Paper Cuts

An International Collection Featuring 25 of The Most Exciting Paper-Craft Artists

From intricate patterns and designs to beautiful large sculptures, paper design is a versatile medium of art that can sometimes go overlooked or underestimated.

Paper Cut is a new book by Owen Gildersleeve, which brings together 25 of the most exciting paper-craft artists and illustrators from around the world. It explores their work practice through behind the scenes interviews and images.
Owen himself is a successful artist who produces illustrations and designs for an array of international clients, such as Ben & Jerry’s and Fiat. He uses paper and hand- rendered typography, often experimenting with light and shadows.

‘Paper is very versatile, with artists being able to easily shape and form it,’ Owen tells us. ‘This leads to the ultimate freedom of creative expression, where artists can free their imaginations. Because of this, the work featured [in the book] is really varied.’

We spoke to Owen about the world of paper illustration, and how he put this book together.

The Plus: This is your first book, how did it come about?
Owen Gildersleeve:
Paper Cut first came about nearly 2 years ago. Emily Potts, one of the editors at Rockport, contacted me. They were looking for someone to do a book about paper illustration. Although it was quite a daunting prospect, and I was unsure at first whether I was the right person for the job, I realised it was too good an opportunity to turn down.
The publishers amazingly gave me free reign with the book. So I was able to decide out how I wanted to approach it – hand picking a selection of artists and giving them a full chapter each, rather than just scattering their work throughout the book. I also wanted to really delve into their working practices, because being an artist who works with paper, I am aware of how much thought and preparation goes into creating teed artworks.

TP: What was the most challenging thing about writing this book?
Probably writing the introduction text. I decided, when I first took on this project, that I wanted to use it to find out more about the history surrounding my craft. So I did lots of research and set myself the task of writing two double page spreads on the history of paper cutting. I hadn’t written anything of this length or depth since my dissertation at university, so it was a big challenge, but one which I ended up thoroughly enjoying.

TP: What was the most memorable moment of working with these 25 artists?
I think that’s yet to come! I’m currently working on a big exhibition in London for the book launch. This will showcase all 25 artists featured in the book. There will be original artworks alongside prints on show, and a selection of the artists will also be holding talks and workshops. I think it’s going to be a really great show! The show will be held at The Proud Archivist Gallery from the 4th – 25th September.