England-born, California-based artist Katie McCann creates whimsical collages, assembled from her vintage paper collection. These papers include hand-cut illustrations of flora and fauna, but also inanimate objects. Moths, fungi, feathers, coral, shells, and butterfly wings, lie side by side, or, more often than not, laid on top of each other, creating a new surreal image that evokes a sense of wonder.
“I cut out images, categorize them and then eventually piece them together like a complex paper jigsaw,” writes McCann on her website. She notes that a common theme throughout her work is the female face, which often acts as a reflection of the natural and sometimes magical world. Her female characters are often surrounded by birds, fish, and butterflies or submerged in a dense wallpaper pattern, which according to McCann either represents her prison or her liberation.
Like most creative souls, McCann’s artistic calling was hard to ignore early on. After growing up painting, drawing, cutting, and anything in between, she went on to study fashion in England. But after moving to the US with her family she returned to painting. “I started painting again and taking art classes,” she told Jung Katz. “I became fascinated with collage and eventually gave up the paintbrush and took up the scissors.”
Years later, and she hasn’t let go of her pair of scissors, arranging her papercut collections in careful compositions. See some of her work in the gallery below, and follow her Instagram page for more.