December 15, 2017 • Behind The Scenes, PEOPLE
Please Meet: Matthew Sporzynski, the “Paper Artist” Behind Our Holiday Shoot
When we started to identify what we wanted our Holiday 2017 editorial shoot to look like, there was one person who immediately came to the forefront of conversation: Matthew Sporzynski.
Sporzynki, unofficially known as a “paper artist,” brought his talents to the studio, and helped us create the Winter Wonderland you’ve seen on our social channels and website.
Keep reading to learn about his art, and see examples of the intricate paper creations he made exclusively for Draper James.
Describe your craft/art.
“Couturier de Cardboard” is my official description, but essentially I custom-produce stuff from paper and cardboard.
Some pieces I design for mass production — things like party invitations, press releases, and custom packaging. Other projects are unique single pieces — like things for window displays, illustrations, and props and sets for photography.
How did you get started as a paper artist?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed making things. Paper and cardboard produced the best results.
After art school, I got a freelance job at Estēe Lauder International, Inc. Over about 10 years working there I developed a lot of professional contacts — both clients and vendors. Eventually, I rented studio space in my die cutter’s factory.
What was the inspiration for the Draper James holiday shoot?’
Southern warmth and hospitality.
Once the project was confirmed, my first call was to Kentucky friend Jennifer Menshouse (we worked together at Lauder) to ask if she was available to assist on set. Jennifer’s warmth and hospitality are legendary, so I knew we’d have a happy set.
What’s your favorite piece you did for the Draper James shoot?
Definitely the magnolia wall — I love seeing the lovely pictures of Reese with that in the background.
What’s the favorite piece you ever made?
Papier-mache penguins for Derek Lam Madison Avenue window.
Where do you find inspiration in general?
I really like old stuff — old toys, old tools, old buildings.
Do you ever get the equivalent of writer’s block; if so, what’s your cure?
Oh yes. If I’m blocked, I just worry and fret until I work it out.
The great thing about being a commercial artist is that I get to collaborate with a lot of really talented people who give great advice.
Could you describe the process that goes into making a piece?
It’s always different, but the constant challenge for photography is to make the right (paper) object in the correct scale and color and get it in front of the camera on time.
I LOVE working with (Draper James Brand Editor) Elizabeth Mayhew — Elizabeth has excellent taste and we employ the same visual vocabulary, so our conversations are really quick, productive, and enthusiastic.
Do you have anything exciting come up in 2018?
Yes definitely, but can’t disclose at the moment. I love my Manhattan neighborhood and neighbors; also planning lots of improvements to my upstate studio (in a former glove factory.)