22nd July 2015

Poppy edit

Sixty Seconds with Poppy Chancellor

Poppy Chancellor is a London-based illustrator and paper-cut artist making a name for herself in the world of craft and beyond. She really does have the dream job - creating delicate, bespoke and individually hand-cut paper designs for events, individual clients and brands. Her intricate and stylish work has led to commissions from names including Nike, Adidas and Cath Kidston. She's also appeared on Channel 4's Kirstie's Vintage Home. Here, she shares with us her inspirations and love of paper craft.

What made you want to become an artist?

I was always a creative child. I think we all are, I just never grew out of it! I am from a very creative family and my parents encouraged me. That really helped.

How did you get started?

My mum commissioned about 10 pieces from me when I left art school which I did for "free" in order to pay back a loan. People loved the pieces and luckily the word spread. I started to get some press and gradually I took on more and more paid work.

Where do you seek inspiration?

I love looking back in time, having historical references really inspires me. I spend a lot of time in museums and galleries. I love the V&A, the decorative aspect of their collection is perfect for paper cuts.

Is there anyone in particular who has inspired you?

My peers and the successful women around me are priceless. My sister is a fashion designer and a lot of my friends work in the creative industries. It has definitely shown me that working with art is not only possible but can be lucrative.

What is it about paper craft you love?

I love that the materials are so accessible. It doesn't cost a lot to get started. Turning something as familiar piece of paper into an artwork is something I always find satisfying.

How would you describe your work – in three words?

Bold, fun and fragile.

What paper craft top tips could you share?

The most important tip is to always work with a sharp blade and change it every few hours. 

What are your aspirations as an artist?

I'd love to do an exhibition abroad. Also working on a larger scale is always fun. To keep your work relevant, you have to push the boundaries.

How did you feel when you got your first big commission?

Nervous and excited. It's a great feeling when someone asks you to make something for them. You don't want to let them down, especially when it's your first big piece.

What advice would you give to budding UK artists? 

Experiment and find your niche.

What does the future hold?

I'm currently working towards a new exhibition about celebrating the modern woman. I'll also be at The Handmade Fair leading workshops and talks, I'm looking forward to meeting everyone there.

Click here to visit Poppy's website.

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