I am often asked how I started this career path as a paper artist and it has always been a hard one to answer. You see, paper art has always been something I enjoyed doing since the age of four. I can still picture myself on my grandparents living room floor, cutting out my own paper dolls and designing girly outfits for them to play with. It is one of my most favorite childhood memories and it has made its way forward in my business. These paper dolls are without doubt the heart of why I do what I do.
As I hit my teen years, I got really into paper collage art. I would go through my mom's old magazines and cut out images that inspired me and letters to create words like "love" and "happiness". It was somewhat of a vision board now that I look back, only it was covering my closet doors, school books, and the inside of my locker. I also started playing around with illustration and would create magazine collage art pieces of mermaids (always a favorite of mine).
Now fast forward to my adult years, which was the start of Brittani Rose Paper. The opportunity to create custom portraits was a happy accident, which led me to discovering my true passions as a paper artist. One afternoon, I was looking around my home and noticed that I didn't have a single photo of our family all together. Taking a photo wasn't an option so I thought to myself, "why not create one"! I went to my local craft store and picked up some glue, a few scrapbooking paper packs and got to work. It wasn't anything spectacular but it was something I was really proud of. I quickly made a second portrait as a birthday gift for my mom and that's when things started to happen. I soon had friends asking for one of their own and realized that I could possibly make something of this and opened up an Etsy shop. At the time, we were moving around a lot so the thought of having something to call my own was a dream. It was by far the best decision I have ever made. Yes, it was scary but what did I have to lose?
I didn't start receiving orders right away which now looking back was a good thing. It gave me time to figure out how to photograph my work, attractive ways to style it, and to simply learn how to use Etsy. About a month into it, I received my first sale and it wasn't from a friend or family member! I still remember that feeling and have kept in touch with her ever since! I have to be honest and say that I feel a little embarrassed looking back on the portraits I was creating during that first year. Like I said, they were nothing like they are now. However, It's a wonderful reminder of how far I have come and of how much my style has evolved. Once I started gaining new friends on Instagram and was generating a steady flow of income from Etsy I launched my website. I am so proud of the work I create and owe it al to the four year old me who was creating from deep within without even knowing it. If there is passion in your heart for something, run with it, love it, nurture it! You may have no idea what will come out of it but thats the beauty of it all.
I look back at the fifth grade me, winning grand prize for a paper art piece I created for a local newspaper to now having created paper illustrations for Anthropologie. A brand I have dreamed of working with since I was a teen. It has definitely been a lot of work, frustration, doubt, and learning as I go. But if it wasn't for that passion for paper at a young age, none of this would have ever evolved. What is your thing? What is the passion that drives you?