Our newest puzzle, Rosso's Angelo, has charming cherub silhouettes by Kathryn Flocken.
Maya: How long have you been a silhouette artist?
Kathryn: I have been a silhouette artist for 22 years...and counting! I think I've cut nearly half a million Silhouettes in that time.
Maya: How did you become a silhouette artist?
Kathryn: I learned how to cut silhouettes at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. I was already an artist, but had never cut a silhouette before. I learned the technique from a Greek woman whose portraits were simple in style, but really captured the likeness of the person. I felt that was the most important thing for a silhouette artist to do, rather than get every strand of hair and a fancy outfit....but no likeness. I practiced for many months, cutting free silhouettes for Disney Guests, while the "real" Artist was out on their lunch break!
Maya: Who are some of your favorite artists and why?
Kathryn: I must say I'm most inspired by Henri Matisse. He painted earlier in life, but later in life, he could no longer hold a paint brush due to arthritis, and his eye sight also started to fail. Instead of becoming depressed about his situation or give up on creating art all together, he worked with what he had, and started making really large paper cuttings using children's scissors. It was some of the happiest work of his entire career, with very vibrant colors and delightful subject matter. So, I think I'm not just inspired by his paper cuttings, I'm probably most inspired by his attitude. I hope that I can possess the same positive outlook if faced with the same challenges he was faced with as an artist.
Maya: What's the hardest silhouette you've ever done?
Kathryn: Surprisingly enough, bald men have the most difficult profiles to make. You have to know your anatomy well, and get the shape of the head just right so the person is in correct proportion, and also has the correct shape head.
Maya: What do you suggest for people who want to try cutting their own silhouettes?
Kathryn: Start by cutting out vases and other inanimate objects like that, just have fun with it. I also began practicing cutting silhouettes by looking at the models profiles in fashion magazines. You can also get some help getting started cutting silhouettes here with my instructional book .