I had the pleasure of meeting Stacey a.k.a Two For Joy Art
when she approached me about wedding photography for her friend, and came along to the consultation in Patisserie Valerie (oh yes, consultations with me aren't for those on a diet!). I was really fascinated by her work as it reminds me of the artwork from my childhood book "A Necklace of Raindrops" which was illustrated by Jan Pienkowski, so she is a great start to my new series where you can get to know my fellow wedding suppliers. I think nowadays, hiring your wedding supplier has become more than just hiring someone to do a job. It's becoming more and more the norm to meet your suppliers before the big day and personal connection seems so important in couples' decisions. Therefore, I thought it would be nice if people can get a headstart on this, and get to know suppliers' better and hear their stories.
So without further ado, I'd like to introduce Two For Joy Art
Hey there, please introduce yourself and state what you do!
I'm Stacey from Two For Joy Art
, I'm a paper cut artist based in East London.
My work is whimsical and fun, with the intention of making you smile.
What made you decide to get into paper cutting?
I'd been dabbling in various mediums for many years and had started making paper cut pictures and giving them to friends and family for presents. A gallery director saw one of my pieces and encouraged me to do more and to start selling them. It was his encouragement that gave me the confidence to take it further and I'm so happy I did!
Where do you get your inspiration from for your designs?
From so many different places! Nature is a big influence on my work and I absolutely love flowers, so they play a big part in my designs. I love patterns and keep my eyes wide open wherever I am as there are so many fantastic shapes all around, on buildings, railings, tiles etc.
I have created characters within my designs and write stories for them. There's a huge French theme running through my work if you read my stories. My family has a home in northern France and I take a lot of inspiration from that area. The village where our house is is even in one of the stories!
The names I give my characters work with what they do or what their personality is like.
Claude is a very typical Parisian man, so of course I gave hime a very typical French name!
Marin is a seafaring fellow and his name is French for sailor.
Sylvain's character originally lived in the Black Forest and his name in mythology refers to spirits of the woods.
Estella is a character who flits in and out of my work. She is a magical creature who comes into the life of Sylvain. Her name is derived from the French name Estelle, meaning Star.
How long have you been doing this for?
I've been running Two For Joy for about 3 years.
How would you want others to describe your work?
Fun, inspiring, magical.
A while ago I had a look through emails and comments I'd received about my work. Here are some of the comments:
“Just beautiful. So magical”
“Your work makes my heart sing”
“Looking through your photos and your work really is amazing”
“Your papercuts are so detailed and pretty!”
I'm ridiculously happy with those comments and if that's what people think, then I'm extremely pleased and hope I can carry on making people feel like that!
What would be your dream commission?
I'd love to have the time and the budget to do a huge commission. Covering a massive space with giant paper cuts. The viewer would be able to walk through the cut outs that would tell a magical story.
I'm also really keen to write and illustrate kids books with my cut outs. This is something I'd love to come to life in the next few years.
Have you had any wacky/interesting commissions?
I created a paper cut cape for a photoshoot that appeared in Unique Bride Magazine.
That was something I'd never done before and was a bit of a challenge, but it pushed me to think outside the box and not limit myself to just work on flat paper.
Another one is a commission that I've almost finished and has been so much fun. A client of mine sent me an email earlier in the year and asked if I'd decorate his hallway with my art.
I've painted huge designs on the 6 walls of his hallway with a pictorial story. Creating life size mermaids and giant seahorses has been amazing and I'd love to do more commissions like this!
Photo credit: Toast of Leeds
Is there anything you think you’ve learnt so far that you didn’t know when you first started?
To really believe in myself. When I started out I was so unsure of what I was doing and if people would even like my work. As time has gone on and my work has gotten more attention I feel much more confident in my style. I have learned to push the boundaries and not limit myself.
Have you got any funny stories to share?
Not really funny, but mildly amusing...
I draw all my work on the reverse of the paper and write all the letters and numbers backwards, so they are correct when I turn the paper around.
I was creating some work for an exhibition a few years ago and working on a piece that involved lots of old luggage stamps with dates. When I turned the paper over I realised that I'd cut out some of the numbers the wrong way. Thankfully people actually loved that! They thought I showed that the work was truly handmade. I'm not perfect, I'm not a machine and mistakes happen! The piece did go on to a loving home despite the mishap!
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing instead?
Before I started Two For Joy I was working as a TV and editorial make-up artist. I was working on The X-Factor, painting the faces of One Direction just as I began running my business.
I may have still been doing make-up, but was also keen to start training as a florist. If I had to stop paper cutting I'd definitely move down to Cornwall and grow flowers!
What’s the best part of your job?
Seeing how my designs make people feel. There's nothing quite as satisfying than seeing a smile on a clients face! A lot of people commission me to create pieces for wedding presents, which I think is so lovely. I love the idea that people will grow old with my work and keep it for precious memories and times gone by.
Have you got anything exciting coming up to share?
My work can be seen this month in Pretty Nostalgic Magazine as a backdrop to an article called 'Ode To Dusk'. It's a really lovely article about the magic of that time of day. My work and the words fit perfectly together.
I'm doing lots of things with East London Arts Trails at the moment.
I'm taking part in E17 Art Trail Summer show in August where a large piece of my work will be on display.
I'm very excited about a workshop that is coming up on Sunday 14th July part of Leytonstone Arts Trail at Leytonstone Library. My paper cutting workshop was chosen by Waltham Forest Council and the Arts Trail out of lots of entries which is very flattering.
I shall also be taking part of Wanstead Art Trail in September and have work exhibited at Images In Frames Gallery in Wanstead.
On a different vibe, I'm getting married in October which I'm hugely excited about and shall be creating all the decorations myself!
Where do you imagine Two for Joy Art will be in 5 years time?
Hopefully in a lovely studio by the sea, making cut outs for kids books.
I'd love for my work to be sold worldwide by that point and shall continue to work hard to try and make that happen!
Would you rather fly to the moon or dive to the deepest depths of the sea and why?
That's a tough one! I've covered both space and the sea in my work as I love them both equally.
The moon is so magical to me and I adore stars. The sea is something that I'm longing for the older I get and am always desperate for my next trip to the beach. The sea is a mysterious place and love that there are depths that are still uncharted. Who knows what's lurking down there?!
I can't chose, can I do both please?!
Thank you Stacey for taking the time to answer my questions, please do feel free to check out Two For Joy's Facebook page for exciting news and competitions!
What do you think of Stacey's creations? Can you think of a wicked way to use her papercuts at your wedding?
If you're a wedding supplier with a difference and would like to be feature please drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org