Laura is an English illustrator and paper artist based in Scotland. Her distinctive way of working, which involves a simple pair of scissors and a lot of layers of paper, developed in her time at art school, and ever since then she’s been honing in her skills and seeing where paper will take her next. Through making bold images that focus on colour, scale and shape she has worked on a whole host of projects with writers, musicians, paper makers, dancers, animators, and magicians, with particular clients including the V&A Museum, HP, and Puffin Books.
She lives in Glasgow with her husband David, working in a little studio in a beautiful old building which used to be a fish market in the 70s (which thankfully, no longer smells of fish).
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I make what I make?
My illustrations are all made from paper, with lots of hand cut shapes neatly layered up on top of each other. These come together to make images that are bold and colourful, and I pride myself on paying close attention to detail throughout the whole process.
I take my own photos of these paper cut pieces, being sure to get a good amount of shadow and texture in them (cloudy Glasgow days are perfect for this) and then I edit and prepare the shots so they’re ready for print or to be shared online. Quite often I add details and washes with gouache paint and sometimes I’ll add digital elements or carefully paired type on top.
What are these images used for?
All sorts of things; from books, to magazine covers and spreads, to social media campaigns, to podcast art, to bespoke one off pieces... I like to think that my style can appeal to all ages, but I have a particular passion for making joyful work for children.
How does a project start?
With sketches, usually put together on my iPad. Once the client is happy with the composition, the general image and the colours then I can go ahead with the paper side of things -
bringing that sketch to life with textures, details and shadows.
What is your turnaround time?
Things do take their time, but I’ve got a lot quicker at making my pieces over the years. Some projects have been completed within a week or two, some take longer, but only when time is on my side.
I’m always happy to chat more about this and tailor the timeframe to your needs.
I usually document my process with videos and photos which can really add to a project - people love seeing the time and care that go into things!
Isn't it a faff?!
I personally love working with paper, and find that it’s the way of making images that makes the most sense to me ‑ I tend to think in colour and shape rather than line and tone! There’s a lot of freedom with it too. It’s easy to think that once something is stuck down that there is no way to amend it, but it’s simple to take off an element if you’re not happy with it and take the photo again, and if it involves ripping the paper slightly then Photoshop is a blessing too!
Do you take private commissions?
Do you do school visits?
Right now I'm not taking on new commissions for 2024 while I'm committed to other projects and studies. However, I'll be letting my newsletter subscribers know if a spot becomes available or when new original pieces will be added to my shop, so please sign up to my Monthly Snippets email list below! My prices range from £150-£600, and each quote is tailored to the level of detail involved depending on what you're looking for. Please note that I no longer sell my bespoke pieces with Not on the High Street - I like to get to know you and your ideas over email so I'll be sticking to that for the time being!
Yes! I've loved visiting both primary and secondary schools in the past, running vibrant, interactive workshops to teach your kids some of the basic skills of paper cutting. We've explored the stories behind my children's books, themes of identity and self portraiture, built houses, designed characters, and more. This can be done in person or over Zoom if it's easier. I do ask for a fee to cover the prep and teaching, and I'd be more than happy to get in touch with my rates.
Clients & Press
Shortlisted for the Batsford Prize '23 | Longlisted for the World Illustration Awards '23
HP, Puffin Books, The V&A Dundee, Nicola Benedetti, Not on the High Street, G. F. Smith, Bravery Magazine, New Music Scotland, ORA Singers, DPrints HK, GroupGreeting, Made Brave, and Pinna Original Podcasts.
Recently exhibited at: the Batsford Prize Shortlist Exhibition in London, 'Matisse and the Contemporary Paper Artists' at the Rheged Centre, Paulin Watches (Edinburgh), The Jam Factory (Oxford). Featured on Aye Magazine's list of 100 women to hire for speaking gigs, having spoken at Glug Edinburgh in 2020, CCCF Edinburgh in 2018 and Creative Edinburgh’s ‘Talking Heads’ event in 2017.