Cat 115: Cut Paper, Team Building Exercise (just a Little Cat)

This is one of those projects that I am glad to see finished! Both because I like the final results and because it was very time-consuming. (My back will be happy, too!)

This was actually part of a team building exercise at work. I interviewed one of my co-workers and then used the answers to make a poster about her which will end up in a little contest at my workplace. It was fun learning more about her because I don’t often work directly with her. And it’s been exciting to hear about all the people making posters, too. I’m so curious to see what everybody made!

I did actually get a look at the poster made by the person who interviewed me (which is totally kick-ass and totally different from the one I made), and I began to totally doubt my own poster. I’m pretty sure mine will be the only black and white poster. Then I thought about art, different artist’s works and the variety. That is part of what I love about art. Confidence returned.

Final product (fuzzy white is where I chose to block out names).

The questionnaire to explain the piece. (I chose to fuzz out personal details).


I love the image of the girl on the bike with the rabbit. It makes it feel like a fairy tale illustration to me.

Here are some “process” shots:

Trying to figure out the layout... with Chaos's supervision. (He doesn't look very approving, does he?)

Paper templates for an image and lettering, used to trace onto the back of the black poster.

Some of the images were straight off the internet that I made silhouettes of, some were images I altered, and some are hybrids of multiple images. All of the lettering I printed out first on white printer paper, then cut out the letters, next traced the letters onto the back of the black poster and finally cut out from the black paper.

Cutting the black poster from the back side.

I used spray on adhesive glue on the back of the black poster and placed the white paper down onto it. And you saw the final product already.

Did you find the cat?

As my co-worker has no cats in her life (I know, sad state of affairs, right?! Maybe I can start some mind-control and lure her to dark side, I mean cat side…), I added one for her. (Which I will respectfully remove if she doesn’t like it.)

Anyway, here is the cat, tucked into the window of the house she will someday buy:

Little kitty watches from a window.

So, things I learned about paper cutting:

  1. It is easier to get one big piece of paper to work on rather than gluing or taping several smaller ones together. Learned this in a previous project, but it’s worth putting down here.
  2. Do not use poster board (as I did – dulls the blades and takes much more time and effort to cut; also tends to get “fuzzy” and leave little bits behind around the edges when you remove the piece you just cut out).
  3. If at first you find only big, thick poster board in the art store, keep wandering and you may find the big, thin (normal thickness) paper in a different area of the store. (Who knew?! Okay, probably lots of people, shut up!). From these comments, this is obviously the reason mine is on poster board.
  4. Have a pack of X-acto knife blade refills on hand. Use them. Cutting with a dull knife can ruin little details.
  5. Invest in a cutting mat. I started off with cardboard under my project, but it dulled my blade and it also collapsed under firm, small, cuts made in a small area. e.g. Trying to cut out the letter “e”? Just as your finishing the last edges, your paper will descend into the crater formed in the cardboard and tear, leaving lots of fuzzy bits and possibly ripping a piece of the letter off (you can see the letter “a” in Happy in the detail picture above for an example of a missing piece.)
  6. Magnifying glasses are your friend and mine.
  7. Even if you think you put enough newspaper down on the floor before you spray the adhesive on your project, you probably didn’t. Go outside whenever possible. My soles are still making sticky noises walking around in my art room. Bugger.
  8. It worked well to draw and erase and redraw on the back of the paper so I didn’t have to worry about marks showing on the front of the paper. So maybe you’ll want to do the same too!

Through almost the entirety of this project I listened to “Underwood and Flinch,” a podcast novel by Mike Bennett that’s quite good and damn addictive. Started at episode 1 and am now almost caught up at episode 42. I’ve listened to so much I’ve been dreaming of vampires at night. And this is a good ol’ fashioned vampire story, not one of those “sparkly” vampire stories (you know the ones I’m talking about). Good stuff. Check it out – I put a link in so you can just click on the name and you’ll be taken to Planet U&F.

  1. Fantastic! I absolutely LOVE this project! I’m impressed to say the least.

  2. Joyart said:

    Amazing and fascinating. Phenomenal!!!

  3. Joyart said:

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