Today I thought I would share how a paper cut comes to life at Shadow PaperCuts.
As with all designs it needs to start with inspiration and that usually comes from my wonderful customers! They usually have a brief idea of what they want and what they would like to include. Let me take you through the process for a design I have done.
A lovely customer got in touch with me with a brief outline for a gift for a friend who was celebrating their 30th birthday. The customers theme was “beach scene, palm tree, deck chair, sun and cocktails and work 30 in there somewhere.” So I got to work… My work is designed on the laptop using designer software but sometimes its drawn. So using the combination of these for this design I tried to work the elements the customer had suggested. First some facts about designing paper cuts.
There are two ways you can cut positive and negative. Positive means you have cut out the design from the paper and what you have “cut out” makes the design. Negative is where you cut out the design throwing away what you have cut out and the “hole” is the design. Here is an example of positive and negative.
Every element in a paper cut HAS to be connected within the design to make it stable otherwise once you have cut it out it will all full to pieces and yes in the beginning this happened to me a few times!
So with those ideas in mind I start to come up with a plan of what will work being connected to each other, what elements will work and if and how to incorporate some positive and negative. Here is the design if you look you will see the shells in the sand are cut negatively so the “holes” make the shells!
Once a customer has ok’d a proof of the design. I help them pick colours for the cut. Sometimes a design works well just cut from a simple white paper but I have a variety of papers and happy to help the customer pick a colour that suits the design. Once the paper is chosen then we are ready to print and cut…. Interesting fact time…
The design is printed in reverse on the paper so that the side that's cut becomes the back and you have no print or pencil lines on the front... which leads into fcat 4..
If we use coloured paper than the paper is usually white on one side which is the side we print or draw on and coloured on the other! Yay!
Once its printed we are ready to start cutting. I won’t go into too many details here about the cutting process I will leave that for another post but I use a cutting mat, a craft knife and surgical scalpels. I usually start with the smallest and most intricate bits first cutting out the paper and removing it as I go.
I always loved this design it was so bright and cheerful :) Yes, my work area is always covered in an array of bits of paper which are scattered around my desk like confetti, I once found a letter E in my bra and my daughter complains she finds paper letters in her shoes – LOL! Here is the design all framed ....