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Turning Japanese: meet Leeds papercut artist Mr Yen

February 16, 2014

We love Oprah! She is one sassy, fabulous female icon and we are pleased to say that she and Gorgeous Yorkshire have something in common.

We  both love the work of  Leeds-based paper artist Mr Yen so much so that we have both commissioned him to create bespoke designs.

MrYen-Lasercut-Quote-Love Mr Yen, aka Jonathan Chapman, designed the papercut Gorgeous Yorkshire header – see top of the home page – although not before he had shipped off a package of botanical papercuts for use in a photoshoot for Oprah’s lifestyle magazine “O”.

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A graphic designer with a passion for paper, his bespoke cuts are carved with tiny knives and he has tackled everything from personalised artwork you can frame to headers like ours and  a handcut window display for a fashionable Edinburgh boutique.

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He also specialises in laser cut wedding stationery for loved-up couples and has an off-the-shelf range of laser cut cards and pictures for sale in his website, www.mr-yen.com

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He says: “I love the idea of something so simple as paper having an innate ability to be transformed into something so fantastic and the possibilities are as limited as your imagination. With a single sheet of paper you can create anything from a simple greeting card, paper aeroplane or fortune teller to a delicate and detailed piece of papercut art, origami modules or even a huge art installation.”

So why the oriental alias?

Jonathan says: “The name Mr Yen comes from my love of all things Japanese. I visited Japan in 2005 and, ever since, I’ve been in love with both Japanese design and the Japanese lifestyle. I chose the “Yen” part of Mr Yen as it’s the Japanese currency and to yen for something means ‘to crave or yearn for’ , which I thought worked great as a name for a business. I did think that it needed work though, and so I thought about how to add my personality and character to the name, as I wanted my customers to know… it was a genuine person behind the brand… who was British…and a man – and so the “Mr” bit was added to the beginning of “Yen” and Mr Yen was created.”

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