What tools do you use?

I use archival acid and lignin free card stock paper. I use an acid free glue stick, and a pair of standard scissors. Occasionally I will use a black sharpie. Most recently I have integrated the computer and a light box into the process.

Why do you choose to use scissors?

At the time when I was creating what would be the large majority of cut paper work, I was reading a lot of Buddhist text and was inspired by the intricate nature of the Buddhist mandala artists who would make their art from sand using fairly primitive tools resulting in a tedious time consuming process. For them it was a sacred act and meditative task testing their patience and concentration. Once completing their intricate sand artwork they wipe it away to teach the concept of, anicca, the lesson of impermanence.

What is your process like?

Each paper shape is hand-cut individually with steady hands and a pair of ordinary scissors (no exacto knife). Once I have cut a shape, some being as small as a fraction of an inch, I will painstakingly drag a black sharpie around the contour of the shape to give it an edge for it to pop. The cut paper is then carefully glued into place layer upon layer. Each piece defines the next one usually with no pre-planning. There are subtle layers of dimension and intricacy that you can only see by standing in front of an original. My process is a test of patience, concentration and persistence.

What do you do with the scraps?

I have saved all of my scraps from day one in boxes and the true story behind my process lies within them. 8 years of cut paper scraps. Within the boxes exists layers. And by the layers of colored scraps and certain negative shapes, I can pick out a pile of scraps and tell you what pieces and time period those scraps came from. Almost like layers of the earths crust shows the history and what they have been through. My plan is to create a giant original made up of years of cut paper scraps.

What is the Chinese character on your work?

The Chinese characters found in my artwork are my signatures. It is written in Chinese Kanji and translates into MarcPaperScissor. I choose to sign in Chinese to honor the origins of where paper was created and perfected during the Han dynasty in China. My first pieces were signed with my initials MH.

Why do you only use a scissors and your hands?

I cherish artwork made by the human hand. There is something special about anything made by hand. You can see the human touch in its imperfections. It’s personal and hasn’t been punched out by a machine.

Why use paper?

I wanted to do something different than what everyone else seemed to be doing. I continued to use paper because it is a lot easier to clean up than paint. Paints dry out, they are expensive and they make a mess. Plus some paints and paint cleaners have nasty unhealthy chemicals in them. I have never really had a formal studio. I have always worked from home so paper was functional. I also enjoy moving the pieces around like a puzzle before gluing them into place to try out different compositions where with paint or drawing you can’t.

What kind of paper do you use?

Archival Acid and Lignin Free Card Stock Paper. For eight years I have used Die Cuts With A View Paper: Multi Stack Pack. I still use the quantity I bought back in 2007 from the company when they stopped making that specific paper. I bought the remaining quantity from the company and still use it today. This gives me a distinct and recognizable look. Although there are many other types of paper with designs and different textures, I decided to keep things simple and only use one style and type to build continuity in my work. 

What is the benefit of using archival paper?

Paper can be difficult to work with due to its fleeting nature. Light can seriously damage it. Acid in the paper can discolor it. I use the best acid free paper I can find. I have had works for over 8 years behind glass that still retains its full vibrancy. But like all things in life it has a shelf life. That is just another reason why an original piece is so special.

How many pieces of paper have you cut in your lifetime?

On estimate somewhere over 20,000 pieces of paper

How do you get the ideas for your work?

I always keep my eyes, ears, and mind open and use all my senses to channel my thought into creative energy. It’s a result of the people I meet, places I go, what I read, learn, what I see, feel and hear. There really is no limit to what inspires the concepts and ideas, they’re limitless.

How long does it take to create a piece of art?

There isn’t a straight answer, as each one requires a different level of intricacy. It can vary from a couple of hours to a couple of months.

Have you ever cut yourself?

Never, the paper gods have been kind to me

Did you study art in college?

I attended the University of Central Florida 2004 as well as Florida Atlantic University. I switched majors quite a bit, but took drawing I, drawing II, and a design class, that I never took very seriously and would constantly finish projects very quickly or not show up to class because I was cutting paper doing my own art. Needless to say I never felt like traditional schooling was for me. I received my Bachelor of Arts and Humanities from Florida Atlantic University and very grateful I graduated.

Do you do Pet Portraits?

Yes I do, I am a huge animal lover and got started creating animal portraits
for people’s pets. It has been a lot of fun.


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