Working with Graphic 45 papers

Hi, my name is Dee, (A Dash of Dee). I’m an illustrator/mixed media artist who creates commissioned pieces for clients along with designing artwork for Clarity stamp and working at Hochanda to create finished samples for some of their shows.

I first discovered Graphic 45 papers about 3 years ago. My good friend Leonie Pujol brought them home one evening. She couldn’t wait to show me them, as we both share the same love of art and design, so why wouldn’t I love them!

Love them – I did, I was drawn to the colours and the designs instantly. They were beautiful, they were different, and they had character – but I couldn’t imagine ever cutting them. They were way too beautiful!

She asked me if I fancied creating some finished samples for her upcoming Let Leonie Loose show. Being arty and wanting to help her out, I said yes, but under the surface I was doubting myself and wondering what on earth I could do with them. I looked at them, I felt them, I flicked through the beautiful sheets of paper, I even smelled them, but could I bring myself to cut them?  No, I couldn’t. I felt totally overwhelmed. Where do you start when there is so many beautiful images? How can you improve what is already in front of you? I walked away feeling a total failure.

The next day when she was hoping to have some lovely finished samples, I had to bow my head and reveal that I was unable to do anything with them. I felt awful as I had let myself down and I felt I had let her down too. But at least I had saved those beautiful papers from being cut up and destroyed.

On other occasions, Leonie and Paula would invite me to their crafty evenings where they would be making samples with these papers. I tried to fit in and create something, anything, but my attempts were poor in comparison. I just felt awful when I cut into them. It felt like a tragedy!

Facing my fear of cutting the paper

Fast forward a year, and through my work at Hochanda I was being asked if I could make the samples for the Graphic 45 Club!!!! Initially I panicked, as I had my previous experience of feeling daunted by these papers. Self-doubt came calling again, but I glanced at the images for the finished outcomes on each project. I had to prove I could do this, and it was such a relief when I discovered that the kits came with full instructions.

I followed along step by step, cutting and creating the desired outcomes. The sense of achievement was amazing. I had conquered my fear of cutting the paper and what’s more, I could see the endless possibilities start to unfold every time I got a new kit.

No longer looking at the papers – but looking into the paper instead 

Following the kits instructions was like having someone hold my hand. It taught me how to use the papers properly and I slowly started to see what Graphic 45 see. They want you to take the design off the page! I learnt that Graphic 45 want us to cut into the papers and create our own world of creativity. That takes away the guilt of changing and cutting into their beautiful designs!
We get an opportunity to create something even more beautiful as they are designed to allow us to do that.

Soon I was applying what I was learning, in all other areas of my crafting. I felt more confident as I started looking at how I could cut the elements out of the paper and apply them to new backgrounds or make little pockets from them. Before I knew it, I was creating projects that would have frightened me before. Exquisite boxes, detailed journals, different styles of cards, envelopes and so much more. I discovered a way to stretch my own creative ability and it felt very rewarding.

…and it wasn’t just me who had noticed an improvement in my crafting! When I handed samples to Leonie for her Let Leonie Loose shows, she commented on how much I had improved in my crafting since using the kits. I then had a moment of realisation. I realised how much I had developed, how many new techniques I had learned and how much more confidence I had. But what I had discovered most was that I was no longer looking at the papers – I was now looking into the papers, to see how I could use them and manipulate them with other products. I could see how they could be used in home décor and mixed media; I could see how I could incorporate these papers with my own illustration work to create lovely collaged backgrounds. The doors had been opened.

Let Graphic 45 inspire you

I am hoping that my personal experience will resonate with some of you and I hope it inspires you to look at the Graphic 45 kits. Please see them as an opportunity to learn, to enhance your skills, to develop new techniques and stretch your own creativity. For me, Graphic 45 have opened some doors and I hope they can do the same for you.

Thank you for stopping by.

Lots of Love

Dee. X

 

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