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23-year-old Lauren Ryan is a self-taught artist who began experimenting with pipe cleaner art when she was 12 and continued to sculpt and practice with the material over the years. As an animal lover with a penchant for dogs, she gravitated towards making pipe cleaner wolves, foxes, dogs, and thylacines, a doglike carnivorous marsupial believed to be extinct. However, she’s also been commissioned to create other pipe cleaner animals, such as horses, cats, and polar bears.

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“What inspires me is the desire to honor that which I find beautiful, excitement for the process of creating something new and the challenge of constantly trying to improve,” Ryan said in an interview with the blog Who’d Have Thought. “People that inspire me are my loved ones, every artist I meet or learn about, and people I consider artistic masters such as Leonardo da Vinci or Hayao Miyazaki.” None of the sculptures are made with glue, but she does occasionally use markers and scissors to achieve her desired effect. Ryan accepts commissions online; each piece, depending on the size, can be sold for thousands of dollars.

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Via My Modern Met

Images via Chenille Stems