Whimsical paper artworks by Jayme McGowan

American artist Jayme McGowan tells our style hunter Olivier Dupon about her unique take on paper-sculpting.
Home Beautiful

Creating still-life artwork with a sense of movement is no mean feat; meticulously crafting them out of tiny paper-cuts pushes the envelope. For five years, self-taught American illustrator Jayme McGowan has been fashioning whimsical works by combining paper-sculpting and photography, ultimately developing images for print. Her work has featured in magazines and print advertising, and she sells reproductions of her delightful creations through Etsy.

(Credit: Home Beautiful)

Her characters are forged via a complex process that delivers 3D pieces with a storybook vibe. “I start by sketching the basic composition,” explains Jayme. “Next, I sort through new and re-purposed papers to find the right palette for the piece. Everything I do is hand-cut with an X-acto [precision cutting] knife and different scissors. I use a quick-drying glue for assembling, building up layers and adding dimension with handmade paper supports.” When the cut paper work is done, she photographs it and amends the image using Photoshop. “I try to keep the digital manipulation to a minimum, though. All of the shadows in my images are actual cast shadows from the original photographs,” she adds.


This layered approach allows Jayme to create expressive scenes, where windswept characters are common themes. “My favourite thing about paper is that I can’t make things look as perfect as I would like,” says Jayme. These ‘imperfections’ infuse her work with an unexpectedness and charm that is both original and covetable. For a further look at Jayme’s work, visit

Related stories