The Creationists

Creating Paper Art with Miss Cloudy

August 19, 2020 Steve Waxman Season 2 Episode 4
The Creationists
Creating Paper Art with Miss Cloudy
Chapters
The Creationists
Creating Paper Art with Miss Cloudy
Aug 19, 2020 Season 2 Episode 4
Steve Waxman

Photos and other content related to this episode can be seen on The Creationists podcast on Facebook and Instagram.

Are you one of those people who have fantasized about changing the course of your life? Of taking control and spending each day doing the one thing that you love the most? If so, then this is the episode for you. Pauline Loctin was a computer programmer in Montreal building and maintaining websites for musicians when she decided to learn the art of paper folding. And now, as Miss Cloudy, Pauline’s work can be found in art galleries and as installations in hotels and shopping malls.

When I say folded paper, you probably think origami. But Pauline’s art is much different from the folded paper animals we might normally associate with origami. So, naturally I started by asking “what’s the difference?

Pauline Loctin: First, I will say that there is no difference because what I do is origami but people think that origami is something that is very precise like animals.  Most of the time when I say I do origami, people don’t understand that it can be that but origami is a very large artform and there are a lot of different kinds of origami. It’s not just the animals.  You can do so much different stuff with folding paper.  It’s a large practice in Japan.  What I do is tessellation.  You learn how to repeat a pattern.  So the pattern is folding paper.  So it’s a technique of repetition out of paper.

Steve Waxman:  How did you learn this?

Pauline Loctin: I read and book and then after that, I just practiced.  So, I really taught myself how to do it. It was a lot of trying and failing and trying and failing.  So, it was all about that.

Steve Waxman: When did this start?

Pauline Loctin: It’s going to be 6 years next week. It all began six years ago just because I was tired of my job. I was a freelance web strategist. I was on my computer all day and I was just tired of it. So, because I’m a really creative person, I was just creating stuff at home and at some point it begins to grow. People just started to ask me to do stuff for them. At first it was only friends and after that, it was bigger and bigger.

For the full transcript visit imstevewaxman.com

If you’d like to find out more about Pauline and her artwork, please head over to www.misscloudy.com

Show Notes Transcript

Photos and other content related to this episode can be seen on The Creationists podcast on Facebook and Instagram.

Are you one of those people who have fantasized about changing the course of your life? Of taking control and spending each day doing the one thing that you love the most? If so, then this is the episode for you. Pauline Loctin was a computer programmer in Montreal building and maintaining websites for musicians when she decided to learn the art of paper folding. And now, as Miss Cloudy, Pauline’s work can be found in art galleries and as installations in hotels and shopping malls.

When I say folded paper, you probably think origami. But Pauline’s art is much different from the folded paper animals we might normally associate with origami. So, naturally I started by asking “what’s the difference?

Pauline Loctin: First, I will say that there is no difference because what I do is origami but people think that origami is something that is very precise like animals.  Most of the time when I say I do origami, people don’t understand that it can be that but origami is a very large artform and there are a lot of different kinds of origami. It’s not just the animals.  You can do so much different stuff with folding paper.  It’s a large practice in Japan.  What I do is tessellation.  You learn how to repeat a pattern.  So the pattern is folding paper.  So it’s a technique of repetition out of paper.

Steve Waxman:  How did you learn this?

Pauline Loctin: I read and book and then after that, I just practiced.  So, I really taught myself how to do it. It was a lot of trying and failing and trying and failing.  So, it was all about that.

Steve Waxman: When did this start?

Pauline Loctin: It’s going to be 6 years next week. It all began six years ago just because I was tired of my job. I was a freelance web strategist. I was on my computer all day and I was just tired of it. So, because I’m a really creative person, I was just creating stuff at home and at some point it begins to grow. People just started to ask me to do stuff for them. At first it was only friends and after that, it was bigger and bigger.

For the full transcript visit imstevewaxman.com

If you’d like to find out more about Pauline and her artwork, please head over to www.misscloudy.com

Are you one of those people who have fantasized about changing the course of your life? Of taking control and spending each day doing the one thing that you love the most? If so, then this is the episode for you. Pauline Loctin was a computer programmer in Montreal building and maintaining websites for musicians when she decided to learn the art of paper folding. And now, as Miss Cloudy, Pauline’s work can be found in art galleries and as installations in hotels and shopping malls.


