Paper cutting for me has started a few years ago when I decided to use my little paper knife to cut out an intricate card (I do enjoy making those). Needless to say, a simple paper knife did not perform that well, it was blunt, clumsy and frankly, it should just stick to opening parcels and letters. For some reason, however, I would then use it several more times because I really liked the activity but I was too Scrooge McDuck to buy a proper scalpel set.
Finally, after a few painful months of trying to cut smooth edges with an absolute nightmare of a knife I have acquired a nice scalpel with a metal handle and different blade sizes so I could really see what blade was the most convenient for me (I still did not pay for the set, a kind person has donated it to my charity “For Greedy People”).
And so, my paper cutting journey has begun.
I am bad at drawing anything, let it be a person, an animal or a circle. Show me a dog and you will get a cauliflower instead. Could I draw something pretty that could also be made into a paper cut? Hell naw. After drawing a few potato-shaped hearts I gave up and turned to Internet templates, so each paper cut would take me twice as much time – first cut out a template on simple printing paper, then outline the template on the needed paper, cut it out again. And I did it, because hope never dies but it wasn’t even born for my drawing skills. After a while I got fed up and started to force myself to not use the template but actually copy the drawing by hand, which is how I came from being an absolute bumpkin in illustration to being able to draw a few improvised lines.
As very new to illustration and paper cutting I had an inspirational stupor – where do I get ideas and how do I draw them out? I could neither think of much nor execute it properly. So, an advice for struggling artists – just steal designs. Haha no, don’t do that. Unless you do, then do it respectfully. I turned to copying and cutting beautiful paper cuts I found online. Obviously, I did not post them on social media nor did I try to make money off of them, I have a lot of respect for an artist who has spent years learning and trying and failing in order to come to a particular piece. I never claim that the work is my own unless I have 100% designed it myself. This sort of practice has helped me gain confidence. I still do not know how to draw properly and I most likely will never become the modern Van Gogh but at least my leaves do not look like crooked chili peppers anymore.
So, this is the road that has led to the little “thank you” card, the star of this post. I’ve first cut out the outline of the leaf and the rustic diamond-shaped fence, then attached the silver background to the leaf. Finally, I cut out some dark green and light green branches and entwined them in the fence. Pretty simple and looks hella fine.
Moral of the story – I enjoy paper cutting. More to come.