When I first got into papercutting art, it was through the Chinese style that I had learned about in my Chinese language class. Consequently, many of the pieces I did in my first several years were inspired by traditional Chinese papercut designs.
The earliest piece from the gallery above shows the Chinese character 囍, a decorative character meaning "double happiness," themed with pine branches and needles and enclosed in a geometric border. This was a commissioned piece for a family friend's parents, who were celebrating a joint 88th birthday; the double happiness character is a symbol of luck partly for it's resemblance to the lucky number 88, while pines are symbols of longevity. s
The next piece in this series depicts the character for love, 愛, paired with a maple leaf theme, a stone mosaic background, and another geometric border.
The second two pieces were made 1-2 years later, and ventured away from the somewhat traditional styles of the first two. I again featured the characters for double happiness and love; the 囍 papercut situated the character within a bamboo frame and featured bamboo leaves sprouting into and out of the composition. The 愛 papercut superimposed the character over an ocean sunset, and framed the view between pieces of driftwood adorned with kelp and seashells.
This last, beach-themed papercut is one of the first in which my papercut style started evolving towards more Southern California themed topics.