Designer, Owen Gildersleeve, picks up a YCN Professional Award for his astonishingly crafted paper-cut for Shop magazine.

Owen Gildersleeve, is unarguably a true craftsman. Assembling papercut works that are painstakingly elaborate and multi-layered, the London-based designer and illustrator has become a key figure when it comes to the possibilities of folding, cutting, and sticking. The effectiveness of this method of image-making is shown to startling effect in his recent cover design for Shop magazine, a piece that was last week graced with a 2014 YCN Professional Award.

Every Shop publication features a different city, along with a different cover illustrator, and it was Owen who was called upon to help enhance their exploration of Istanbul. Taking the feature article, which documented the city's most beautiful and historical palaces, as his main inspiration, Owen put together an astonishingly serene papercut cityscape. This multi-layered piece, constructed in teal, maroon, and pink, a colour palette inspired by traditional Turkish tiling, highlights the awe-inspiring level of craft present in the physical palaces themselves.


Cover illustration for Shop magazine

As in much of his work, Owen's Shop cover makes use of bold light and shadow to enhance the three dimensional aspects of the physical piece. Expertly shot, the illustrator's delicate handiwork and carefully considered colour selection are able to be given the best appreciation, helping to make this cover a just award winner.

Owen's paper skills have led to a wealth of commissioned work, with clients including Wired, The New York Times, and NSPCC. A recent project for Finnish coffee company Paulig is particularly worth a look. Here, Owen collaborated with illustrator Janine Rewell, bringing an extra element to her two dimensional packaging illustrations by setting them within his own layered cut-out environment.

In June this year Owen also released his first book, 'Paper Cut', with Rockport publishing. This project brought together twenty-five of the most exciting figures in contemporary paper craft, looking further into their creative practice via interviews and behind the scenes imagery. An exhibition accompanying the book, and including some of Owen's own work, can currently be seen at The Proud Archivist on Regent's Canal in London.

To find out more about Owen's work, visit his website.

You can purchase your own copy of Papercut, here.


Cover for Istanbul issue of Shop magazine

Constructing cover design for Shop magazine

Constructing cover design for Shop magazine

Design for Juhla Mokka coffee in collaboration with Janine Rewell

Cover for 'Papercut'

The YCN Professional Awards set out to showcase the freshest creative talent at work around the world. Find out more about the programme and this year's winners here.

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