We created our Artist Fellowship Program to help creative people find the space and inspiration they need to bring their ideas to life. We hosted papercut artist, Annie Howe, in September at Getaway Shenandoah outside of DC. Here’s what she had to say about her creative process, her relationship to nature, and her Getaway:
On Creative Work
I create handmade paper cuts for all kinds of projects including illustration, surface design and three dimensional work. I got into papercutting because I was making shadow puppets for shadow puppet shows with a local performing group for many years. I figured out that the same materials I was using for shadow puppets (excato knives and paper) were also the same tools needed for papercuts. I began making papercuts as gifts for family and friends, and with encouragement, started doing work for local businesses and craft shows. Slowly my network expanded and now I work with clients and businesses all across the country. I never planned to make papercutting my life’s work but I am so glad I did—I can not imagine my life without papercutting. I am always learning something new and challenging myself to make more interesting work.
I live in a Baltimore city but I try to be outside and in the parks as much as I can. I am lucky to live by a very large urban park that is rugged and has trails and woods. I can walk through the park to my studio from my house and spend a lot of time watching the seasons through the changing flora and fauna. I do use a lot of botanical imagery in my work—I love including all kinds of fantastical plants and animals and insects in my work. Being out in nature gives me time to think and come up with ideas while I am doing something else like hunting mushrooms or walking in the woods.
When I am not papercutting I spend a lot of time working on issues I care about like access to affordable healthcare and progressive politics. I love the city I call home and all the amazing creatives and activists working to make it a better place for all our citizens. I spend a lot of time riding my bike around the city and trails just outside the city with my friends.
On Getting Away
My Getaway Stay was so inspiring. The outpost I was at was near Shenandoah National Park so I took full advantage of hiking there the day before checking into my Getaway cabin. The trails surrounding the outpost were so nice and I had a great time hunting and identifying mushrooms all over the trails — there were so many to see.
I do include a lot of nature themes in my work and being surrounded by nature while staying at Getaway gave me time and space to think of new ideas and also just focus on my papercut I worked on while I was there. The design and thought put into the space also encouraged a lot of daydreaming and thinking — while drinking coffee in the morning and watching the sun come up!
Ready for your own creative escape to nature? Book your Getaway today.