If it looks too good to be true, it’s not.
But artist Keith Lapinig is flattered that some people think his work is a fake.
By day, Lapinig works for ABC News as Interactive Design Manager for ABC in Burbank, California. In his spare time, he designs and cuts out paper card stock into Disney characters or moments and brings them to Disneyland to composite them into the scenery in photographs and posts them to Instagram.
“I get those who think I’m just digitally drawing a black silhouette around my hands in a photograph,” Lapinig told “Good Morning America.” “In a way, it’s flattering that they think it’s a digital illustration. However, they were all taken on location with a physical piece of paper; you can even see the shadows on my hand! I believe the presence of my hand is a big part of the final piece, to show that I didn’t just Photoshop a black silhouette into any photograph.”
Lapinig said the most challenging pieces are the ones where the object that the paper is interacting with is so far off in the background – like Chernabog or the Skyway with the Matterhorn behind them. “I worry if the paper I’ve just cut out will even fit properly in the scene.”
His love of Disney started at an early age with his mother taking him to see all the newest films and buying the VHS tapes of previous ones.
“I think it blossomed into a bigger love when I started to work for the World of Disney NYC store and realized a lot of the minuscule details of the films remained in my head; I used that retention to go on to win our annual Disney Trivia tournament. The quest to soak up more Disney knowledge just continued from there.”
Lapinig eventually created a YouTube channel and began speaking on panels about Disney myth-busting.
“Did you know the Beast from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ doesn’t have a proper name? Everyone seems to think it’s Adam, but it’s not,” he told “GMA.”
He was inspired to begin his current art form with paper cutout illustrations that he saw on on social media.
“This style with its interaction between the paper illustration and the environment intrigued me,” he said. “When translating to my art, I wanted the cutouts to interact with an entire environment, but a detailed illustration would get lost in the composition so I resorted to using a solid color.”
His very first was Maleficent in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. “It was my test subject to see if I was even capable of making this series. Once I realized it was, I’ve been pumping out more and more because they’re so much fun to make,” he said.
While his creations have appeared at Disneyland so far, there’s more on the horizon. “I hope to capture paper art at all of the different Disney Parks around the world! I also make shadowbox paper art, but those take longer to make and, as a result, don’t make an appearance on my Instagram as frequent as the photographs. I would love to have both styles of my art be sold in the Disney Parks one day.”
Disney is the parent company of ABC News.