October 3, 2016

Image Credit: Iona Wolff

Meet Poppy Chancellor, the crafty gal behind Poppy’s Papercuts. A dab hand at creating irresistible papercuts and bold, quirky illustrations, we catch up with Poppy about staying creative, NOT cutting in to the table and the importance of scheduling crafternoon dates.

UO: What was your first experience of paper cutting?

I started papercutting as an obsession in my final year of art school. When I look at the shapes I create now, I see that all the time I spent reading, drawing and playing with fuzzy felt as a child had a bigger impact than I thought. I always loved colourful symbols and silhouettes, I see them everywhere in my work.

UO: How did you decide which designs to include in the book?

I wanted to include classic designs that have always been popular on my Instagram, that my followers would recognise. I also decided to design a whole new range of varied templates that you could make for any occasion. It’s important for me to create designs that people WANT to make and can see themselves using.

UO: What inspires your designs?

I love having a sense of humour with my work. Anything that makes me laugh I try to include, wether it’s a phrase or facial expression. I love things that are decorative and imperfect like beautiful Mexican folk art and embroidery. Anything painstakingly hand-made always takes my breath away.

UO: What is your favourite design from Cut It Out?

The ‘Bottoms up’ design because it makes me laugh. The hand of Fatima took the longest to make so I love that one too!

UO: Why do you think it is important for people to sit down and be creative?

It’s so important to have a break from your phone. I can see us turning into a nation of zombies! I love my phone but I know that having some time to myself where I can relax and create is priceless. Some simple rules for happiness I think are: keep dancing, keep singing, keep making.

UO: What is the No. 1 rule of paper cutting?

Make sure you’ve got a sharp scalpel! And DON’T cut in to the table.

UO: Your work is of course extremely intricate; what is the key to maintaining that level of concentration?

I like to play music, have lots of tea breaks and stretch regularly. I’m always flapping my arms about like a windmill.

UO: What’s the most exciting thing about releasing a book?

Apart from the book launch (Which is ALWAYS fun) I love the idea that it’s out there in the world. It’s not just an idea in my head anymore, it’s been unleashed!

UO: You work a lot on commission; what is the most difficult design you have been asked to do?

Two donkeys kissing? Some people ask for such strange things, it’s a joy to see their weirdness come to life

UO: What advice do you have for someone who wants to be more creative in their spare time?

Schedule! It’s easy to forget what you want to do with spare time. Book a day in your diary where you have a crafternoon with your mates.

Shop: Cut It Out!