Hi there. I’m Corey Marie, an illustrator and maker from Lansing, Michigan.
I started my career as a comic book artist, caricaturist and illustrator, and in 2007, opened PAPERCUTS handmade, initially an online shop selling my self-published comic books and screen prints of my artwork. An unfortunate elbow fracture and other life events would lead me to change my focus from drawing to making.
After learning some bookbinding techniques, I began hand-sewing PAPERCUTS’ very first Art Journals, which were a big success in my shop. Not long after, I began creating the wire-bound version with repurposed hand-distressed book covers. Recycled Art Journals became PAPERCUTS’ signature product, and my main focus as a maker ever since!
As an artist, sketchbooks and journals have always been a big part of my life. As a teenager and young adult, the sketchbooks I carried around with me contained a mix of drawings and lists: the books themselves were constantly evolving collages of stickers, photos, magazine clippings, event fliers and literally anything else that was important to me!
This evolved into a lifelong hobby: Art Journals, in various forms, have been a constant in my life. The scrapbooks, sketchbooks and journals that I’ve kept over the years each signify a specific period in my life. Flipping back through those books is like stepping into a time machine! Struggles and triumphs are collected and preserved between celebrations and nostalgia.
I primarily work with vintage library books, once well-loved, now dog-eared and discarded. The books are carefully deconstructed and reassembled as one-of-a-kind journals. I’m dedicated & committed to using recycled, repurposed and other found materials, and minimizing waste within my own process. I use nearly 100% of every book that I disassemble, carefully sorting book pages by subject and color. Hardcovers are cut into journal covers and leftover pieces are turned into mosaic picture frames, art pieces, ornaments and even jewelry! The challenge of minimizing waste by using the entire books is fulfilling, and inspires ingenuity in my work and process.
I love making Art Journals for others, and I love making them for myself, too. I also believe wholeheartedly in the practice of Art Journaling as a hobby, as self-lead Art therapy and as a healthy self-care routine for artists and creative folks. I love sharing pages from my own Art Journals and teaching classes and workshops to help encourage others to discover, develop or indulge in their own Art Journal routine.
What Does PAPERCUTS handmade Offer? Along with Recycled Art Journals and the smaller Screen-Printed Pocket Journals, PAPERCUTS is home to one-of-a-kind Recycled Paper Packs available in a spectrum of colors and various themes. They’re designed to coordinate with the journals, but each pack is completely unique. You’ll also find Recycled and Repurposed Ephemera such as game cards and postage stamps.
As we continue to grow, we’re increasing our focus on classes and workshops, (both in person and digitally,) to encourage and empower people as they begin to explore the world of Art Journaling. I’m particularly interested in teaching people about Art Journaling and the profound impact that making space for creativity, exploration and introspection can have.
The Bigger Picture I truly believe that Art Journaling as a practice can be a major part of healthy self-care. Art Journaling gives us the opportunity to relax, reflect + record, which allows us to connect with ourselves, to intentionally create time and space for introspection. It can also be a place to track our accountability, to record our progress and to see the patterns and habits that emerge over time!
Art Journaling, as a self-care exercise, can be a part of mindfulness meditation practice. Art Journaling can be therapeutic and healing after trauma or during recovery, as one part of self-lead or professionally-guided therapy. I believe that Art Journaling, as an outlet free of expectations or judgment, can be a liberating safe space, even (or perhaps especially!) for creative professionals who suffer from burnout or writer’s block.
Your Art Journal can be the place where you warm up, a place to stretch your creative muscles, to try out new techniques, practice skills and maybe even push yourself outside of your artistic comfort zone.
Art Journaling as a Movement: An Act of Rebellion
I will humbly insist that anyone can make art, and anyone can benefit from an Art Journal. Anyone, regardless of age, gender, experience or ability.
You don’t have to consider yourself an artist, and you certainly don’t have to be “good” at it!
It shouldn’t cost a lot of money or require expensive supplies or equipment to get started. You shouldn’t need a formal education or lengthy training. Art, and especially Art Journaling is a self-led act in defiance of these types of boundaries!
A major goal of mine, through teaching Art Journaling, is to attempt to remove some of the restrictions and limitations that people are taught about expressing themselves through art. I believe in the enormous value of creative exploration; of creativity as play, with less focus on the final product. I want to personally enable and encourage people to discover new things about themselves via the creative process.