Here you will find everything you need to know about my process in paper cutting. From what type of paper I use, what tools I use, and even how its framed.
Most of my tools and paper I use are rather limited, the most important tools are my hands since most of my works are, (and I cannot stress this enough) HAND CUT. In order to cut such intricate pieces, I use surgical blades rather than Xacto blades. The reason why I use surgical blades is because they are much more durable and sharper for cutting paper. Another trick to cutting paper is a leather hole puncher which can be used for cutting perfect circles, especially smaller circles. Every other tool listed are more for the first steps to any of my pieces, which is the drawing process.
My Hand (Left Handed)
Xacto handle (With Surgical Blade)
E/11 Surgical Blades
Very Large Cutting Mat
I stick to only three types of paper within my body of work. Most people I talk to assume I use special types of paper when I actually use the most basic. For any piece I do on white paper, I use sketchbook paper (Strathmore Brand), which you can find at any craft store. As well as the black paper, you can buy stacks of 8.5x11" sheets which are slightly thicker than the Strathmore brand, so the cuts hold up a lot better. Lastly I use silhouette paper which is black on one side and white on the other. This allows me to have a clear visible drawing on the white side and a nice clean cut shown on the black side. Silhouette paper however is the most delicate which can be a lot more challenging and prone to mistakes.
With all of my works, they start out with a drawing. The only trick is all my drawings are in reverse which creates a more clean cut on the front side of the paper. It also avoids pencil marks showing on the finished side. I will usually draw right onto the paper, or I print my designs on paper, once I have edited them through Photoshop. Digital drawings are more of a puzzle of pieces I splice together to make a complete piece. However, most digital pieces aren't completed, and once printed, are finalized with some more rendering. Pieces that are drawn are sometimes traced through projectors
or completely free handed.
Once the piece has been all drawn up, next comes the cutting. Here's a little time-lapse of me finishing one of my pieces. Not from start to finish, since most pieces take me about a week to cut and multiple sittings. Some things you might notice are certain little things I do while I cut that keeps the paper safe from ripping or shifting any areas that have already been cut.