London based papercut artist, Poppy Chancellor is running with scissors to create something unique in the craft world. She’ll be appearing alongside Kirstie Allsopp at this Summers Handmade Fair at Hampton Court, sharing some of her impressive skills in workshops over the weekend. We asked the cutting edge illustrator about her influences, inspirations and paper related injuries…
1. What is it about paper as a medium to work with that appeals to you?
I love that it’s a cheap everyday object that people often disregard. Paper is such a familiar thing to us, something that we’d probably just chuck in the bin. I enjoy that I can elevate it and turn it into something really beautiful.
2. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people.
My best friend growing up was my pet duck.
3. Who or what were your early influences and how has your life/upbringing influenced your work?
My early influences were shadow theatres and silhouettes. When I was at uni I discovered Pollock’s Toy Museum just off Tottenham Court Road. I often visit to see their Polish papercut collection and admire the paper theatres.
My upbringing was very ramshackle. No rules and lots of creative outlets, I used to draw all over my bedroom walls.
4. What is the most challenging aspect about working with paper? Be honest – how often do you get paper cuts?
I don’t get paper cuts that often actually! I do slip and cut myself with my scalpel, which totally freaks me out as I hate the sight of blood and then start crying
5. What 5 things can’t you live without?
5. An imagination
6. What do you think it takes to make a good artist?
Someone who never settles for what’s comfortable. I love people who keep exploring their craft and pushing to make it better.
7. What are you looking forward to most about being at The Handmade Fair?
I’m secretly looking forward to singing Britney Spears really loudly into my head mic.
8. Who/what is inspiring you right now?
At the moment I’m looking at fashion designers like Elsa Schiaparelli and Charlotte Olympia. Their designs are made up of all these visual symbols that are so lighthearted. I love images that communicate clearly.
9. You’ve worked with some exciting brands, from Cath Kidston and Adidas, to your sisters clothing brand Tara Starlet. Do you think it’s important to collaborate as a designer, and do you have any future collaborations planned?
I have some top secret collaborations planned which I can’t talk about yet! I think collaborations are a great way to expand your working process. I usually make work alone in my studio so there’s nothing better than having a social collaborative process. It opens up the way you think.
10. What advice would you give to aspiring crafters wanting to start their own businesses?
Get good at spreadsheets.
Also check out our interview with Kirstie Allsopp for discounted tickets to the Handmade Fair!