Spotlight on Poposition Press Paper Engineer

From the artful to the esoteric, Rosston Meyer’s independent Poposition Press publishes pop-up books that recontextualize static artworks, transcending what you thought possible on paper.

Rosston Meyer
Photo by Paul Miller.

Step into the transformative world of Rosston Meyer and Poposition Press, where art leaps off the page—literally. Forget the modest pop-up books of your childhood—Meyer’s independent small press based in Boulder crafts kinetic paper sculptures that jolt static artwork into dynamic relief. Launched in 2013 with a hand-assembled edition of Pop-Up Funk, featuring comic book creator Jim Mahfood, Poposition has built an award-winning portfolio that spans from the charming to the macabre, pop-up books to 3-D print collaborations with contemporary creatives. Collaborating with diverse artists like Junko Mizuno and Skinner, Meyer’s creations offer an immersive experience in a compact form. And if you’re curious about the global appeal of these intricate creations, read on. Meyer demystifies his intricate art, revealing the intense “paper engineering” behind each page, the dynamics of artist collaborations, and what we can expect next from this boundary-pushing publisher (whose books make great local gifts, btw).

“I’m surrounded by all kinds of art here— prints, paintings, toys, sculptures, and, of course, pop-up books. So it’s never too hard to find a way to get inspired.”

“Paper. None of this would be possible without good ole paper.”

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“Poposition books are like pop up books made for adults. Some include adult themes but not all are specifically meant for an adult audience. Others have an educational element—Dimensional Cannabis is a somewhat academic look at different aspects of cannabis culture. In all our books, the paper engineering is much more delicate than in a kids’ pop-up. Plus, Poposition books are all limited editions, so they’re collector’s items. ”

“Everything I’ve done is a collaboration of sorts. In some cases, I’m working with an artist on a book; in others, my role is more like a traditional book editor, working with multiple paper engineers and artists at once.”

“I’ve learned that not everything that seems like a good idea always is.”

“Art is subjective, so the work that I put out can be interpreted in a thousand different ways. Someone who bought the last Poposition release might not want the next one, but that doesn’t mean it’s a failure—just a different audience.”

“Ninety percent of my work involves making 3-D versions of existing 2-D artwork. In some cases, I have a pretty clear idea of how to turn a piece of art into a pop-up. Others take a little while to figure out.”

“Paper engineering combines the best and worst parts of making pop-ups. Creating the initial mockup is really fun, but that final stage—refining and perfecting all the details—can be tedious.”

“Best selling book to date is Necronomicon with the psychadelic nightmare artist Skinner. It’s one of my personal favorites, along with Pop Up Funk with Jim Mahfood (which was the first book I did, re-released in 2020), and Triad with Junko Mizuno. I really love working with Junko, we have a lot of fun figuring out little hidden things to add to pop ups. She and I have a second book in the works now that is entirely based on her food themed paintings.”

“Next up is a Keith Haring pop-up book with incredible 3-D versions of some of his iconic artwork paper engineered by my friend Simon Arizpe. There’s also an interactive sketchbook with Heather Clements titled Pull Me Apart coming soon. It’s more of a movable than a pop-up book—lots of pull tabs and things like that.”

“There’s no shortage of artwork that could be made into interesting pop ups.”