“Be honest, do you ever take paper for granted? I think we all do sometimes! Even in our digital age, it still brings us the bill, gets our letters from A to B, and dries our tears.”
from Hattie’s book, Say it With Paper
Hattie in her London studio.
Hattie Newman is a London-based artist working in the field of set design and papercraft. Working from illustrations conceptualized by design firm Gander in Brooklyn, NY, Hattie made Lavva’s new packaging design come to life with her handmade cut paper elements. We chatted with Hattie to learn more about her process and inspiration.
When did you fall in love with paper?
In my second year of university, it was compulsory to do an animation semester so we learned all different types of animation. I absolutely loved the stop motion part of it – I started building puppets to bring them to life and animate them, and went from basic puppets to building whole sets. It was the first time I was building my illustrations three dimensionally, and felt satisfied in a way that I never did with my 2D work. With paper, I had more control, I could do it at my desk, and it was cheap – there was a scrap store that students could go to and take whatever they wanted for free.
What’s your favorite part about your work?
The final photography is my favorite part – to get to see everything come together and make a really clean illustration. I see myself as an illustrator at heart. It goes back to making lego cities as a kid – I love putting it all together. Anyone could put it together but it would be different – it’s personal to me how I set things out, it’s my aesthetic and style.
What are some challenges about working with paper?
The paper projects don’t keep very well. After a few months the glue unsticks and it will all just unfold; if you have it out in sunlight the color will fade, and it’s hard to clean. I don’t keep very much – I instead keep it alive through the photos. I used to be sad about that because I would get attached and sentimental about everything I made. Now, if I make something really special, I’ll keep it in a bell jar.
Tell us about your experience working with Lavva! How did you work with each flavor to make it feel right?
Gander wanted me to bring extra magic and sparks to the design by adding dimension and more depth by layering it and scoring, folding and sculpting. When we were on the shoot, we had the mockups as a guide but we were mainly looking at what I had made and seeing what felt right. We did have lots of options for each flavor – we had different sized fruits so we could try different things on camera to see what would work best. The Vanilla flower was my favorite element. The whole project took about 3 days of cutting and 2-3 days to photograph.
What’s next for you?
I directed a TV ad that just came out that’s really exciting, quite an ambitious animation and the first time I’ve ever worked with CGI artists. I built everything in paper and worked with animators to 3D scan every handmade element into the computer. Stop-motion is so expensive and time consuming so it was an amazing alternative way of doing it, where I was still directing and making all the choices but in a new way with CGI animators. It inspired me to think about using technology to be more ambitious with what I can do in the future.