Part of the joy in meeting our line-up of debut designers each Finders Keepers market, is hearing about their path & passion. Holly of Paper Hands is a Brisbane based illustrator who joins us with her collection of fine line watercolour illustrations, capturing her everyday inspirations and travelling adventures. She started Paper Hands just four years ago and thanks to her community on Instagram has been lucky enough to make it her full-time jam, creating daily whilst looking out onto her Dad’s cheeky chooks! We are thrilled to welcome Paper Hands to our Spring Summer Tour & jumped on the chance to learn more about her process – read on for inspiring stuff with Holly!
Catch Holly and her playful illustrations in Brisbane from 12pm Friday 9th November, where almost 200 stalls are taking over The Marquee, Brisbane Showgrounds,
How did you come to be a seller at Finders Keepers? Tell us about your journey so far and describe your label.
I’m lucky enough to be accepted and surrounded by an encouraging and generous network of fellow artists and creatives here in Brisbane. They gave me a nudge in the Finders Keepers direction as it’s something new to me entirely.
Paperhands officially launched four years ago. It felt natural for me to continue illustrating and building upon my own style using watercolours, following high school. I have never felt 100% confident socially, so for me, sketching built that bridge to connecting with people and connecting people with my perspective on things.
When I introduced Paperhands to Instagram that’s when the game changed. Since then I not only do commission work and originals, I’ve designed for fashion labels, collaborated on creative precinct murals and just fell into the arms of a truly supportive following.
Talk us through a typical day in the life of Paper Hands. Do you work full time on your label or are their others on your team? Do you have a studio or do you work from home?
Always yoga and always coffee. I am a typical introvert, so starting my day super early and doing something to connect with myself before working is really important. Around 6.00am I am stuck into painting. I tend to work hard while the ideas are fresh and then around early afternoon I’ll run out of juice and get into some admin.
It’s just little ol’ me behind the name at the moment. So naturally, it can become really crazy really quickly! I’m still working out that part of it. But it sometimes feels as though I’m saying ‘yes’ with my heart but my brain is still a lap behind, trying to figure out how everything is going to happen!
I work in a sun-drenched room, turned studio, in my beautiful parent’s house (thanks mum, thanks dad!). I get a beautiful view straight out onto dad’s veggies and his cheeky chooks, so it’s the perfect scene for my kind of practice.
Tell us about your inspiration for creativity and process? Is there a Finders Keepers designer who you admire?
Inspiration can come from anywhere for me. I mostly get it from exploring the Queensland coastline, the interesting things people do and my own personal fascination with sassy pets.
There are many people I really admire but a particular Finders Keepers designer that springs to mind instantly, is my friend and hero Kirralee & Co. Kirra-lee hand-crafts beautiful decorative homeware and jewellery pieces from a variety of ethically sourced timber. She is one of the special ones for me, the way she carries herself and her brand is seamless and infectious. You want to be a part of it!
What has been your proudest moment to date?
Cheesiness and all, it’s that I still get to answer with “I’m an illustrator” when people ask me what I do for a living. It’s pushed me outside of a comfort zone I almost let get the better of me. I created my own job and paved my own path and I didn’t think it would take me here. In the words of my sis, “I’m a self-made woman now!” And that’s a powerful thing to be.
Don’t forget to check out Paper Hands at Finders Keepers Brisbane.