When I say folded paper, you probably think origami. But Pauline’s art is much different from the folded paper animals we might normally associate with origami. So, naturally I started by asking “what’s the difference?


Pauline Loctin: First, I will say that there is no difference because what I do is origami but people think that origami is something that is very precise like animals.  Most of the time when I say I do origami, people don’t understand that it can be that but origami is a very large artform and there are a lot of different kinds of origami. It’s not just the animals.  You can do so much different stuff with folding paper.  It’s a large practice in Japan.  What I do is tessellation.  You learn how to repeat a pattern.  So the pattern is folding paper.  So it’s a technique of repetition out of paper.


Steve Waxman:  How did you learn this?


Pauline Loctin: I read and book and then after that, I just practiced.  So, I really taught myself how to do it. It was a lot of trying and failing and trying and failing.  So, it was all about that.


Steve Waxman: When did this start?


Pauline Loctin: It’s going to be 6 years next week. It all began six years ago just because I was tired of my job. I was a freelance web strategist. I was on my computer all day and I was just tired of it. So, because I’m a really creative person, I was just creating stuff at home and at some point it begins to grow. People just started to ask me to do stuff for them. At first it was only friends and after that, it was bigger and bigger.

 

Steve Waxman: How did you decide that this was going to be the creative outlet for you?

 

Pauline Loctin: Honestly, I just let it grow in an organic way. I didn’t plan anything. At some point it became more serious but at first it was just I like it and if somebody wants it I’m going to work with it. But at first it really wasn’t the plan for me.

 

Steve Waxman: Did you just do a whole bunch of work you just kept around your own house or were you handing them out to people? When did it become professional?

 

Pauline Loctin: It became professional four years ago. Actually, one of my best friends was getting married and she asked me to do a mural for her. It was like a 10 x 10 foot mural and I just posted it on Facebook and Instagram and after that, it begins. My first call was from the Four Seasons to make the same kind of mural for the Museum of Fine Arts. So, it just begun like that. I didn’t plan to do it professionally and to be paid for it. So it was really a surprise for me. And after that I worked with XXX and other brands and it just kind of started that way.

 

Steve Waxman: In the beginning were you designing specific things that you were learning out of the book? And then how does it translate that you start doing your own visions?

 

Pauline Loctin: I was trying all of the forms out of the book and then it just started in my head. Okay, with this form I can do that or I can do that. But it really was just exploring what I can do with simple origami forms. So, at first, it was only that. And after that I needed to figure out how to use them because they are not flat. They are 3D forms so I need to figure out how I’m going to glue them on the walls. So it was a lot of learning by myself, how to do all of that stuff and how to use them. Actually, it was all in my head. Every time I have an idea, it’s in my head and after that I figure out how to do it in real life.

 

Steve Waxman: Where does the inspiration come from?

 

Pauline Loctin: it’s a big question because I see stuff. I’ve got a good memory. So sometimes I see stuff a few years ago and it’s just in my head. And, also, I have a book where I draw all my ideas. So I’ve done that for a few years now and I have, maybe, ten of them. Sometimes I realize that ideas that I do now are ideas that I had maybe four years ago and now it’s real. But at first it was just something that I had in my mind. It was just just something I saw.  Maybe on Instagram or at the museum.  It can be so much stuff, like from everywhere.  It’s like a mix-match of so many things that I see everywhere so it’s really hard to explain.

 

Steve Waxman: I’m really curious about the process.  When you start to fold paper and you have something in your mind does it follow through to what your end goal is or does it then take a road less travelled?  Go a different way altogether and come out as something different from what you first intended?

 

Pauline Loctin: Because I’m defining myself more of an abstract origamist and because I don’t do animals or something real, it’s always shapes and emotions.  So I’m just trying to translate something that I have in my heart like emotions. It’s always a new road.  I don’t plan so I know sometimes what I want to do.  I know the feeling I want to have in the piece but sometimes I don’t know how I’m going to do it. So, I just try a lot of stuff.  It’s crazy in my studio.  I have so much stuff that I try. So it’s just small pieces of everything and at some point I know that I am going to do something with it. But I need to create a lot of stuff to get out of my mind and my body everything that I feel. And after that I create with that stuff. (laughing) I don’t know if you understand.

