Septembers artist of the month goes to Laura Sayers, a ninja of miniature paper making all hand cut with scissors.
Full name: Laura Sayers
"I use scissors for everything, and my work is comprised of many many layers of bright colours that build up to form an image. After cutting and assembling all the shapes, often freehand, I'll add the smallest details with gouache paint and then photograph the pieces for reproduction. "
Where do you make your paper Art?
I'm currently based in North West London where I've been working from home, but I'm planning on moving up to Glasgow next month where I'll be sharing a new studio space with some other artists in the middle of the city.
How long have you been working with paper?
For what feels like a long time! I think it started briefly in school and it was the medium I kept coming back to when I was studying. I've only had just over one year of working on it full time after previously doing it on the side of other things but I'm excited for hopefully many more years to come!
How would you describe your approach to paper art?
I use scissors for everything, and my work is comprised of many many layers of bright colours that build up to form an image. After cutting and assembling all the shapes, often freehand, I'll add the smallest details with gouache paint and then photograph the pieces for reproduction. Some of the work I make is really tiny too, but I love the challenge of working at that scale. Most of the illustrations that I make are for editorial pieces, social content and bespoke gifts but I'm hoping to eventually see my work published as books for children.
Where do you find inspiration?
I've always been inspired by people and places. I see a lot of children's illustration that focusses on animals (which are great in their own way!) but I personally find people and different characters so much deeper and more complex, so often the stories I write or the scenes I illustrate focus on finding light and beauty in the everyday. People and their experiences play a big part in that.
Describe your work to us in 3 words?
Miniature, bright, and crafted
What are your favourite papers to work with?
There's a range of papers called Maya which have amazingly bright colours and a very smooth finish so they're really easy to cut. Colorplan have a wonderful range of tones too, particularly really specific shades of white and grey which always come in handy.
What tools could you not live without?
My trusty scissors! I use a small pair by Fiskars and I have a sharpener for them to keep them up to scratch.
What is the best thing about working with paper as a medium?
I think the variety of ways it can be manipulated to achieve what you're after. I'm always amazed at the work that comes out of the Paper Artists Collective because it's all so different even though it's all the same medium - I love that each one of us has a personal touch to our individual portfolios.
Who are your favourite paper artists?
I'm obsessed with fellow PAC member Raya Sada Bujana's work, particularly her food series, and I'm always amazed at the quality and execution of Sam Pierpoint's large scale city models.
What are you working on at the moment?
Apart from preparing to move, I'm currently tying up some loose ends with some bespoke portraits and redoing some illustrations from an old children's story called 'High-Vis Vincent' which I wrote and illustrated a few years ago - I want to bring it a bit more up to date after practicing my craft and fine tuning it a lot since it was made, and then I'll be taking it to publishers to see if it can get out there. It's been quite a long journey of working on it, but I've had a lot of useful and positive feedback so it's just a case of improving it and then finding a way in to the publishing world!