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The Makerie Studio

Julie Wilkinson and Joyanne Horscroft of the Makerie Studio are folding and cutting their way to creating a magical empire composed entirely of paper. Floating "cloud cities" of intricate carousel faberge eggs, white and coloured peacocks, window scenes filled with layer upon layer of paper-cut winter wonderlands, and glowing, blooming flower installations that drip down from the ceiling.... there is truly no duo like Julie and Joyanne. The artistry of their creations is unparalleled, and they are bringing back something precious to the world of advertising which has long been ruled by digital impersonations.
 
Their widespread success is evidence that nothing can compare to art created by hand, especially art of such mind blowingly detailed and beautiful proportions. Their clients would certainly agree and include fashion mega-giants and brands such as Givenchy, Gucci, Dior, Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor,  Nike, Omega, Opening Ceremony, Tiffany & Co, Kate Spade, Printemps Paris, and not mention, Fabergé  Procter & Gamble, Johnnie Walker, Las Vegas, and Pandora. And that is just naming a few of Julie and Joyanne's many and diverse collaborations.
 
MakerieStudio-CreativeMapping-9 copy
MakerieStudio-CreativeMapping-9 copy

MakerieStudio-CreativeMapping-9 copy

 
Their creative relationship began with their friendship at the University in Bath where they both were studying graphic design. And together, discarded their two-dimensional pencil on paper graphic design foundation for a three-dimensional world, most ironically born from two-dimensional pieces of paper.
 
After graduating, they split apart to pursue areas that would later prove essential to their collaboration. Joyanne apprenticed with paper artist and former fashion designer Zoe Bradley, and Julie went on to work at an advertising firm in Italy. Their sustained friendship and their imaginations grew throughout this period, and when Julie moved back to the UK, they officially founded the Makerie Studio and nabbed their first "job" by literally going door to door asking if stores would like to display their creations. And despite their prolific work being born from just four hands, the Makerie Studio has been expanding and growing ever since.
 
Their magical paper worlds of whimsy, inspired by lost lands and far away worlds where beauty, aesthetic and intricacy reign are transforming the advertising world, imbuing it with the irreplaceable artistry of their paper creations.
 

"The hardest part about paper is keeping it pristine, as that is half the beauty when making something from such a common material, so when that is lost, the magic sometimes is too."–Julie Wilkinson and Joyanne Horscroft, Makerie Studio

 

MakerieStudio-CreativeMapping-18 copy
MakerieStudio-CreativeMapping-18 copy

MakerieStudio-CreativeMapping-18 copy

 
CM: What is the common aesthetic that binds your creations?
The common aesthetic is probably… More is More. Even though all our projects start out differently and have diverse styles and references, we usually work with a lot of layering and detail so every part feels rich and considered.
 
CM: What draws you to using paper as your medium?
We get asked this a lot, and it would be fun to say we have a deep spiritual connection with trees or paper cuts, but really it’s just that paper is extremely versatile. It’s easy to find, comes in an infinite range of gorgeous finishes, and can become nearly anything if you know how to use it, so for us it’s a really inspiring material.
 
MakerieStudio-CreativeMapping-5 copy
MakerieStudio-CreativeMapping-5 copy

MakerieStudio-CreativeMapping-5 copy

 
CM: How did you two meet? How does your collaboration play out?
We met at university in Bath and collaborated on a few projects before graduating and going our separate ways. After working in the real world for a little while we teamed back up, deciding that it would be more fun to make a fantastical world and live in that one instead. We now run separate studios, Julie in New York and Joy in London, and we talk nearly every day, sometimes just working with Skype open for an afternoon. We also sometimes physically work together on projects, meeting up in the country that we’re installing in, or one of us will make and send pieces where they’re wanted and the other will handle them for a  shoot or install, depending on scheduling and practicality.
 
CM: Did you have formal training in art?
We both studied Graphic Design at University, so whilst this was not strictly Art training, it was a perfect way to learn key design software, follow briefs, think in terms of layout and understand the importance of deadlines!
 
MakerieStudio-CreativeMapping-15 copy
MakerieStudio-CreativeMapping-15 copy

MakerieStudio-CreativeMapping-15 copy

 
CM: Tell us more about the kind of papers you use?
We’ve used every kind available to be honest - sometimes we are restricted by what is available in the tone we need or the size required, but if we have a choice we often opt for iridescent papers because they cut extremely well and photograph great. From time to time we’ll use rare or hand printed papers which is always a treat, and adds an extra layer of detail or storytelling to a piece.
 
MakerieStudio-CreativeMapping-4
MakerieStudio-CreativeMapping-4

MakerieStudio-CreativeMapping-4

 
CM: Describe your studio/work environment?
Julie has a massive warehouse style studio in Brooklyn with high ceilings and room to swing ten cats if you want. It’s very bright with big windows and sometimes has other photographers or stylists working in it, to add to the creative buzz. I work mainly from my home studio in South London, which I could comparatively swing about 4 cats in but is still pretty big for what we need, and overlooks a lovely big park.
 
CM: What was the turning point in your career?
The point at which we both looked at each other and said very quietly with suppressed elation, ‘Yes, I think we should do this forever’ was when we were told that Frida Giannini, creative director of Gucci at the time, had chosen our work to be  displayed in Gucci’s international Flagship stores. She had chosen our prototype from a selection of about 10 other installations at a test display in Florence, and we were competing against professional display teams who were mostly men, twice our age and had their company logos printed on their coordinating vans and t-shirts. In comparison, I think we had hired a man-with-a-van from a town nearby, had brought along a Swedish temp assistant just because and were wearing leggings and jumpers with nobody’s logo on them. Gucci went on to order pieces for all their stores worldwide from us, so I think that was a pretty defining moment for us, when we realised we could really do this.
 
MakerieStudio-CreativeMapping-1
MakerieStudio-CreativeMapping-1

MakerieStudio-CreativeMapping-1

 
CM: What happens to your creations after they have been used?This part is slightly less glorious. To be honest if they’ve been used in a shoot, they’ve probably had pins and black tack and wire stuck to them so they rarely look as precious afterwards. Sometimes the client takes the pieces to be archived or displayed in-house (particularly with window displays), sometimes we save them, but mostly they end up going to paper heaven. The hardest part about paper is keeping it pristine, as that is half the beauty when making something from such a common material, so when that is lost, the magic sometimes is too. Where we can, we do try to use recycled paper so it’s a bit like it’s not lost, just turned into something new... If that makes anyone feel better!
 
 
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