Chantal Larocque says,
“Paper flowers make just about any heart smile…and that- is the best gift of all!”
In our #FridayFeature blog focusing on the #WonderWomen segment we bring to you a woman who makes many hearts smile because of her paper flowers and all sorts of paper art. Meet, Paper Quilling Artist and Founder of Soul of Quilling, Elizabeth Thomas. A Software Engineer by qualification, Elizabeth decided to follow something besides just her desk job. She found that answer through her passion for paper art and started Soul of Quilling, a creative platform via which she takes up and pursues her love for all artsy and creative handmade stuff made out of paper. What made her realize her calling and how did she gather the courage to pursue her passion alongside a fulltime job? Let’s find out in her own words.
“By heart, I am a Paper quilling artist. This art has been a part of my life since 2017. This is just one part of my identity though, because I believe in using both the left- and right-hand side of the brain. The creative brain goes in pursuing paper art, while the logical brain goes in a job I love equally, if not more. I’m a Software Engineer by qualification and pursue this professionally as well. So, apart from being a quilling artist, I have also been working as a software professional since 2016.
What got me into paper art was my mother and her love towards this creative activity. I hardly had any interest towards art back in my teenage days. Amma was a teacher in Maldives from where she was introduced to this art of creating life with papers. Even though I knew what quilling was since 2008, I never took it seriously or attempted to even roll a coil.After completing my graduation, I happened to try my hand on creating a few flowers. Later, I moved to Bangalore for my job where I was put into Business Wait after training. While I was waiting to be onboarded a project, I found myself left with a lot of time to upskill myself. I remembered this little forgotten craft and ordered a quilling kit for myself from Craft Gully. That is where it all began. I made a really small piece with a few flowers and gifted it to someone.
Right from the beginning, I always focused on perfection which has always made me very particular about the polished look of each final piece. My friends were my pillars back then and they pushed me to do more and one of them placed their first order with me. That was the beginning!
The hustle between the two professions is the biggest struggle. I had to shuffle between Bangalore and Pune a lot during the first 3 years of my full-time job. I had a lot of trouble in finding the kind of frames I wanted. Since I was a full time software professional I always had tight schedules and struggled to finish my commissioned works. I had to pull many all-nighters just to ensure that the client was delivered his smile package on time!
My mom who is herself a pro at quilling always helped me out and motivated me whenever I doubted my skills or there was just too much to handle at once.
The turning point was when I decided to start taking orders and commissioned works for my paper art. This came after I realized that I was doing an amazing job worth being paid for!
My biggest motivation comes from my mother, my brothers and my amazing circle of friends! Apart from this, the feedback I receive on my quilling work, whether through a post I have shared on social media or when a client who has received their order says they loved my work, it keeps me fuelled to continue pursuing this passion.
The journey so far has been extremely fulfilling. The future plans include more or less of the following:
- To be a part of an art exhibition
- To start a YouTube channel for tutorials
- To build a diverse portfolio as an artist
My biggest learning has been of self-belief and growth through achievements as well as mistakes. I have realized that,
“You are learning each day so have the courage to experiment.”
And one must learn to trust their instincts.
Learning all about social media marketing and promotion has been the best add-on skill through this little artistic venture of mine and I am loving every bit of it.”
To connect with Elizabeth, check out her gorgeous paper quilling artwork, or to inquire and get a commissioned artwork piece done via her, follow the links below:
Paper Quilling & Artwork handles:
Features & Mentions:
Clients posing with/posting completed artworks by Elizabeth:
- Do what you love (quote quilling artwork)
- Happy Birthday quilling artwork
- Personalized name frame quilling artwork
- Keep Smiling (quote quilling artwork)
Other personal and professional social media handles: