Our third artist spotlight is Lynn Jones, who creates beautiful paper flower adornments at Jones and Posy from Alameda, California. I got to watch her work the magic at her studio as she meticulously created various paper flowers from its blooms to the stems and leaves. We also had the privilege of collaborating at a pop-up at West Elm and Lynn brought her paper carnations, daisies, and even a wreath to go around our signage.
1. Where did you grow up, and how did it influence your journey to becoming the artist you are today?
I grew up in Los Angeles. When I was a kid, my mom used to take me to Barnsdall Art Park every Sunday, 4pm. Before I really started trying to develop any paper flower skills, I remember how easy and accessible it was to create these huge Mexican tissue paper flowers during our crafting sessions at Barnsdall. They were like the ones you saw on Olvera Street, large and colorful. I wish we had iPhones back then.
How did you first discover your love for making your paper flower adornments?
I took my first flower making class with Lynn Dolan at Castle in the Air. My love for making paper flowers actually developed because by the end of the workshop, after many hours that seem to go by in an instant, I wasn't satisfied with my first attempt. This experience led to an obsession. I wanted to make more and develop my skills and keep thinking of new ways to create paper botanicals. There are so many varieties of flowers to learn from and different ways to display them. It never gets old.
3. Where are some places you like to visit for inspiration?
Maybe it has something to do with the beautiful weather and lighting, but there are many beautiful locations in California to name. Some of my favorite and easy-to-go spots that I've been going to for years include: Los Angeles - the LACMA and the 3rd Street Promenade Farmer's Market / Bay Area - Alameda Point Antiques Faire and the Ferry Building Marketplace. The list has grown depending on how often I travel. Lately I've been loving Seattle's Pike Place Market with their sea of tulips and London's over-the-top phenomenal Chelsea Flower Show.
Other times, I'll find beautiful flowers during a walk around my neighborhood or visits to carefully curated gardens like Filoli.
4. What's been your favorite project so far?
I actually love what I'm working on for Forage Paper Co. Instead of creating something with a lot of impact with colorful blooms, it's really foliage heavy, containing a lot of ferns and leaves. I was inspired by their Fern Varieties card.
5. What would be your dream project?
There are a few projects I'd love to do. It would be so fun to create a paper flowers window display (maybe for a boutique chocolatier, a fashion house or a beauty store). I can imagine creating a stunning centerpiece for a fancy hotel lobby or an upscale restaurant. And someday, I'd like to play with stop motion to do a video with animated flowers for a brand.
6. What do you love most about your paper creations?
I love the magic. Every botanical element, big or small gives me the same kind of awe and joy when disjointed pieces of paper come together like a puzzle and then form into a beautiful life-like flower, bud or leaf.
7. What is your favorite flower to make?
I'm having a lot of fun making miniature anemones for a local milliner DeAnna Gibbons. That dark center in contrast to the light petals create a graphic element, but also has a floral and organic feel as well.
8. What is your favorite kind of stationery and why?
I love stationery as a whole and never turn down the opportunity to stock up on different cards. You never know when you're going to need one! My favorite stationery feels good when you hold it in your hands and when your pen meets the paper. I gravitate towards aesthetics that are timeless and classic mixed in with a little bit of fun and levity.
9. If you can be pen pals with anyone living or dead, who would it be?
Coco Chanel. Even with only partial knowledge about her through her legacy and biography, she really fascinates me. She's a paradox. I have a lot of respect for her uncompromising, yet versatile point of view. Chanel has gone through so many evolutions but the foundation of her brand is so powerful. It thrives on both minimalism and decadence. I'd like to know what her thoughts are on just about everything.
10. What books or resources would you recommend to those interested in making paper flowers?
If you live in the Bay Area, I'd definitely look into taking a class at Castle in the Air. They offer really unique workshops throughout the year. There are also three books that are really wonderful: Paper to Petal, 100 Simple Paper Flowers, The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers. I also love learning from Youtube videos. I'll search "crepe + paper + whatever flower/topic I'm interested in". Just last month, there was a carnation tutorial in Vietnamese that I couldn't understand, but was happy to follow because of their excellent demonstrations and because I thought their carnations was one of the best.
Thank you so much, Lynn!
Be sure to check out Jones and Posy: