Interview with Paper Panda
I follow their beautiful work on facebook for a while, I love their paper design have so many amazing detail in it, I can't even done it.
Finally one day I brave enought to talk to them, can I have chance to interview them and share their incrediable work to you guys . And they are so kind say Yes to me so fast, I can't even believe it. I bet your will love them too.
Q: Would you share with us how you started to create your art work?
I went to Art College when I was younger but then afterwards took a more stable route, taking regular jobs until I became a freelance graphic designer. I had a great love of typography and saw a papercut one day with the most beautiful type and wanted to recreate one for myself. It snowballed very quickly into a full time ‘hobby’ and then later into a ‘proper’ business.
Q: What's story behind your brand?
It was the result of a ten minute brainstorming session. Not a great deal of thought was put into it to be honest as I never expected the page to have any interest other than my friends! I'd like to say that it was due to the paper being black or white, that papercutting originates from China, hence panda…but no, it just sounded right.
Q: Do you want to share your work place?
I currently work on an antique architect’s desk but as far as inspiration goes, well, it's all still packed away. I usually surround myself with quirky oddities, vintage advertising, typographical posters, art dolls and the plain 'odd' because, well, it's fun isn't it? My old school desk that I've worked on for years is in a conservatory room for when the sun comes out and I fancy a bit of quiet. I am spoilt for space, now.
Q: What is your working schedule like?
I work from home with my husband, Ryan and a small team of smashing admin. We work like nutters, 7 days a week all through the day and night to produce pretty pieces of paper art and to parcel a billion squillion parcels of yummy Paper Panda products to people all over the world that like to drink tea from a Carousel mug, cuddle an Alice In Wonderland cushion or to try their hand at papercutting with a PP kit.
We listen to QI, have an unhealthy love of cake, drink great vats of coffee and can both sing Ice Ice Baby all the way through. With actions.
Q: Which type of material do you like to use the most and why?
Paper is my medium. It's clean. I used to be a large scale canvas and acrylic kinda gal with accents of pastels/charcoal and I used to get in a right old mess. With paper you can just sweep all the bits into the bin and that's it! No brushes to wash, no drying time.
Q: Which piece is your favourite or sells the best?
Oooh that's a tough one. The recent Wonderland piece, I think? I am a huge Alice in Wonderland fan so enjoy cutting those designs which are a collaboration between Ryan and I. I like being able to use vintage book pages behind them, too. The most popular piece is ‘We’re all mad here’ I will forever re-cut this special piece in various sizes.
Q: Where does your inspiration come from?
Old stories, fairy tales and woodland animals. I grew up as an only child reading all day, and it's still the only pastime I regularly indulge in so I'd say it's the obvious source of inspiration. I live in the country and in our old cottage we were surrounded by all kinds of animals, hence the woodland themes. Also different materials and old prints are a great resource for patterns and ideas.
Q: Do you remember when you sold your first item and how you felt?
I saw some cute little papercuts made using scissors (I use a scalpel) so I made myself one, just like that…and sold it! Then some friends saw what I'd made and wanted one too. Paper Panda grew from there. I've been very lucky. People seem to like bears.
Q: What's the hardest part of your design career?
The criticism. You can hear 1000 lovely compliments about your work and then one off-the-cuff comment can send you crying into your pillow. It can be really tough. Artists are generally quite sensitive souls.
Q: Which part of working do you enjoy the most?
I can dictate my own hours, wear mismatched socks and a sheep onesie to work, I get to create things that make people smile every day and I meet a variety or weird and wonderful people along the way.
Q: What it your next project?
I have lots of projects on the go, new papercuts and products are always being worked on. I am currently writing a papercutting book, due out later this year.
Q: What kind of books do you like to read, and what kind of music do you like?
When I'm not papercutting I'm reading books. I have devoured them since I was a little girl at an astonishing rate. I still have all my much loved, worn childhood books and have passed them onto my own daughter. She refuses to read them though, as they are mostly battered and the pages are stuck together with remains of old Toffee Éclairs, preferring the Kindle instead.
With this in mind it's difficult for books NOT to be a part of my work. They take you to other worlds where you can be anything and just get lost in the pages for a few hours. So, I like to create images from books and cut them out of paper. I've found that taking key moments from classic stories and putting a silhouette twist on them is very exciting. I'm also a great lover of typography so mixing the two elements by placing the story text behind the finished piece is very satisfying for me. It combines all of my favourite things.
I have recently started collecting antique books that have been damaged beyond their original purpose in the hopes that I can make something from them. Watch this space!
Q: If you were not a designer, what do you think you would be?
When I first started I was a freelance graphic designer with a gift shop too. I gave both up after the first year of papercutting as there just wasn’t enough hours in the day. I guess if I didn’t have Paper Panda I would still be doing that.
Q: If young people want to follow the same path as you, what would you suggest?
Use the internet to network as much as you possibly can. It’s a fabulous tool for getting seen and there are so many platforms to showcase your work that simply weren’t available 10 years ago. Pinterest, Instagram, Etsy, Facebook, Deviant Art, Twitter…be seen! Make friends, share your work and get out there. Use the forums, upload pictures of your artwork anywhere you can. Use every bit of spare time (when you aren’t making, of course) to create an online presence for yourself, saying hello and making friends.
Q: Is there anything you want to share with us?
People often ask me how long it takes to create a piece, it’s a good question because it helps people realise how much goes into turning a piece of paper into something magical and beautiful.
It depends on if it's a piece that I have been planning and playing with for months in Photoshop beforehand, or if it's a doodly drawing from my battered sketchbook. Anything from a few hours to a week, it really does range an awful lot. I recently completed a large, detailed piece based on the 'Alice in Wonderland' Tea Party scene. I had previously made a simpler version that has been my signature piece for a while, but was asked to commission a 'wow' version, so with this in mind I added lots of extra detail and enlarged it. It took 9 days to complete the cut.
Today I am cutting a doodle from my sketchbook. It should take just a few hours (if my hand doesn't slip!).
I love making anything 'Alice'. I have a series of Wonderland inspired papercuts, I think it's PP's overall theme if you like. It's certainly MY theme. I am adorned with Wonderland tattoos, and have lots of artwork by other artists based on the books in the cottage too. How could you not be inspired by such a fabulous story?
If you are just starting out – DON’T GIVE UP! Push through the hard days, relish the good days and most importantly enjoy yourself.
Thanks for Paper Panda share so much story with us, want to see more Paper Panda version of Alice wonderland, then you can't forget to check on more their work here:
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