Object + Handmade
We - that is, Page + Paper and Monograph & Co. - have been invited to be part of Object + Handmade at the Aviary this year. Curated by Grace Lee of Eikcam Ceramics, this show/holiday market will feature both local and international makers and artists. And as part of Grace's Artist Feature, we were asked some questions, and we thought it would be great to post our answers here!
Object + Handmade Spotlight: Page + Paper
How long have you been practicing your craft?
Alison Page has been in the freelance professional photography realm for 3 and a half years, officially, since she left her full-time job to make the jump from hobby to profession. She had dabbled in analogue photography when she was in high school at first, but as she progressed through her Masters program in Marine Biology, she started to exercise her creative muscles when taking her camera out into the field. It was there that her passion for photography grew.
Issha Marie has been a practicing photographer since she turned 18. She remembers asking her parents for a camera and a guitar instead of a big 18th birthday party. She started with a point and shoot and taught herself the basics of photography by watching a bunch of YouTube channels and reading a bunch of online photography blogs. At 19, she taught herself Photoshop, after having been exposed to the work of Dave Mckean. She dropped out of her Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence major to pursue contemporary art, where she honed in on her photographic practice in the darkroom, and digitally, armed with advance Photoshop techniques. After she graduated university, she jumped from one photography-related career to another - from wedding photography (where she was taught advanced studio light techniques) to music photography, before making a career in concept-driven food and lifestyle photography and eventually teaming up with Alison to form Page + Paper.
What is the title you give yourself when you describe what you do for work?
A + I: Professional Photographers.
How do you define the local art + design aesthetic?
I: The local art + design aesthetic tends to veer towards the overly minimal, though there seems to be a resurgence of materiality, texture, and colour that is very much influenced and informed by Japanese and Scandinavian design aesthetics.
What is your design motto in a short sentence or phrase?
I: Don’t overthink things.
What is the biggest project you've worked on?
A + I: Definitely the Araxi: Roots to Shoots Cookbook
An artist/maker/designer that has influenced your work and/or practice?
A: Photographers Lisa Sorgini and Jamie Beck
I: My long-term influences include Louise Bourgeois, Joseph Cornell, Francesca Woodman, Sally Mann, Hideo Suzuki, Tim Walker, Gregory Crewdson, Miles Aldridge, Roger Ballen, and Robert and Shana Parke-Harrison, among many others. From the Instagram world, I would definitely say Jamie Beck.
What is your favourite local/national gallery/shop that promotes fine handmade craft?
A: Hey Jude, Openhouse
I: Kid Icarus, Openhouse, Hey Jude, Vancouver Farmers’ Markets, local craft fairs
Describe your practice/brand in 3 words
A: "Light and Dark"; "Harsh and Soft"; Juxtaposition
I: Chiaroscuro; Ghostly; "A Dark Sort of Whimsy"
What is the most favourite step in your process?
A: When the styling elements, lighting, angle, crop and edit all comes together in that one, big, Aha! moment.
I: Seeing your concepts come to life when building the light and the set, and the post-processing — but only when working on personal projects.
Do you have advice for someone wanting to pursue a creative maker's path?
I: There is definitely value in looking at lots of work you admire, but at some point, and especially in this social-media obsessed age, you just have to shut off all that stimuli… and just do the work. It has to come from you, not anywhere else. You can be inspired by stuff you have seen… but in the end, it has to be your voice that resonates - as a maker, as an artist, as a creative.
What is your favourite dish/food?
A: Japanese. Also, Sandwiches. But not Japanese sandwiches. ;-)
I: If I had to pick one country - definitely Japanese. I can eat the food of Japan all day, every day, without ever getting tired of it. My favourite dish is a tie between ochazuke and a really good fatty salmon donburi. But… I am also partial to Filipino spring rolls and Filipino barbecue... so... there's that too... This is a very difficult question!