Where was the first place you discovered paper flowers?
In 2012 I took a course at university called "paper stories" which was all about papercrafts. In that context I did a little installation series about polypore (tree mushrooms) which would count as my first botanical paper work. Soon after that I bought the book "Paper to Petal" (By Thuss & Farrel) from my favorite arts & craft store and made flowers as presents for friends. In April this year I stumbled across a vintage book which was published in Germany in 1991 about flower making with paper and textile. And then it hit me! These flowers looked so much more realistic and I could imagine what was possible to create with only crepe paper. I was really excited about learning the basic techniques and applying them to create my first (realistic looking) paper flower.
How has your current career fueled your desire to make paper flowers?
I always have been a creative person. I used to draw, make collages. Photography was another hobby of mine. After school I did a vocational training to become a design assistant followed by a bachelor of arts in communication design. Currently I am working full time for a big publishing house in Germany doing editorial and graphic design. Working on the computer all day, for some years made me realize how much I miss the craft part of being creative. Making paper flowers brings everything together I like and enjoy. Working with paper with a botanical aspect and taking pictures afterwards.
What are your favorite paper flower making tools?
I find my stitching awl really useful in many ways. Especially for shaping parts of the flower my fingers won't reach. And of course my precision scissors!
If you could describe your workspace, what would it look like?
My boyfriend and I live together in a small apartment close to the city center. So there is not that much space and we share a small room for our hobbies. Our desks are next to each other which is nice cause we can still communicate. As many people I like a cleaned up workspace and when everything is in it's place. But it always gets really messy through the process and sometimes it's being chaotic for some days. So before I start a new project I need to tidy it up.
What could you tell someone just starting to discover paper flowers?
I am still new to paper flowers and the only advice I can give is to actually buy/pick a flower if possible and take it apart to study it. If you are aiming for realism it's very important to understand the complexity of it. The details will make a huge difference. Don't be afraid of making your own templates and figuring out individual techniques. This takes time but the flowers will look unique.
What is your favorite part about where you live?
I am currently living in Brunswick a city in Lower Saxony, Germany, north of the Harz mountains. Brunswick is a smaller city but it is well connected to the rest of the country. My favorite part is living close to the Harz national park though. It's the perfect place for hiking and exploring the nature.
When you are stuck and not feeling creative, how do you recharge yourself to get creativity flowing?
To be honest, I am never really feeling uncreative. This might be cause I don't have enough time to catch up with all my ideas or because I am trained to be creative even under pressure. This is my daily routine at work. Of course not every idea is good to begin with, sometimes a proper night's sleep or just being out absorbing things from my environment will help me to improve them.
What are your favorite colors to work with?
For larger parts I prefer to work with acrylic paint and for the details I use pan pastels. I like to have control over the result of my coloring. Don't get me wrong, I like bold colors but that isn't me. I prefer a more natural look and a muted color palette.
Are there any podcasts, music playlist or tv shows that you indulge in while creating your flowers?
Sometimes I will listen to music but I mostly binge watch tv series on Netflix, Amazon etc. I've watched so many I can't even tell ;)
Do you think that where you grew up has a lot to do with your artistic vision?
Yes, for sure! I grew up in a village and being out in the nature has been a normal thing for me. Also my stepmother is a florist so I learned a lot about flowers and plants from her when I was a child. For special events I helped her creating arrangements and floral wreaths. It was kind of her style to always include some material in her work we picked up in the nature. I think this had a strong influence on me.
What type of flowers do you love making the most?
Actually, I love doing leaves. I know some people hate doing them but for me they add so much more realism to every flower. They are always a little challenge though cause if the color doesn't fit it's noticeable.
Is there something in your life right now that you are really excited about?
Hell yes, I am! My boyfriend and I will continue our road trip around Ireland along the wild Atlantic way next month. We are going to explore the west coast up to the north. We've went there last year and fell in love with the breathtaking landscapes. A good opportunity to recharge and get inspiration for future projects.
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