 

Steve Waxman: I think that I understand perfectly.  I have a question that might be a silly question but I’m really curious - what is the biggest piece of paper that you work with to create?

 

Pauline Loctin: Normally the piece of paper is 25” x 38”. And after that it’s just like a big Lego.  I play with it and I assemble everything together.  So, it’s not like a big, big piece. It’s hard to find it, anyway. If you want a big piece of paper you have to work with a supplier who can do something custom.  It’s hard to find.  In Europe it’s better but in North America it’s hard to find that kind of stuff.

 

Steve Waxman: Do you design custom paper at all for anything?  I did notice in the piece that I saw online that you were doing black magic marker drawings on some papers.  So I was just curious if that was the way you always do papers that have designs on them or do you design specific paper that you are going to eventually fold and have a supplier produce those for you?

 

Pauline Loctin: I have a supplier that I work with that I love because this is a brand of paper that has so many colors that I can use.  It’s like my palette. And the paper is super quality and I like to fold this brand. And all the designs that I draw are me because I wanted to buy paper with patterns on it but every time I don’t like it that much. So, now I’m trying to create my own. I’m not a painter, you know.  I learned everything by myself so it’s a slow process. I learned how to fold and now I am trying to learn, myself, how to paint and draw and everything. It’s a slow process but I really like it. And on others days I learn so much stuff because I have the time to create right now and I’m trying new stuff right now. Like paining and everything.

 

Steve Waxman: Are there any special tools you’re using when you’re creating the larger works?

 

Pauline Loctin: Not really.  It’s really a pen to mark the paper and I use a pen without ink in it to make the prefold. But that’s it.  After that I’m just working with my hands.

 

Steve Waxman: (laughing) Well, then, your hands must be very strong.

 

Pauline Loctin: (laughing) Yes, I just realized recently that they’ve become pretty strong.

 

Steve Waxman: So, I was curious as to how you started creating art for models to wear.

 

Pauline Loctin: I met Melika Dez for this project (a collaboration with photographer Melika Dez on a series called Pil.E featuring ballerinas wearing Pauline’s folded paper designs). It was really just a meeting between two people and we were ‘I love your stuff’ ‘I like your stuff so maybe we can do something together’. And that was it.  The beginning of it was only that. I made some stuff before that but this was the first time I really thought about it.  And It was like maybe I designed 20 - 25 costumes for this project. So, it was pretty huge. But it was so fun to do. And I have a new project on the road for another series with new costumes so I’m pretty excited about it.

 

Steve Waxman: So you design the piece yourself or are you designing it with a clothes designer?

 

Pauline Loctin: No, just myself. Because it’s going to be an art photography series.  It’s really not fashion.  People think that they can wear it every day.  Well, not every day but  sometimes I have people who ask me to make them a dress for a party or something but it’s really art.  It’s not fashion.  So, I think it’s beautiful because you don’t think that you can wear paper and I think that’s why Pli.E was so strong in the mind of people because it was not supposed to be wearable. But you can’t wear it every day and, I don’t know the word in English, “tricher,” but it’s photographs so you can work with it, you can hide stuff just to think it’s working but it’s not really.  You know? So, for the next one, I don’t want to say too much because it’s going to be really great but I think that I’m having three months of development on the costumes.  We were supposed to shoot at the beginning of July but with everything right now, I don’t know if it’s going to be possible. But, we’ll see.

 

Steve Waxman: Was Pli.E a show or an art installation?  What did you present it as?

 

Pauline Loctin: It was an exhibition. We had an exhibition in Montreal with the costumes and the photographs. It was a really good show because it was the first time I was making an exhibition with my stuff so it was really great to see the people react to it. And the series stood for diversity in the ballet world so I know that the subject of the series was really powerful for a lot of people. It was not only about making something beautiful.  There was also a message behind it and I think that people really appreciated the series because of that.

 

Steve Waxman: Do you receive briefs from clients that you then go ahead and propose designs for or do they tell you what they are looking for specifically and then you go design to that brief?

