London based artist Rich McCor, better known as @paperboyo creates art using his surroundings, a scalpel, paper, a camera and a very active and ingenious imagination.
His intricate, hand cut, paper silhouettes transform iconic landmarks and vistas into fiendishly clever and engaging vignettes. This unique approach has won him hundreds of thousands of followers on social media and has taken him to all corners of the globe.
We’re thrilled to be bringing Paperboyo to Croatia later this week to unleash his creative might on the insanely beautiful and idyllic island of Obonjan
Obonjan is a unique curated island destination which offers a broad and inclusive program of art, music, wellbeing, yoga, talks and workshops all set to a back drop of crystal clear seas, gourmet food and boutique eco-friendly accommodation. Click here for more info
Prior to leaving these shores we sat down with Paperboyo and asked him a few questions….read the interview below.
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What’s your name?
What is your Instagram name?
Where did you grow up and where are you now?
I grew up in the Kent countryside but I’m now in Battersea, London.
What’s your strongest memory from your childhood?
We used to visit a great Aunt in Aberdeen during the Easter half-terms. I recently went back to Aberdeen for a photography project and weirdly I could navigate myself around the city perfectly from memory. What first made you interested in art?
My art teacher at school. She was one of the few teachers I had who actually seemed to have a personality.
Who are your main influences and who would you most like to collaborate with?
When I first joined instagram I followed Christoph Niemann’s account, his way of thinking and transforming everyday objects blew me away, in fact it irritated me how someone could be so wildly creative.
I’d love to collaborate with Ari Fararooy- he does the most amazing video edits and I’d love to see what we could cook up.
What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
I came from a creative job within the BBC’s in-house creative team so I learnt a lot about taking on feedback there, which has proved to be crucial. Prior to that I was a runner for a production company, so I was the guy making Phillip Schofield’s cups of teas and buying Derren Brown’s shirts.
Professionally and creatively, what’s your goal?
I’m torn as to whether artists should have a goal. Part of me thinks I wouldn’t have come up with my style of photography if it hadn’t been for experimenting, making mistakes, going around in circles, failing or in other words not really knowing what I was doing and where I was going. And then of course there’s the ambitious part of me that would love to do some to scale building transformations, build an app and all those sorts of things. If you want a succinct answer though my goal is to always want to make creative ‘stuff’.
What does your typical day look like? Morning rituals etc…
I guess I’m lucky in that the word typical doesn’t really apply to much about my lifestyle at the moment. At the start of this year I was in the French Alps skiing over snow and then a week later I was in Brazil walking in the sand, so I’m incredibly fortunate that I get to travel to such diverse places for my adventures. However those opportunities are all dependent on my level of creativity, so there is a constant pressure that I put on myself to come up with ideas, try new things and be relevant but unpredictable with my photography. So a typical day involves coming up with ideas, planning my trips and at the moment I’m also working on a book of my photography.
Do you ever get creative block and if so how do you break through this?
You’ve just got to deal with that pain that comes with not getting an idea, and plough on. I get that everyone gets creative block, but I have no time for people who shout about it and don’t just get back to the grind and do the work it takes to get past it.
What’s your scariest experience?
I’ve been travelling every summer since I was sixteen and now I do it full time I have quite a few stories ranging from having spells put on me in Malawi to crashing wedding proposals in Paris but the scariest (in the sense that it was freaky) story I have is from a night out in Barcelona. I was in a hostel and went for a drink with a few people I’d met there, including a Canadian guy. We got chatting and realised that we had both been at a small boat festival in London two years earlier. I pulled out my phone and showed him a few photos I’d taken on the day, then I saw his face go white. He took my phone, zoomed into an image and pointed at a man sitting on top of a boat. “That’s me!” he said. I looked and realised it was. We both just sat there at the bar shaking our heads in disbelief at the coincidence.
What’s your favourite art work of all time?
The Hay Wain by Constable. I was so lucky in that I got to spend a night in Willy Lott’s cottage (which is in the painting), so for years that was my claim to fame. I just think it’s a perfect english, charming and whimsical scene and I get lost in it each time I go to see it at the National Gallery. Even now, every time I see a cloud I think of Constable.
What are your current top five Instagram accounts.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
I remember quite early on when I was doing my photography, I was taking a photo of St Paul’s and a Korean family nearby took an interest in what I was doing. So I showed the father of the group what I was doing, and he started smiling and became really animated about the image I produced. He called over the rest of the family who all started smiling too. Except the grandma, who literally took one look and rolled her eyes.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
A drunk guy told me in a Parisian bar “travel slowly”, and it’s true. When you’re lucky enough to travel for work the downside is that you tend to be a in a rush, especially as a photographer you might be dashing around a city chasing the light. This guy was so right to say “travel slowly” so I now tend to add on a few days onto jobs at the end if I can to go and explore the locations without my camera, and just wander.
What couldn’t you live without?
A sense of curiosity. Everything would be grey without that (and not a good grey either)
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Thank you very much Paperboyo, see you very soon indeed!
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Follow @paperboyo on Instagram
Follow @obonjan on Instagram