In case you missed our June IG Live Chat with Laura Sayers

We’ve finally got round to summarising our IG Live Chat with Laura Sayers last month.  We enjoyed this so much, and were inundated with lovely messages after the chat, including comments on how special and delicate Laura’s technique is, along with how her personality matches her art style, being so calm and sweet.

Lara Sayers is a Glasgow based Illustrator and Paper Artist.  She graduated with a first class degree in illustration from the University of Edinburgh, and she’s been honing in her style that originated at art school ever since.

Her intricate pieces are all made meticulously from different layers of paper, cut with scissors and finished with finely painted details. These are then photographed and edited for reproduction, providing a final print that has depth, texture and a novelty charm.  Laura's portfolio explores many themes including childhood, faith, location and personalities.

Please find below some of our best bits....

The Glasgow Art Scene

Laura told us that she loves living in Glasgow, as it’s just good as (or even more creative) than London, as it can be easier to mingle meet people. They would also around this time (post COVID) have loads of arts and music events - another way to expand a network of fellow creatives.  Laura has been temporarily working from here flat, but misses her studio and the sense of community they have there. She has had a few Zoom calls with other artists in the meantime though,  to keep her going in this very unusual time.

Laura's influences

Laura grew up reading Shirley Hughes and Quentin Blake's books,  which are very well known, quintessentially British works of art.  And more recently,  she really admires the work of Raya Sader Bujana aka @littlerayofsunflower; a Paper Artist, AD and Set Designer based in Barcelona,  and although Raye works with a similar medium, and size. to. Laura, her works. are qiute differeent and individual.

She’s also very keen Henri Matisse who was a revolutionary and influential artist of the early 20th century, best known for the expressive colour and form of his Fauvist style. After surgery in 1941, Matisse was often bedridden; however, he continued to work from a bed in his studio. His late work was just as experimental and vibrant as his earlier artistic breakthroughs had been. It included his 1947 book Jazz, which placed his own thoughts on life and art side by side with lively images of colored paper cutouts. This project led him to devise works that were cutouts on their own, most notably several series of expressively shaped human figures cut from bright blue paper and pasted to wall-size background sheets.

Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail, there’s only make.

If you listen to our live chat you might recall me asking Laura if she follows a certain set of rules in her creative practise, which lead us to the Roman Catholic nun; Corita Kent, who came up with a set of rules to guide her students/ creatives.  In fact, Laura owns a poster which she picked up at an exhibition at the House of Illustration in London, you can see the poster below. (In fact she spilt Hot Chocolate on the first poster, so needed to return for another!  Corita started by creating pop-art, specializing in printmaking and social activism, and faith.

We also chatted about one of Laura’s favourite author/ illustrator Jon Klasson - who’s books contain just the right amount of sarcasm and came to the conclusion it's all about the page turning.

And finally Christoph Naimen, abstract, minimal and very creative, and always sketching.

It’s quite interesting that some of her favourite artists being so minimal / beared back are quite a contrast to her artwork > being so intricate and detailed.

Show Up to Things

When I asked Laura what the best piece of the advise is she has been given, she feels showing up to things is very important i.e. going to events and galleries, as you’ll soon notice that the same people are going to the same events as you, them having a common interest in these places to you.

Laura also kindly shared her scrap book of off-cuts from previous artworks, as she finds the negative shapes so interesting - here it is above!

Regarding Laura’s working process, the first thing she does is start by writing, mostly notes and thumbnails, to getting her thoughts down on how she’ll tackle the subject, even sometimes starting with a colour palette.

Weight Matters

We had a few marvellous questions from our viewers, one of which wanting to know what Laura’s preferred choice of paper is.
Laura explained that weight matters, so it’s figuring out what weight of paper is best for you, Laura likes 120 gsm (grams per square metre) as this is a nice thickness.  You might also have a preferred brand due to colours it offers, Laura is keen on Maya (found In most art shops) and GS Smith (as very quick turnaround and deliver to your home).

Laura uses a nordic brand of scissors called Fiskars, her sister introduced her to them as a seamstress. She also uses a knife a little.
This also bought us back to Matisse who famously said that his Scissors were an extension of this hand.

We also asked Laura to take us thorough some of her recent projects, once being a project with Bravery Magazine, as featured here. Bravery Magazine is a quarterly print publication for girls and boys that features strong female role models/ women in history, and this issue was all about architect Zaha Hadid. How Zaha’s buildings often relate to nature, Laura particularly like this brief as it was a change to her usual town houses she’s known for re-creating, Zaha’s architecture being very modern, with intriguing patterns.  She also managing to visit the Olympic Park for a swim as part of her research.
We asked Laura if she photographs her work, and she does - mainly using natural light, but she would love to collaborate with a photographer for if there’s someone who’d be interested,  and knows how to work with/ set up paper compositions, along with understanding how to capture the depth and shadows correctly.

You can still watch the interview over on our instagram account, with our second Live Chat taking place on the 23rd July 2020, - hope you can tune in then...

If you have any questions, or a project in mind for Laura, please do get in touch: [email protected]
at illo agency we pride ourselves in representing a collation of global illustrators, distinctly diverse in creativity and uniquely celebrated by like-minded clients across a range of commercial markets.