Halifax paper engineers pop iconic landmarks with greeting cards

Giving everyday views an imaginative twist is central to Brad Hartman’s work.

“I just like to make the regular things that we see every day a little more magical,” Hartman said.

Hartman is an expert in pop-up, or 3-D, art, a skill he learned by watching Youtube tutorials online.

“You kind of get a bunch of paper, scissors, glue and just start folding. You find out what works and what doesn’t.

A self-proclaimed “paper engineer,” Hartman turns sheets of paper into a three-dimensional visual feast of moving parts and objects, which he says is mostly trial and error.

“You have a very basic pop-up structure on the first draft. You paste and add things to it and see if it will work within the confines of the closed page.

Operating under the moniker ‘bardbardbard’, his sought-after work is even featured in his own 3D book titled ‘Pop-Up Halifax’, which highlights some of the city’s most iconic locations.

“The public gardens page took me over a month to set up,” he said. “I never thought I would ever have my own pop-up book published, so that’s pretty cool.”

His latest project, which features the legendary Open Mic House on Agricola Street, is getting a lot of people talking.

“There’s about 40 or 50 people pictured in there and they’re all people I’ve met at home.”

“Some of them have told me it reminds them of good feelings. And that’s all you can really ask for when you put art in the world.”

Hartman says the holiday season is one of his busiest times of the year — when he’ll be launching new products he’s been working on since June.

“I did a winter skating scene on Lake Banook, but all the figures skating on the pond are geese in toques and scarves, which is kind of cute.”

To learn more about Hartman’s work, visit his Instagram page.

Mika R. Pyle