Artist: Shelby Andre

Paper artist Shelby Andre presents her fascinating and colorful portfolio. We spoke with her about discovering her medium and growing her business.


"Collective Consciousness" paper collage, 40" x 30"

“Collective Consciousness” paper collage, 40″ x 30″


ABI:  How did you fall in love with paper as a medium?

SA:  Honestly, I think paper sort of attached itself to me! Growing up I was an artistic sort – I always gravitated towards creating something out of nothing whenever possible. I did not study art in college, because I never took it seriously as something that was more than a hobby.


"Optical Conclusion" paper collage, 30" x 24"

“Optical Conclusion” paper collage, 30″ x 24″


About 4 years ago, I started playing around with these different scrap paper pieces I had purchased from an art store. My familiar need to make something out of nothing flared up and I became so enthralled in the textures and colors of the different papers. I wanted to see more! I then started looking at different papers online and ordered myself a bunch. Like a lot. At the encouragement from a friend, I then started taking my creating more seriously and entered myself in my first art show.


Optical Conclusion, paper collage (detail)

Optical Conclusion, paper collage (detail)


It’s so heartwarming to look back on that day and remember how excited and nervous I was! Meeting new people and seeing their reactions to my pieces was very inspirational and gave me the courage to take that leap of faith and pursue this new passion with paper. Since then, I’ve become so excited about paper and of all the things I can create with it – the possibilities are truly endless! The papers themselves are so inspiring and form the ideas for new pieces based on their vibrant colors and luxurious textures.


The artist Shelby Andre in her studio

The artist Shelby Andre in her studio


The nature of paper is so fragile and temperamental and can react differently to the gluing agents I use, which is also very challenging. But I love a challenge and I think that just adds to the overall allure of paper for me. My passion with paper is one that started off with a few tiny scraps of misfit pieces that has since erupted into the chaotic, beautiful obsession it is today.


"Citrus Majesty" paper collage, 11" x 14"

“Citrus Majesty” paper collage, 11″ x 14″


ABI:  Describe your techniques and how they have evolved.

SA:  When I first started out I was more interested in creating actual objects out of paper, such as flowers, trees, or animals. I would use multiple mediums like paint, ink or watercolor and combine them together with the paper to add more variety and texture.


"Mindfulness" paper collage, triptych, 24" x 36"

“Mindfulness” paper collage, triptych, 24″ x 36″


Now, I find that I have become more abstract in my approach and use paper exclusively in my pieces. I think working only with paper is more challenging and has added more depth to my work. I use a variety of different techniques to create the paper shapes including cutting pieces by hand, tearing, and most recently weaving different shapes together.


"Mental Notes" paper collage, 36" x 24"

“Mental Notes” paper collage, 36″ x 24″


The papers themselves tend to dictate how they want to be used, and with their fragile nature I’m often having to adjust my techniques accordingly to create the perfect result. Using layers, I’m able to create a lot of complex detail that has the viewer leaning in for a closer look.


"Three for Thee" paper collage, 36" x 24"

“Three for Thee” paper collage, 36″ x 24″


ABI:  How do you sell your art?

AS:  I sell originals, prints and accessories on my website, as well as in my Etsy Shop. I also participate in local shows and festivals and am lucky to have commission inquiries through social media exposure and networking opportunities.




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