Through Facebook I came across the amazing Paper Panda. I LOVE her stuff. We have a canvas print of one of her Alice in Wonderland cuts in our living room!
I was lucky enough to talk to her and she wrote a blog about how she made it her business. So Mrs Panda aka Louise Firchau…over to you!
I started paper cutting as a hobby, but it snowballed very quickly into a full time ‘hobby’ and then later into a ‘proper’ business. That was in 2010!
I went to art college when I was younger but then afterwards took a more stable route, taking regular jobs until I became a freelance graphic designer.
I had a great love of typography and saw a papercut one day with the most beautiful type and wanted to recreate one for myself. I fell in love, the rest is history. It’s clean. I used to be a large scale canvas and acrylic kinda gal with accents of pastels/charcoal and I used to get in a right old mess. With paper you can just sweep all the bits into the bin and that’s it! No brushes to wash, no drying time.
I tend not to follow other papercutters work for fear of being overly-inspired, but I do follows thousands of other artisans both on Facebook and Etsy. I adore the work of Chatty Nora, it appeals to my typographical side. I like the whimsical nature of The Cat In The Shoe and the weird but wonderful work of Annie Montgomerie.
I am inspired by old stories, fairytales and woodland animals. I grew up as an only child reading all day, and it’s still the only pastime I regularly indulge in so I’d say it’s the obvious source of inspiration. I live in the country and in our old cottage we were surrounded by all kinds of animals, hence the woodland themes. Also different materials and old prints are a great resource for patterns and ideas.
I cut all the hours in the day that I can. I work alongside my husband full time for Paper Panda in our home. I currently work on an antique architects desk but as far as inspiration goes, well, it’s all still packed away. I usually surround myself with quirky oddities, vintage advertising, typographical posters, art dolls and the plain ‘odd’ because, well, it’s fun isn’t it? My old school desk that I’ve worked on for years is in a conservatory room for when the sun comes out and I fancy a bit of quiet. I am spoilt for space, now. There are hardly enough hours to sleep, haha.
I have a huge range of products now that use the papercut designs on them! I like them because they bring a nice variety into the online store and they also give many people the chance to own a piece of Paper Panda. A few of our products include Greetings Cards, pocket mirrors, canvas prints and notebooks. You can see the full range in our online store. www.paperpandacuts.co.uk
My work is mostly sold via our online store, with social media playing a big part in sharing products and news. I am very fortunate that galleries come to me, which I know is very unusual and I’m still trying to come to terms with it myself! I sell my pieces through just two galleries currently, also on eBay beginning at 99p on auction so that people can determine their own price and through the online shop for people with fast fingers as they disappear very quickly once released for sale. We have a Facebook page with over 200,000 followers as well a Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Deviantart and stores on Etsy/Foksy.
Paper cutting has never been more popular than it is now. We offer a papercutting starter kit and this has encouraged many people to fall in love with papercutting too!