Paperboyo, Travelling Artist | Adventure-Gram

Paperboyo is travelling the world transforming famous landmarks as he goes...

Rich McCor is better to known to many as @paperboyo on Instagram.

Specifically, he’s better known by that moniker to the over 284,000 followers he’s earned for creating one of the most imaginative travel accounts online.

Like many social media sensations McCor travels the world updating his account with beautiful photographs as he goes, but where others see a landmark, Rich sees an opportunity.

Kim & de Yong Museum Mashup. Photo: Paperboyo

McCor uses intricate paper figures and cut outs to transform world-renowned photograph spots and give them a creative new edge.

“I found my style of photography through trying to emulate some of my favourite photographers and deciding I’d never reach their dizzying heights,” he tells us. “So I started introducing paper cutouts to differentiate my images. I noticed that people enjoyed these images on my Instagram, so moved away from trying to take traditional photos and focused on cutout images.”

This has involved everything from turning the London Eye into a bicycle to making the Arc de Triomph a Lego figure and lining up the Easter Island statues for a game of foosball. Rich’s posts not only feature the ingenious image but often have a descriptive caption about the history of the spot he finds himself in.

The British photographer initially started the account to try and make something different in a world dominated by hot dog legs, selfies and repetition, and it’s safe to say that he’s achieved that goal.

The account began with a firm focus on London, specifically with a photograph in which he turned Big Ben into the London Eye. His interest in cut-outs goes back much further though.

“I got into paper cutting about seven years ago when I was making music videos for a friend’s band,” he said. “And instead of hiring actors and sets we would make small scale scenes out of paper and I’d animate paper characters.

“It was a good starting point to learn paper cutting. The amount of time cutting each cutout really varies, but most time is actually spent on finding the ideas that will suit the places I’m going.

“I’ve got a busy summer but I’m trying to stay put in London for August. Nothing beats a beautiful summer’s day in London.”

Here’s something I learnt this week – if you go out into the streets of London with a Death Star paper cut-out, strangers stop and take a lot of interest in what you’re doing. Photo: Paperboyo

Rich’s follower count skyrocketed in no time after starting the account and before he knew it he was being recognised on the job – one story tells of a time when Rich got talking about his line of work with a woman who delivered him room service in Singapore, only for the woman to get out her phone and, not knowing that he was Paperboyo, recommend he follow his own account.

He says: “I love receiving messages from people who enjoy seeing the images and say that it inspires them to look at the world differently.”

The project has taken Rich from New York to Paris to Hong Kong and around the world, and it’s seen him turn a hobby into full-time employment.

“I’d love to take my cutouts over to Tokyo at some point,” he says. “I think the architecture there would be like a playground for my style of photography.”

Do you even lift? Happy 4th July America @NYNYVegas Photo: Paperboyo

Since starting his Instagram account the Englishman has found himself in demand with not only tourist boards but also promoting high-profile Hollywood films and drink brands and even giving talks on how best to follow your dreams.

Have you ever heard of the word naumachia? Until I got to Rome I hadn’t either, but it’s a word the Romans used to describe simulated naval fights – they were like gladiator battles on a bigger and wetter scale. Photo: Paperboyo

Rich’s favourite photographs from his selection include a shot (actually taken in Las Vegas) where he turned the Statue of Liberty into a weightlifter and a shot where he turned the famous Marina Bay Sands Hotel into a vintage key. The latter earned him the offer of a stay at the luxury five-star hotel.

Check out the rest of our Adventure-gram series here.

To read the rest of May’s Edge Issue head here

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