Amy Mathers is the founder of PaperAmy, who creates commissioned sculptures out of paper as well as illustrated versions for editorials and advertising.
Amy spoke to us about what inspires her and advice that she has for other designers who are starting out.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business.

So, my name is Amy Mathers and I grew up just outside Tandragee (Portadown area). I studied Graphic Design at De Montfort University in Leicester, which is where I discovered paper art for one of my final year projects. Ever since I was little, I was always making things from paper and card. I was your typical kid who preferred the box rather than the toy so it didn’t come to any surprise that I continued to make my little sculptures after university. PaperAmy was never a dream of mine, or a goal, but working for myself always was. The way it all came around was through the support of my family, friends and colleagues (at the time) who encouraged me to start up an instagram page for my work and I’m forever grateful. There are two sides to PaperAmy – I have my miniature sculptures which are created on commissions for presents and markets (and also for my own personal enjoyment) and then I have my illustration side, the sculptures/pieces are still small scale (but can be bigger if need be) but they’re created for editorials, advertising, etc. I love what I do.

What/who influences/motivates you?

One person, or thing, does not influence me in particular. Everything influences me, the people that I meet, the places that I see and the activities that I do; I try to take everything in because everyone and everything has something to offer. In saying this, what motivates me the most are creative people who love what they do. Do you ever find that you have so much energy after having a conversation about with someone that is so passionate? That’s how I find my main motivation for getting started into a project.

What has been your biggest hurdle and your proudest moment or accomplishment in your career?

a. biggest hurdle
My biggest hurdle was myself and overcoming the self-doubt I had about my capabilities. People can tell you that your work is good and that you’re talented but unless you believe that yourself, you’re not going to get very far.
b. proudest moment/achievement
When I look back over the past 5 years, I have accomplished so much with university, work, PaperAmy and just life in general but my proudest accomplishment has to be the most recent one, taking that leap into the unknown of freelancing. Even though it is only a recent thing and I’m still learning, it is opening up so many opportunities for me. Before when I was working full time, I was stressed, working weekends, working right up to the deadlines and also didn’t have a social life. Now it gives me more freedom to work on personal projects and take on bigger ones with confidence. I’m so much happier now.

Could you give some advice for any young, emerging designers?
Love what you do, if you don’t love it or you’re not happy in a place then change it. No one else can make you happy or make decisions for you; you’re in control.