We are super excited to be launching our next limited edition jigsaw puzzle with Laura Goossens, who specialises in hand cut collage art. We asked Laura some questions about her art and how she stays mindful.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and a fun fact
Hi all - I’m Laura, born in the Netherlands but living in South London since 2015! I have a background in Comms & Branding and live with my boyfriend in a very cosy rental flat, a place I adore! I’m the biggest lover of kitsch, tacky objects and have a house full of plastic Maria’s, glittery candles and other (in most people’s eyes) horrendous things. But I love it! I’m a true nineties kid, still listen to the Spice Girls and Usher’s “Confessions” album, lover of all Italian food, my star sign is Taurus which I very much relate to and I am a sucker for gingham, ruffles, flower patterns, and pastel colours!
What made you get into hand cut collaging?
I have always been creative but tried a thousand things before I found collaging. In 2019, I quite my job and strongly felt I wanted to learn how to properly use Photoshop: I had so many collage ideas in my head and it frustrated me I didn’t have the knowledge to execute them. So, after a course at Central St Martins I thought I could finally start creating, but I soon realised that the hours in Photoshop weren’t making me happy. For some reason, I missed the feeling of “crafting” and also didn’t like the fact I was spending all my time in front of a computer. It didn’t take me long to figure our that although digital collage is wonderful, my real passion sits with analog collage and I need to work with physical materials: I love paper, always have, and I really enjoy the “puzzle” that analog collage making is - I can not simply resize or edit a picture, I can only work with what I find, and that makes handcutting collages so challenging! Also, the sourcing and cutting of images has a super calming effect on my mind which has really helped in anxious/stressful times, so I really see collage as me-time and some sort of therapy :)
Where do you get your inspiration from when creating new artwork?
Oh, so many things! I am often inspired by the small things I spot around me - the beautiful lettering on a shop sign, tacky gnome in someone’s front garden, the first blossom at spring, old tiles on a building, a gorgeous menu in a cafe - you name it! I also get loads of inspiration from the materials I work with which are all vintage papers such as magazines, books and old packaging I find in charity shops and flea markets. One of my biggest inspirations has to be my granddad: he left me a legacy of 70+ photo albums, full with gorgeous photo’s he’s taken throughout his life.
What has been your favourite project to work on?
My first greeting card collection was for Christmas and so so fun! I was lucky to find amazing papers and books full of old Christmas ads in November and I couldn’t be happier about the 10 different cards I designed for the holidays - all very different but kitschy and fun!
What do you do to relax and have a mindful moment?
Collage’ing! It truly gets me in the zone and makes me forget about anything else, for some reason the cutting of images requires me to fully focus so there’s not much space for worrying or overthinking. But what I also do to relax is long walks, taking a nice bath, reading and/or going for a run (although I’ve been veeeery lazy lately). And let’s not forget: puzzle’ing! I love a good jigsaw!
I’m going for some small, local favourites: Flour to the people has the best brunch in town (also decent pizza in the evenings), you literally can’t go wrong with dining at Forza Win (italian food at its best) and there is a little French coffee place ‘Suzette’ that does amazing french crepes and galettes.
Small brand shout-out! Please name your fave three indie brands
I could list a thousand but some very genuine people that seem to work very hard and are so loyal to their craft: I love what Maria does (hand embroidery @rositastudio.uk) and the story behind her vintage inspired designs. I love Lily Odette’s style (@heyfrillylily) which is so unique and she’s just such a talent! Thirdly I’m loving the delicacy of Millie Amber’s (millie_amber) work - always original and the details are insane.
Lastly, what positive things are you looking forward to this year?
Oh, I’m turning 30 in May! I hope that I’ll be able to see some friends this year as I’ve really missed that! Work wise I am in the middle of designing new stuff that looks SO promising. And I am very much looking forward to sit down with a cuppa, relax, and make my own puzzle!
Find out more about Laura and her own quirky online shop here. Our jigsaw collab will be launching tomorrow at 8 AM!