Introduce us to you and your brand!
I'm Megan - owner of a pair of scissors and a slight obsession with paper! I began my obsession by creating gifts for family, with my first ever paper creation being a tiny version of my dad's home made for Christmas. But there are only so many pieces you can gift to family and this is where Paper Picture started. My original collection began with a series of limited edition greetings cards made in cut paper which allowed people to gift a one of a kind piece of artwork with the added bonus of having a space to write your sweet nothings! I also offer bespoke pieces of paper portraits, homes and landscapes - I absolutely love this part of my work as I get to make a piece that is truly personal by hearing all about the recipient and adding in all the tiny distinctive details.
How has your brand/work developed since you began?
Since beginning Paper Picture, I have expanded my original greetings card range into printed cards which allows me to create detailed designs that are more affordable. This has pushed me to expand my photography skills to capture my tiny paper creations and the character and quality of cut paper to be presented in a print. I have also started working on landscapes which is not something I ever had much of an interest in before. I find the contracting colours, shapes and textures extremely inspiring to capture in paper and I spend a lot of time trailing ways to manipulate the paper during my design process for each landscape. This interest started my ‘Let’s Celebrate Scotland’ collection – a series of pieces celebrating the vast array of beautiful landscapes which our bonny country has to offer. You can find prints of these landscapes in store at SDX Edinburgh and online from SDX and my Etsy Store. I also have the original pieces for sale in SDX Edinburgh which are an impressively small A5 scale given the detail captured in each bit of cut paper (even if I do say so myself!).
What are your main inspirations?
An obvious inspiration is nature and the ever-changing landscapes around me. I love to visit new places with a camera or sketchbook to capture new ideas and always find myself considering what types of paper to layer, or the best way to snip with the scissors to depict a specific texture. I also find inspiration from the going’s on of everyday life – from the hilarious attitude of my rescue cat, Tigger, to my obsession with house plants (and lack of ability to keep them alive). These type of ideas usually become greetings card designs – simple, funny and appropriate to be gifted for any occasion.
What do you consider to be your most popular product? Why do you think it resonates with people?
Definitely my Scottish Landscapes. I think people are attracted to them for the same reason I am drawn to create them; everyone I have met, both those from Scotland or just visiting, appreciate the beauty of the Scottish landscapes, and my cut paper illustration are a unique take on our country’s braw sights!
What piece are you the proudest of?
Asides from the landscapes, I really love my ‘Yer Fair Braw’ greetings card and print design. It was created because I had wanted to create a “funny” card for valentine’s day and I spent a long time jotting down variations of the final quote. The letters took hours to cut out and glue down in place but the simplistic design, mixed with the humorous Scottish-ness of the piece made it worthwhile.
What would you consider to be the most challenging aspect about being a working artist/designer?
Justifying my prices – not just to customers but also to myself! Working in cut paper is extremely satisfying but also tremendously time consuming. This means my prices need to be higher than a pen on paper illustration. Paper Picture started as a hobby which I think is why I find it difficult to accurately price my work but I’m slowly learning to validate my own time and expertise.
Do you have any past accomplishments you wish to share?
I was asked by some friends to design and create both their Save the Dates and RSVPs for their wedding. It was such a big challenge creating 2 separate but coherent designs to use while sticking to their budget. This was also the first time I had mixed digital art and cut paper together – mixing the photography of my work with text and ensuring the combination was visually appealing. They came together really well and I would love to do more designs like this in future.
How did you find out about SDX? And what made you apply to sell with us?
It was one of my friends who suggested I apply. I hadn’t visited SDX before so I popped in for a nosey and I fell in love with the wide variety of artists and work that was there and the staff were so friendly and supportive which gave me that last assuring push to apply. Since becoming a seller with SDX, I still can’t manage to visit for a restock without purchasing something!
What have you found to be the most challenging aspect to your business since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020?
It was actually during lockdown that I found the time to set up my business, so I am quite grateful for that. I still work full time alongside running Paper Picture so my biggest challenge now is allocating enough time to my business while now being allowed to go outside and be sociable!
What do you hope to gain from working with SDX going forward?
I really hope to be able to build relationships with more of the community of makers at SDX. From my experiences, artists are a super supportive bunch and I hope to be able to be a part of the creative community more.
If you could share just one piece of advice to aspiring artists/designers who want to make a living from their creative talents, what would you tell them?
There is no harm in trying it and you don’t need to have everything ready straight away - I have recently changed some of my branding after taking time to learn what I want my business to be. You can also build up your stock slowly as you go to learn what you enjoy creating and what sells to get a good balance of products. None of that can be done before you start so just dip your toes in and give it a try!
And finally, help share some motivation with your favourite inspirational advise or quote!
""I see, and sing, by my own eyes inspired" John Keats