Tell us about your work! What kind of projects are you concentrating on right now?
It isn’t unusual to find me sitting on my living room floor surrounded by rolls of wallpaper, offcuts, rulers, brushes, pots of ink and pieces of lino tile. This is me in LovePaper mode – dreaming, designing, creating (making mess…). I thought up LovePaper quite soon after my wedding last year. I think I was looking for another creative outlet to replace wedding planning, and decided to expand on the ideas I had had when designing and making my wedding stationery. After trawling countless websites and suppliers in search of beautiful, affordable, bespoke invitations, I decided to make my own from origami paper and a hand-cut lino tile. The work I do today draws on the same principles of using beautiful papers (old maps, books, wallpaper) in combination with bold graphic design. At the moment I am experimenting with typography and old maps to create pieces of bespoke art, as well as designing and making wedding stationery for other people.
What inspires you about using maps in your work?
I have always been fascinated by maps. I see them as the ultimate meeting of information and design. When I rediscovered a 1991 edition of the London A to Z that I remember my Dad using when I was a child, I fell in love with its slightly yellowed pages and the slice of history it represented. I saw the perfect opportunity to make personalised pieces of artwork by matching people’s initials with a mapped location.
What is it about paper that you love so much?
I think it’s the endless possibilities that a blank sheet of paper presents. I love the different weights and textures of good art paper; I love the colours and minute detail of Japanese Washi paper; I love the soft grainy edge of a torn sheet of watercolour paper; and I love the sense of history I get from looking at the time-worn well-thumbed pages of old books.
Where in London are your favourite places to source materials from?
My day job takes me to Broadwick St in W1, and near to a wealth of fascinating shops. For basic art supplies I go to Cowling & Wilcox on Broadwick St and Cass Art on Berwick St. For vintage posters and magazines I go to the Vintage Magazine Shop on Brewer St, and for vintage books and wallpaper I head to a local car boot sale! I also find that the internet is pretty good for basics, like luggage labels and brown string.
Do you prefer shops or markets?
I think both are important to get a good variety of materials. Any excuse to shop for beautiful things is fine with me.
Do you rely on any online craft networks, forums or workshops for support and inspiration?
I receive daily emails from Etsy, which has an abundance of tips and ideas to make the most of selling handmade goods online. I am also a member of Folksy, and LovePaper has an online shop there. But I get inspiration from everywhere – I work in magazines, so that’s a great start, but many are the hours I have whiled away soaking up the creative brilliance of the displays in Anthropologie on Regent St, or salivating over the new stationery emporium in Liberty.
Where do you go in the capital when you’re in need of some quiet time?
Quiet time in the West End is pretty difficult to find, especially in the height of summer amongst all the tourists! But sitting outside in Golden Square is great – although not necessarily quiet. I love the opportunity to people-watch and soak in the buzz of the capital.
Do you have a favourite craft blog?
Carrot cake or Victoria sponge?
Victoria sponge. Preferably my mum’s, washed down with a lovely cuppa!