Frequently Asked Questions…
For a very dear friend I wanted to give a special birthday present. In a big warehouse I saw two very nice pop up butterflies in frames. I wanted to make a combination of the two, so I decided to make it myself. I started out cutting with a Stanley knife. I would NOT advise anyone to try to papercut with a Stanley knife!
After this one, I tried to cut a quick drawing I made. I noticed then that I actually have a feeling for it. I didn’t really need to make a papercutting template; I could just draw something and I instinctively knew what needed to be cut away.
I started looking for better knives and better paper, drew more intricate drawings, improved my papercutting skills and developed my own style.
I think you can definitely say that I’m a self-taught papercutter.
I don’t have an education specifically in papercutting. I did go to art school, and graduated with very large drawings made entirely with Indian ink and a dip pen.
I think I’m just in love with old, traditional and timeconsuming techniques…
Most of the time I get my inspiration in the outdoors. This is perhaps obvious if you look at my nature inspired papercuts. I love to take walks through the forest, or look at the birds and other little creatures high up in the trees, enjoying a hot cup of tea on my balcony.
Also I have a lot of old books about nature and biological drawings of all flora and fauna. I love to go through these to find nice shapes to add in my design.
Not only my books of nature can trigger me to make a design, but also one of my children’s books or fairytale books.
The people I talk to and my commissions can also be a huge inspiration. Sometimes it’s so inspiring to ‘get in someones head’ and understand and visualize their ideas.
That obviously depends on the size and intricacy.
If I’m making a commission a huge portion of my time is spent on making a design the client likes. But also the cutting itself is a very time consuming process.
I try to keep track of how much time I spend on different papercuts. That way I now have an idea of how much time I spend on average on different sized designs. with this in mind I try to pay myself a fair hourly rate. This amount plus the very little material cost make up the price of the papercuts.
Another Question you didn’t see answered here? Please e-mail me and I’ll try my best to answer it. And I may add it to the FAQ as well.