Hello! We are JUDiTH+ROLFE (@judithandrolfe), paper enthusiasts who create contemporary artwork out of the humble medium of paper. Quilling, folding, cutting, rolling – we do it all. A husband-and-wife creative team who originally met in New York, we currently live in the beautiful city of Saint Paul, Minnesota. Judith is the right-brain, artistic director / maker of the operation; Rolfe is the left-brain, analytical and rational problem-solver / logistics guy. Both our backgrounds are rooted in architecture, hence we enjoy modern, simple and clean design.
- How does your creative process start? Where do you look for inspiration? What are your tools for beginning a project? What are your methods for observation, ideation, prototyping, testing etc.?
Judith: The creative process starts with an idea. This inspiration can come from anywhere; I don’t actively look for inspiration, it finds me. When I have an idea, I sketch or write it down in a notepad. Electronic devices, while convenient, are no substitute for plain old pen and paper.
Rolfe: I usually pop into Judith’s studio after work to see what has inspired her that particular day. I’ll give constructive criticism on form, color, and other design considerations to make sure her intent is coming through in the final piece. More often than not, I get to say “It’s beautiful!” and walk away without any changes.
- What is your favorite part of your creative process? Where and how do you gather information for your projects? What has been your craziest idea and what did you do with it? What’s an unexpected source of your inspiration?
J: My favorite part of the creation process is the making part. There’s nothing like seeing an idea come to life, and sometimes you don’t know if an idea is going to work until you can physically see and touch it.
Craziest idea… not sure we’ve had one of those yet! We’ll keep you posted.
An unexpected source of inspiration has been from social media. Rolfe and I have mostly been anti-social media until last year, when I started an Instagram account, and since then, I’ve found and been inspired by many other people / artists on there.
- How do you explain creativity?
J: I believe originality and inventiveness are key to creativity. We all like to say that “everything’s been done”, but the truth is, having your own take on something is important. Find your own voice and be the individual that you are, instead of trying to be someone else or copying their work.
R: To me, creativity is the ability to get a complex thought across simply and in a way that preserves the initial intent. It could be a thought, vibe, association… anything that makes someone feel something outside of themselves.
- How do you utilize Original Orange-Handled Scissors in your design-art work and how do you like them?
R: It’s funny, as soon as we began speaking with Fiskars for this project, I started looking closer at my environment, even at work, and was pleasantly surprised to see that all of the “good scissors” I like to use are Fiskars. They should be the image that pops up when you look up scissors in the dictionary…
- Why do you like your Original Orange-handled Scissors? E.g.: comfortable, lightweight, iconic color is easy to find.
J: The blades stay sharp, and the handles are ergonomic and comfortable to use. The color is an added bonus, Rolfe and I both love orange.
- What is the inspiration behind the custom piece you are creating for the anniversary?
J: We are honored to have been invited to participate in this celebration. We have a long history of using the scissors, and not to mention Fiskars produces quality products and we own several tools that we use around the house.
The inspiration behind the custom pieces is flowers and the scissors themselves.
- What are the most important things to have at arm’s length on your desk or your design space? Describe the workspace in as many words as you want.
J: My tools are the most important to have within reach. In addition to Fiskars Original Orange-handled Scissors, the essential tools I use to work with paper are: tweezers, slotted and needle quilling tools, a small bottle of glue, L-square ruler and craft knife.
My small home office / studio space is bright and quiet. One desk is for the “mess”, my studio area for working with paper, with all my tools and materials located close by; the other desk is a clean surface for digital work on the computer.