A cut above: take a closer look at these carefully crafted illustrations

Paper artist Andrea Smith creates colourful collages occasioning charming illustrations
Andrea Smith

Look closer… 
The fine detail with which designer and illustrator Andrea Smith creates her illustrations may be lost at first glance. The vibrant colours, texture and depth of focus on her designs arrest the eye at once with their whimsical representation of unmistakably Australian flora and fauna. 

Layers of paper collage come to life as enchanting illustrations (Credit: Andrea Smith)

What lies deeper is the painstaking creative process behind the scenes – Andrea makes all of her illustrations by carefully layering intricate paper cuttings, one on top of the other, to build a collage of colour and movement.
The result is a joy to behold – lively storytelling with each tiny piece contributing to a brilliant, considered whole.

Hand colouring the paper, cutting out shapes and creating the final art is where the joy lies for Andrea (Credit: Andrea Smith)

Andrea started working with paper collage 10 years ago when studying to be an illustrator and her love of folk art from Europe and North America influenced her work from early on. “I wanted to bring that aesthetic and storytelling to reflect the Australian native flora and fauna of the landscape that I grew up in,” she explains.

With a fashion design background, the textural and tactile quality of the paper drew Andrea to the medium. “I like the freedom paper gives me to move things around and create happy accidents,” she says.

“I loved that I could achieve a flat, graphic look while also creating lots of texture and depth.”

Andrea’s studio space is in a granny flat at the back of her house, overlooking the garden (Credit: Andrea Smith)

“I could do what I do digitally but for me it’s the hands-on process and the labour of love that creates something special.”

Always looking ahead to her next collaboration, Andrea is currently working on a new range of greeting cards and stationary for Earth Greetings, developing textile prints for a fashion label and getting new products ready for The Makers and Shakers Market in Canberra next month.​

Andrea’s illustrations tell countless stories of seasons, celebrations and happy occasions (Credit: Andrea Smith)

See more of Andrea’s work @hbcreativecollection, on Instagram and view complete portfolio here.

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