As a papercut artist it might not surprise you that I’m not really a believer in a paperless society. But using a product that results in millions of trees being chopped down each year doesn’t exactly scream environmentally friendly does it? So how do I justify my obsession with paper?
Don’t stop using paper – use it better!
Earlier this year we committed to making Rosie and the Boys as eco-friendly as we could without giving up on using paper (you can read about it here). So here are the some of the ways we are trying to put our new maxim into practice:
Reduce how much we use
Sounds a bit obvious doesn’t it? But this isn’t just about no printing things when we don’t really need to, it’s about getting the most out of each piece of paper.
- Similar to the concept of no-wastage pattern cutting I try hard to position cutting templates to make the most effective use of a piece of art paper. High quality art papers are now the only paper resource we use that are allowed to hold single use status.
- Challenging myself to reduce how much art paper I use has also meant I now actively look try to create designs to utilise the larger offcuts from commission pieces.
- And what about the teeny tiny scraps of paper? Well I’ve even come up with a use for those!( Find out more in the next blog post.)
Reuse what we have
- I find myself writing endless lists; jobs to do, people to contact, which photos I’m going to use.
- A sheet of blank paper can be daunting, somehow using the blank side of an envelope or scrap piece of paper takes away some of the pressure and you can get straight down to sketching.
- Even though I use Illustrator to create a lot of my commission work it helps to block out a draft design on paper first. Drawing takes practice, practice, practice. Not all the designs I come up with are “keepers”, sometimes I’ll redraw something over and over to get it right. Sometimes I walk away from an idea. By using scrap paper to practice first, I make better use of “The Sketchbook” or Illustrator to develop promising ideas.
Recycle what we can’t reuse
And what happens to all those to-do lists once they’ve been completed and the practice designs drawn on the back of envelopes? What about the teeny tiny offcuts from papercuts that are so tiny they can’t be used? Well, this cardboard box now has pride of place under my desk ready to catch even the tiniest scrap allowing it to be recycled.
So here’s to changing the world: one envelope at a time!
If you’ve got any suggestions for how we could use paper even more efficiently then we’d love to hear them. Just add a comment below.