Meet the Maker - Laura Adams

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Please welcome today, Laura Adams - Laura travels over the bridge from Wales each week to work as part of the Paper Scissors Stone Team.. she makes intricate paper cuts - want to know more? Over to you Laura...

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work?
Hello! My name is Laura Adams, a graphic designer based just over the bridge in sunny South Wales. I create original hand drawn paper cut designs and have been doing so for a year and half.  After graduating in 2011 with a first class honours in Graphic Design, yippee! Between freelancing I tried my first craft fair selling a few pieces I had made at University. I decided to give it a go after having a few people tell me that they'd like to buy the pieces I was exhibiting at New Designers. I definitely fell in love with setting out my own 'mini shop' at fairs, meeting customers face to face and creating work without the commercial pressures that can accompany Graphic Design sometimes.  I love drawing my pieces from scratch, hand drawn typography is a huge passion of mine. Combining this with a scalpel has allowed me to create work away from the computer screen and I enjoy the handmade aesthetic and the accomplishment I feel when I finish a project.

Apart from creating things what else do you do?
As a freelance Graphic Designer I take on commercial work when I can. I teach Photoshop and Social Media classes part time and I also run a local craft fair once a month. In between all this I fit my Masters Degree studies which will be coming to an end this June.
When did you know you were an artist/maker?
I'd like to say from my childhood, however, although I was always creative as a child busy turning everything into a paper mache creation and taking pride at winning the Easter Bonnet parade at Primary School. I'd say it hasn't been until very recently that I have known. I still don't quite like the term 'artist' when applied to me, training as a Graphic Designer I have always looked to communicate the thoughts and opinions of my clients rather than those of my own. Creating my own designs can be a welcome break from this and I have found it is something I truly enjoy.  I'm definitely a mix of designer, illustrator and ...artist? I think I'll leave it up to everyone else to decide, labels mean little to me as I enjoy what I'm doing, whether it be making, designing, sketching or cutting paper!

Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from quite literally everywhere, I'm an overly observant person, always taking note of my surroundings and recording them via photographs, sketches or collecting striking pieces of design. I try to visit exhibitions when I can, read books, articles and blogs, there are so many talented people online, there is inspiration at my fingertips.  Pinterest is great, it allows me to record work by artists I admire, inspirational pieces of design and craft and organise them onto 'pin boards'. It's a brilliant way to collect inspiration into my digital sketchbook. I've always enjoyed documenting my inspiration and have sketchbooks full dating back to my GCSE years. I don't work from my sketchbooks, I believe my inspiration can and will inevitably influence my work, but so far it's always come naturally to me as I've sketched.
Describe your studio or workspace?
Even though my workspace is the corner of a spare room (I say corner loosely as it does tend to explode over the boundaries) I view it as a studio. As long as I have pencils, paper and a scalpel I'm happy, but having the space to call my own to experiment and leave at the end of the day then come back to where I left off is important to me. My friends and family would describe my workspace in other words... however, I think it definitely displays a creative mind when I'm in full swing. I generally like everything on display as I work so it's all to hand but there is order in the chaos.. or so I tell myself!

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
Of course I'd love to view Rob Ryan's studio, just to glimpse the sheer success of it all. As well as some Graphic Design heros of mine such as Milton Glaser or even the Abstract Artist Jackson Pollock. I'm always interested to see how other creatives work, I love visiting local craft workshops that are open to the public such as Craft Renaissance in Usk. Where skilled crafts people bring materials to life and share their talents.
How would you describe your creative process?
My creative process can begin anywhere, though with my design background I usually start by writing a brief. I like to set myself targets from an initial idea and I also like working to schedules. Time management is crucial to me when creating work for clients, however, I do enjoy leaving that behind and getting stuck into experimenting with different papers, sketches and my scalpel. I might pick up a scrap of paper and start doodling, dip in to my sketchbook or jump straight on to the computer. My creative process is never the same from one project or idea to the next and I feel that that is what's so creative about it.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I cherish all of my grandmother's paintings and hand written letters and cards that I have received since I was little. My grandmother has been a huge influence to my creative background, having owned a craft supply shop as I grew up I was surrounded by makers and with the support of my family it has definitely played a large part in the decisions that I've made throughout my life.

What do you when you are stuck in a creative rut?
When stuck in a creative rut I turn to my books, magazines and sketchbooks for inspiration. I'm constantly saving ephemera, imagery and items that inspire me. Taking a break always helps my mind to focus and sketching ideas usually evolves into something helpful! Talking to other designers and crafters really helps too, this industry can feel particularly lonely at times and it's great to have feedback on my work and ideas.
Which is your favourite local independent shop or eatery in Bristol & why?
I admire Bristol for so many independent shops such as the variety at the Christmas Steps Arts Quarter. I also love the markets held in Bristol, such as Harbourside Market and the market at the Tobacco Factory. There are so many talented people in Bristol and the surrounding areas, I love finding unique handmade items. After visiting Paper Scissors Stone last year, I jumped at the chance to be involved and I'm really looking forward to working with like minded people, supporting independent business is important to me.

Where would you like to be in ten years?
In ten years I would love to be an established creative, working for myself full time with a permanent studio and a travelling studio in the form of a VW Campervan... who wouldn't love that? I have many dreams and aspirations but for now I'm loving what I do and I hope

Thank you Laura!  A travelling studio in a VW camper?!  Yes that would be amazing.  You can find Laura's work in Paper Scissors Stone:
Paper Scissors Stone is OPEN
Mon-Sat:  10am - 6pm
Sun:  11am - 5pm
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus

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