photography by Trisha Zemp
In My Next Life is a regular column featuring people whose work I admire. Check out previous posts here.
I’ve known about Cindy Bean‘s paper cutting work for some time as we’ve shared mutual friends over the years. From the moment I saw it, I’ve been in awe of the intricacies of the medium and how she adeptly maneuvers her knife to create delicate designs. Trisha and I were lucky to visit her one afternoon and watch the master in action. AND, we were pleasantly surprised to find that she lives in the coolest home with a strong mid-century vibe that she shares with her husband, son, and dog. Isn’t her home lovely?! The home is sprinkled with her work, cool products her husband picked up when he lived in NYC and artwork from friends (like Jared Clark‘s piece above her in the top photo). I asked her a few questions about her work and she was kind enough to share some thoughts with us today.
Describe what you do.
Tell us about your house and your decorating process.
I think I could best sum up our house with a quote by William Morris, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” That is a work in progress though. Sometimes I collect too many things that I believe to be beautiful and have to let some things go. I like that Tom, my husband, likes similar things. His taste is more streamlined than mine. He’s not as big a fan of squirrels.
Any advice you would give to people who are wanting to start paper cutting?
Don’t be afraid to use glue! If you are cutting something and are almost done and cut off an arm or something, just glue that sucker right back together on the very edge. If you butt it up from edge to edge and don’t overlap the paper, it will barely be noticeable. There are some people that are perfectionists who can’t do this, and that’s fine, they can start all over. As you get better, you will learn the signs of when you are about to make a mistake and will stop. Usually it’s when I’m tired. So stop, put it away and come back to it. Then you won’t have to use the glue.