Interview with paper artist Nikki McClure
working within your limitations
Matt: So starting off, I want to talk about the inefficiency of your craft. What are your thoughts on lasers, specifically laser cutting machines? You could totally sketch something on black paper and have a machine efficiently and precisely cut something out.
Nikki: (laughter) Well, it might not be as efficient as you think. Allowing a computer to make your decisions as far as line weight and what is light and dark, that's asking a lot of a computer. You'd end up doing a lot of work at the computer for the computer to be able to do the work.
I sketch, cut and send it to a friend who scans it for me. I have limited myself, but I'm also totally dependent on this other person. So, that's how I feel about laser cutters, or computers. It has this idea that it was supposed to save us so much time, but it hasn’t; its just made us spend more time with it.
Matt: Yeah, that's deep and really good! What do you get out of your slower, deliberate art? What's in it, that even if a laser cutter could do your art, it just can't communicate?
Nikki: Right. I love the decisiveness of it. That actions have immediate results to the cutting. It is really meditative. As I'm cutting, it’s just my thought. I really like the actual physical part of it, and it stimulates me in ways other things don't.