When did you first start making paper flowers?
I started making paper flowers in the middle of 2016. I moved away from home to the middle East the year before, leaving a full time job and all my old routines. I needed an outlet. I have been making cards and crafting all my life, but I only started making flowers after realizing how expensive flowers are here, and one day I just started googling "How to make flowers" and came across an article on Oh So Beautiful Paper about crepe paper flowers and showcased beautiful flowers from Rachel Baldwin (of Appetite Paper) and Lia Griffith's tutorials- I tried it (with whatever materials I could find) and fell in love.
What is your favorite tool of all time?
It has to be my Omuda Japanese scissors I found back home, It's not a well known brand, but they make perfect cuts. I now have them in 3 sizes. I wanted to hoard more during my last trip home but I can't seem to find them anymore.
Special mention to bamboo skewers, also in a few sizes.
What type of flowers do you love to make the most?
Ohh! They change all the time. Currently I love making the pom peonies! I love shaping the individual petals and putting them together.
What is the best part about where you live now?
I love it here, being an expat so far away from home is not easy, but for the first time, my little family and I are completely on our own and leaving the comfort of a support system that we built back home. We learnt how to do things on our own, making new friends who are now like family. Designing our own living space and making it into our home. Qatar is a beautiful and safe place to live in, and I can't think of a better place for my son to grow in.
What really gets you in the flow and excited to create flowers?
Panic! lol. I work best under pressure. Give me a deadline and I deliver. But its probably not good for my health. Lol.
I always get inspired looking at the works of other paper artists, and florists who share pictures of their beautiful blooms, my mind is always mentally dissecting flowers and interpreting how to turn them into my own versions of them. So whenever I have time, I try to make new flowers and bringing that into life always gets me so excited.
If you brought us into your work area, what would it look like?
Never fully clean.
My work area changes between my dining table and sofa. We have just moved to a new place and I finally have a 'studio space' but I still cant decide on a table! But I now have a dedicated storage space, so it's somewhat organized now. Whenever I start a new project, I would gather the materials beforehand and place them in a bag, I also have a big tray and a few containers to put cut petals in so I will always have whatever I need.
What do you do while you make flowers? Watch tv, listen to music or podcasts? Do tell all the details!
If I'm just making for fun, I would binge on Netflix (I know, not healthy) or watch my son play. If I'm on full on panic mode, I have a set of songs in my playlist that I play when I work so the music will keep me going and just sit and work.
If you could give one piece of advise to someone just starting out with paper flowers, what would it be?
Just do it! use whatever materials you can find and just try. If you can find a workshop that can teach you, try them out, if not, there are so many online tutorials you can choose from. There are more resources now than when I was starting out more than 2 years ago so, find time and try :)
How long did you make paper flowers before you sold your first one?
I had my first order (from a friend) about 3 or 4 months after I started. I don't really advertise to sell so most of my customers are my friends, or ex workshop students and people who come across my Instagram page. My first workshop was after about a year.
What are your favorite colors to work with?
Definitely the pinks! All shades
Do you prefer create a more realistic rendition or do you like to add whimsy to your flowers?
I know not many people will agree with me when I say this.. but I think paper flowers should still look a little like paper flower and not 100% realistic. I somehow feel like you (as an artist/ crafter) can put a piece of yourself in whatever you make and when people see it, they will relate it back to you and that feels nice.
What are you most excited in your life right now?
A few things,
Setting up my little studio (although it's taking more time, but it's just me and my procrastination)
New workshop modules for end of the year and finding new venues for workshops
We are going on a holiday! We were here in Qatar most of the summer and we were indoors most of the time. So we can't wait to get out and explore and get some nice samples of autumn foliage and blooms.
Find more from Nik Iyzan:
We all have something in common, our love for paper floristry. Let's get to know each other a bit more, meet artists from all over the world in every walk of life!