De Monsterkamer

Yulia Brodskaya about paper

What is your favorite paper and why?
I use lots of different types, but in general I prefer heavy ones that are still flexible enough to be rolled without creasing or exfoliating.

How do you select your materials and where do you get them from?
I haven’t got a clear leader when it comes to papers because certain papers are good for certain tasks. As an example i can name Popset range from Antalis, I like all the weights; also ClaireFontaine colour papers incl Pollen range. In general the most common grammage that I tend to use is 250-300 gsm. My all-time favorite shop is Paperchase on Tottenham Court Road in London; it is massive and always extends its paper range. However I still buy most of my supplies online just by browsing art supplies websites, is one of them.

Yulia Brodskaya Love's doves

Love’s doves

Yulia Brodskaya for Cadbury chocolate

Cadbury chocolate

Could you give an example of a design you created where paper played a special or particularly functional role?
Since the only material I use in my work is paper, it means that paper plays a special role in every single artwork – it is true.The best example would the projects where I need to make the lettering more legible, in this case I use double sided paper (one side is coloured, another is white) and this way I can make sure I contain the colour just in certain areas making the text appear much more readable. Some examples are below.

Oceanguard advertisement(paper art) by Yulia Brodskaya


How important is the choice of paper in your designs? Do you spend a lot of time choosing the paper?
Yes I do. I can go through all my collection/stock to find just the right one or search online shops for hours until I find what I’m after. Sometimes I also plan the whole work around a certain type of paper e.g. I use double-sided paper to accentuate letters and make them more legible.

Could you mention a designer whose paper choice appeals to you?
Jen Stark, she is a paper artist though.

The whole- Installation of hand-cut acid-free paper by Jen Stark

The Whole- Installation of hand-cut acid-free paper by Jen Stark

Is there something missing in the current range of available paper?
From my perspective the ranges of available paper usually miss colours. It is not often that you can find more then 25 colours within one range. it might should like it is already a lot but in my work I need many more than that because the papers that manufacturers produce are my only palette, I can’t mix the custom colours the way the painters can do, so I’m always on the look for different colour tints, not just standard choices that dominate the market.

What is your biggest frustration in the field of paper?
Not enough colours available; occasionally I get really frustrated if I find a paper of the right colour, but the quality is so poor that I can’t use it for all the tasks that I need it for. I also hate when colours fade away due to even a mild daylight exposure.

Is it difficult or easy for designers in your country to find information on paper, paper samples and/or paper collections?
I live and work in the UK, I think the situation is quite good here, if you really need to find some information or get the samples, most probably you will.

Could you please explain what paper quilling is and tell us a little about the work process? 
Quilling is a paper craft that involves the use of paper strips that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs. The name is believed to be derived from the feather quill on which the strips of paper were rolled.The technique itself is really simple; this is something anyone can do; there are quilling tools available in craft shops designed to help to learn quilling, there are also pre-cut paper strips and of course numerous video lessons on youtube.

Personally I use cocktail straw and little cocktail sticks for rolling the paper strips (I didn’t know that there are specially designed tools available when I taught myself to shape the paper strips, I started to use the cocktail straw and I still use it now).

The most challenging thing is that this paper craft is very time-consuming and requires lot of patience. In general I prefer the projects where I get the most creative freedom, so probably I mostly enjoy my personal self-initiated works (e.g. portraits), they take the longest, but I believe the result is worth the effort, this helps me to keep rolling.

Limited edition poster by Yulia Brodskaya for Havas

Limited edition poster for Havas

How do you see the future of paper?


Interview by De Monsterkamer with Yulia Brodskaya
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