diversity and gaining a new appreciation for the world around us.

"Celebrate the joys of everyday life. There is beauty everywhere, wherever we are, and the goal of my art is to share that," Stephen tells 10/11.

Even though she's been doing origami for more than 25 years, Stephen says picking it up as a new hobby isn't hard. She tells 10/11 making origami takes patience and precision, but the good thing is that there's no right or wrong way of doing it.

"It's relaxing because you're using your hands, and then, at the end, you create a little piece of beauty. So, [it's] both the process and the result," says Stephen.

Even though the book is written mainly for children, Stephen says adults of all ages can appreciate and enjoy the origami artwork inside. Stephen also tells 10/11 that doing origami isn’t something that’s only entertaining for kids but can be very therapeutic for adults as well.

Recently, Stephen has been live streaming origami art lessons and story-time for different libraries across Nebraska. The next virtual origami lesson and summer reading event is being held on July 14, 2020 at 2 p.m. on the Lincoln City Libraries Facebook page.

The Day We Went to the Park can be found in libraries and bookstores across Nebraska. There is also an e-book available as well.

To learn more about Linda Stephen and her origami artwork, visit her Facebook page or her website.

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