 

Pauline Loctin: It depends. Sometimes people want something really precise. They saw something in my portfolio and they want that. So, I create something with a lot of boundaries. If it’s for a brand and they want to use it for publicity or other stuff, there are boundaries. But sometimes people ask me for an art installation so I have more freedom to do what I want to do. Sometimes I just tell them, ‘Okay it’s going to be those colors.  I’m going to use, maybe, those shapes’. But I’ve got a lot of freedom. Like, right now I’m working on an art installation for Saint Triton in Montreal. It’s a shopping centre in downtown Montreal. They asked me to make a big art installation and it’s going to be the biggest one I’ve made in Montreal. It’s 36 feet of walls so it’s going to be pretty huge. They gave me some road but after that I’m working on my own ideas.  I show them and if it’s okay, it’s okay. We work on the ideas but I have a lot of freedom for that.

 

Steve Waxman: That takes us to the Lunar New Year in Yorkdale (in Toronto).  It’s a huge, huge piece and I’m just wondering how that project came together.

 

Pauline Loctin: They approached me because this year and last year I made the window displays for Simon’s.  It was a huge contract because I made all of the window displays for Simon’s across Canada.  So, they saw the window displays and they wanted to adapt it for this installation.  It’s more like I work with a team for that because I can’t fold everything by myself. It’s too big. They just chose the shape and the length that they wanted and I proposed the different kinds of paper I could use for that. Actually, it was really quite easy to do because it’s only lamps and it’s easy for me to do a lamp. It’s just the repetition of it because it was 300 lamps to fold and to assemble so it’s a lot of work so that’s what I need a team because it’s hard to do it by myself.

 

Steve Waxman:  Can you tell us little about your background?  Where did you grow up and what led you to computer programming before you got into paper folding?

 

Pauline Loctin: It’s even more intricate than that.  I’m French as you can hear in my accent. So, I grew up in France.

 

Steve Waxman: Where were you born?

 

Pauline Loctin: I’m born in Bourges in the centre of France. It’s a really small city. I decided to come to Canada fourteen years ago for my Masters degree. I’m a musician so I have a Master degree in Musicology and I’m also a classical violinist. I’ve played for twenty years. 

 

Steve Waxman: How do you go from being a musician to working with computers?

 

Pauline Loctin: It’s because when I had my Masters degree I wanted to work in the music industry so I worked for a label for four years and web marketing was a huge thing at this point and it was the beginning of social media and Facebook and everything. So they put me on this project, the website and social media so it just happened that this was my speciality. And after that, a lot of people, a lot of friends around me, like artists and musicians asked me to do their websites and help them with their web strategy for social media and everything and I just started to take contracts on the side.  I really liked it.  I liked to help people with their web strategy and, because I was an artist also, I was able to understand their needs.  

 

Steve Waxman: So what does the future hold for you?  Are there any projects that you’re hoping to get?

 

Pauline Loctin: So, for the moment I’m working on the Saint Triton installation.  I want to do a project with the community and art.  I wanted to create outside murals this summer with people but I don’t know if it’s going to be possible but I’m still working on this project because I really want to do something with people.  I want to teach them how to fold and make a mural in their neighbourhood or I wanted to work with schools or so because you need something to bring people together and I think that this is a good way to bring them together with art. So, the project is “Happy Wall” and I’m going to begin working on it but for the movement, just inside. And when everything is going to be alright, I’ll be able to do it outside. 

 

Steve Waxman: I want to thank you so much for doing this with me.  I just think that the art that you’re doing is just so beautiful and I felt so fortunate to trip over you on the internet. It’s just so inspirational. I told my wife right away ‘There’s this woman making this beautiful paper art. You should do this too!’

 

Pauline Loctin: I really want to push people to do stuff. Actually, the first thing I wanted to do with Miss Cloudy was to inspire people to create because I think that it’s really important for your health.  And right now, it’s really true, people need art in their life and I really want to inspire them to do it. What I do, I’m not going to say it’s easy but everyone can do it in the way that if you start something it can lead you anywhere. You just need to start with something easy and then after that, do something with it. That’s why I wanted to do the “Happy Wall” project because with my murals, sometimes I do something difficult and intricate but most of the time what I do is easy to fold so I really want to inspire people to do it by themselves. Sometimes I think that people think that to make something you have to have so much stuff around you.  But, actually, you just need to begin and to do, maybe, a little thing but you just need to begin. It’s the only way.

 

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If you’d like to find out more about Pauline and her artwork, please head over to www.misscloudy.com