Student finds creative outlet in ancient Asian art form

Teo Lara on the importance of origami to them

Lanie Oetker

Teo Lara, a senior at Decatur High School, makes origami. They started to make origami when they were 9 years old and have been loving it ever since.

“My mom showed me how to make one of those fortune tellers and I guess that really caught my interest” Lara said. “it’s all just from one piece of paper, it just seems so impossible.”

Lara mostly makes origami in the shapes of people. “I started designing people because I know what people look like, being a person myself,” Lara explained. “And I think I’m pretty good at it and it’s fun.”

The process of making origami is very difficult and time-consuming. On average, it takes Lara between 20 and 40 hours to make just a single piece. But it’s worth it for the very detailed product.

Recently, Lara’s work was shown at the Dekalb Library. As a senior, Lara has to complete a Creativity Activity and Service (CAS) project. Lara decided that introducing others to this art form would be a perfect project, as they feel that origami is an underrepresented art.

“I reached out to the folks at the library and they were super nice and let me show off my work there for a month.”

Their work is being displayed in a glass case near the back entrance to the library. There are 8 pieces displayed, and all of them are human figures.

Lara hopes to exhibit their art at the airport one day, “It’s all really kind of magical, how everything sort of fits together and you can make these really complex and cool creations,” said Lara. “That’s my favorite part of it.”