Tim Burton's gothic take on Alice in Wonderand due on March 5, and it has inspired many artists to revisit the 1865 novel by Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland -- and the many film, animation and TV versions since -- to create their own spin on the classic children's tale. One that's really inspiring us right now is Jonathan Chapman's dust jackets and bookmarks, which use a very simple but intricate cutout technique that we'd love to see wrapped around any novel.
We sat down with Chapman -- aka mrYen -- to find out more.
DA: How did you come to create these?
JC: The dust jackets I designed for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland were created for a University brief that I adapted from the 2010 Penguin/Puffin book cover competition. My aim was to design the book covers for an audience of collectors of Alice in Wonderland products instead of an audience of young children and I wanted to focus the designs on memorable visual imagery from the story, using silhouette style illustrations.
DA: Are they destined for your Etsy shop?
JC: The dust jackets for the book covers (above) will not be for sale, but the bookmarks (below) are available in my Etsy shop to purchase as single bookmarks or in a pack of three.
DA: How did you create them?
JC: I created my book dust jackets and bookmarks how I create the majority of my papercuts, by creating a template of my design in illustrator, then using this to hand cut them all with a scalpel on matt black paper.
DA: How many are you making?
JC: I have made three dust jackets and an accompanying bookmark for each jacket. I will also be creating a digitally printed book cover to go under the dust jackets that will have the blurb about the book and other things such as the puffin logo and barcode printed onto it.
DA: Which 'Alice' were you most influenced by? Were there other influences?
JC: Initially the Disney film, but through research I looked more towards the original illustrations by John Tenniel as the subtlety and style of them seemed more appropriate to my audience and my style. I was also influenced by old botanical illustrations of mushrooms and wild flowers for some of my designs and traditional silhouette scherenschnitte-style papercut designs.
DA: How would you describe your style?
JC: I would describe my style as experimental, tactile and hand crafted. I like to play with the details of a design and paper lends itself to a wide variety of experimentation.
I like to create fragile and delicate work that shows paper cutting at it's best and I like to focus on material as the tactile quality of paper invites people to touch, which to me, makes my designs more accessible. I like to use a mixture of typography and illustration in my designs while experimenting with scale.