Interview: Louise Seymour, paper engineer

CWC_2016-01-21_georgia-phase_insta-graphic_template Louise Seymour (aka Paperlou) has been fascinated with all things paper since she first encountered coloured squares and Clag at the age of five. After pursuing a career in medical science, she was drawn back to her papery passion and now shares her well-honed paper engineering skills at workshops and classes through her business Paperlab.

What drew you to becoming a paper crafter?

I was always interested in paper craft and as a kid was really inspired by Sadako and the 1000 paper cranes story and subsequently spent hours folding origami cranes in her name. Her story never left me and over the years I was intrigued and fascinated by different art forms created from a humble sheet of paper. Today my paper art practice draws upon origami, papercutting and paper engineering to transform a flat sheet into something new.
Louise Seymour pic Can you give us a little insight into your creative process?My process always has a particular end in mind and I have a vision of what the outcome will look like in my head. From there I try to interpret it via loose sketches and collage using a colour palette similar to what I envision. I need to "see it" all laid out in small scale first and then I just start making. Through the making and creating, the actual forms come to life and I work pretty organically, always adjusting and changing as needed throughout the process. So far I've been able to produce work that's been pretty close to the ideas in my head so that's been a bonus!Who is your typical customer?

I'm not sure I have a typical customer as i work with a variety of industries spanning retail, design, architecture and community groups. Most times my customers want to execute an idea or project in an innovative way and so we sit and chat about how creating something physical through paper will help bring their message to life.

What does a typical day involve for you? A typical day for me is morning breakfast with my little girl followed by story time and a bit of play. Sometimes she comes with me to catch up with a client over coffee to discuss an idea or collaboration. If it is just us we might go for a stroll around the city or to the local park before she settles down for a nap after lunch. I then dedicate a few hours to my creative pursuits with Paperlab and respond to any pending emails. I try to create synergy and balance between home life and business life as much as possible and I find by doing this neither of them end up feeling like work (*most of the time!)

What has been your proudest career achievement to date?

Most recently I worked closely with the marketing team at Westfield Fountain Gate to create close to 200 paper flowers for their Autumn/Winter campaign. I filled three separate Visual Merchandising cabinets located within the shopping centre with a variety of paper flowers in a gorgeous colour palette of dusty pink, burgundy and black and I suspended two giant paper flowers in there as well. This project was the result of months of planning, prototyping and hand-cut paper crafting into the wee hours in the lead up to the install. I'm really happy with the finished result and the project pushed me creatively and allowed me to take on a challenge that was fulfilling both artistically and personally.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given?

Just start. If you wait for conditions to be just perfect you'll never get anything done.

What are your plans for the future?

Future plans include to keep pushing myself in my creative pursuits and continue to find new ways to innovate with paper design. I'd love to be able to create larger scale interactive work and have some things in the pipeline to hopefully bring this to light.

What do you see as a benefit of being a CWC member?

I love to be inspired by other creative and empowering women and I think CWC offers the perfect forum to connect and engage with strong females who support each other's businesses.

Find more info on Louise at Paperlab.