Paper art is one of things that I just can’t get enough of. The detail and precision to the designs is something that gets me really excited to craft more. These pieces from Lisa Rodden are a perfect example of this mesmerising, simple beauty. I really love her use of layered colours and the way the 3D design casts shadows to create an extra layer of detail and movement.
Originally from Sydney but now a Sunshine Coast girl, Lisa comes from a family of artists so it was inevitable that a creative gene or two would be inherited. With her works being commissioned around the globe, and a stockist in Sydney’s design-hub Koskela, she’s definitely one inspirational creative force. I caught up with Lisa to hear a bit more about her work, what inspires her and to pinch some hot tips for us budding paper crafters.
How did you get into this craft, and what is it about paper art that you love so much?
I’ve done a lot of travel and had many different careers which has definitely shaped me and my approach to art. Working with paper in the way I do now was just a natural evolution in my practice as I love texture and layering – I’m obsessed with textiles and colour too. It was about revealing small parts of an artwork, little windows into the secrets that lie behind. When I did my first artwork lifting the paper rather than removing it, it was one of those moments that take your breath away. As I was cutting I saw all these other patterns and ideas for artworks emerging and it was like a freight train of paper passion that is still going for me. People often ask me if I ever run out of ideas but as yet, my problem is that I don’t have enough time to explore all of my ideas! And there are a lot of ideas that don’t work. It’s a fine line between something of beauty and something kitsch.
The hand cut paper body of works explore the ever changing perception of one’s own reality. The shadow play, layering and combinations of colour change depending on the position from where the work is viewed. Shapes and colours are hidden and revealed as you move around the work or as the light changes. In the same way we can experience an event very differently from one day to the next depending on our mood, so too do two people experience exactly the same event in very different ways due to different past experiences and teachings. Nothing is as it seems and everything is in a perpetual state of change.
What inspires you?
Everything! Passionate and innovative people, nature – the little things and the big things, colour, food, sunshine, the ocean, smart and beautiful design, honesty.
What are some of your favourite websites for inspiration?
What has been your favourite design/project so far?
One of my favourites was volunteering for a skills sharing project to teach silk painting with women in Balgo in the Western Australian desert. It was a very powerful and enriching experience on many levels.
What have you been working on lately?
I’ve just finished a big job for a French company which entailed creating 10 artworks for a corporate gallery. They will also be used on the company website and brochures so that was pretty exciting. That is being launched in about January I think.
Top tips for budding paper art enthusiasts?
Stop thinking about it and just do it! There are so many youtube tutorials if your stuck for ideas. Your local libraries and charity shops will most likely have a couple of books on paper craft projects too.
* If you’re not confident with your drawing, find a picture you like and trace it on to your paper first.
* I draw mine up and cut on the back of the paper so there are no pencil lines on the front. If you do this, remember to reverse the picture so when you turn it over the right way, it’s going the right direction (especially important for text).
* Start with a simple design to start with until you get the hang of it. It’s always better to have a small success to build confidence at the beginning rather than aim too high, get overwhelmed and quit before you’ve even started.
* Always store your blades somewhere safe!
* Keep your fingers out of the way when you’re cutting
* Pick a subject that is meaningful to you.
* Have fun!
Check out the Lisa Rodden website to view more of her work here