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Impact 0291: Life into paper: Papersynthesis

Mabel Low · 13 December 2021
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Mabel Low, 33, is the founder and self-taught paper artist from Papersynthesis, a paper floral studio that creates low maintenance flowers using cardstock papers. Professionally trained as a product/industrial designer, she transforms ordinary paper into stunning art pieces. Today she answered some questions for us!

Question: Tell us more about what you do!

In the midst of the pandemic, I started Papersynthesis to make paper flowers and foliage in July 2020 from my home studio after quitting my employment as a Brand Manager at a local design store. It was a daring move since being an artist has been said to be the topmost “non-essential job”.

As a one-woman operation, I need to deal with all aspects of the business. Besides designing and crafting, I also need to manage finances, website design, photography, purchasing and logistics.

Question: What inspires or motivates you to start/do this?

Since a young age, I have always been fascinated with paper. I love how a two-dimensional piece of paper can become a three-dimensional object with a single fold. I love touching and feeling papers. I love playing with paper.

In 2018, this weird obsession resulted in me turning to paper to create fake plants to realise my dream of having a home surrounded by nature when I struggled to keep the real ones alive.

Papersynthesis is inspired by the scientific term “photosynthesis”, the process by which plants transform light energy into chemical energy. My art form feels like I am giving life to a piece of paper by turning it into a “plant”!

Question: Have you faced any challenges so far? And how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge is to fight my fear of failing. I am worried all the time that I will not be able to sustain the business financially. It was especially hard during the first few months into working full-time on Papersynthesis. Since I was preparing for my e-commerce website launch, there weren’t any sales figures to assure me that I was going in the right direction.

The situation definitely improved after I started sharing more of my work on social media and support started pouring in. It gave me the confidence that I am doing well and I just needed to continue to work harder.

Question: If you could share one piece of advice with your fellow youth, what would it be?

Give yourself an opportunity to pursue your passion. Whether you succeed or fail, at least you would have no regrets. But you need to know that entrepreneurship is not the “more relaxing” option. In fact, you will find yourself working much longer hours.

Question: What is your hope or plans for the future? What do you want to see or perhaps do?

I hope that Papersynthesis continues to be sustainable so that I can continue to do what I love every day! If the situation allows, I definitely want to have an office outside my home studio so more people can drop by to see my work “live”! To have an employee who is great with handiwork would be nice too.

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