The Fashion Advocate interview studio floss body positivity feminist paper artist

Claire Cassidy is a paper artist, a feminist and an advocate for body positivity

From bums and boobs to self-care and 'not-so-subtle' insights into womanhood, Claire Cassidy represents real women in her art in a way that the media constantly fails to. She's a strong believer in the female body being viewed as simply that: a body, and not something that necessarily needs to be associated with sexuality. 

Through her business, Studio Flos, Claire delivers wonderfully relatable, refreshing and incredibly cute art. Claire took the time to talk to us about the birth of her brand and the all-important message behind it...

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how Studio Flos was born.
My name is Claire, and I’m originally from London in the UK. I moved to Sydney seven years ago and love it. Studio Flos was born in January 2017. I had been made redundant from a corporate job and decided to take a few months off to explore more creative options. At the time, I was focusing on photography and styling. Studio Flos began as a hobby but quickly became a passion.

Have you always been a naturally creative person?
I would say so, yes. When I was a kid, I always wanted to be an artist, and would paint and draw constantly – so perhaps I’m coming full circle! I’ve always worked in fairly corporate jobs but dabbled in creative pursuits on the side. I used to have a blog a few years ago which was my creative outlet for a long time.

Why is paper your medium of choice?
I love both the ease and the challenge of paper. The colours and textures are infinite, but to get the results you want is harder than it looks! I’m also a bit of a paper cut purist – no pens/paints allowed on my pieces. Everything you see is hand-cut and glued. I also really like the disposable aspect, and that I can create a piece with no glue and it’s like a little puzzle to put it back together.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspiration really can come from anywhere. Random thoughts, chats with friends, and a good dose of nature always help. If I’m stuck in a creative rut, I will try to visit a gallery to perk me back up again. I keep a running note on my phone for when ideas come to me as I’m out and about, as they fly out of my head as quickly as they fly in.

Your paper cuts exclusively depict women – why?
This is hard to articulate, but I guess in a lot of ways, I’m depicting my own experiences or reactions to the world around me, and as I am a woman, it just feels natural to reflect this through my pieces. I also just really enjoy drawing female bodies. I actually do depict men in a lot of my custom commissions, so that switches things up a bit!

 A lot of your paper cuts are of naked women in different shapes and colours. Why is it essential to advocate for and represent a diverse and non-sexual representation of the female figure?
When I started, it just seemed like a no-brainer to reflect every skin colour, shape, and size. Representation is super important, and I love to see this in so many artists’ work that I admire. Non-sexual imagery of the female body is also so so essential, especially when teaching young people about consent and healthy relationships. Women’s bodies don’t exist for sexualisation.

If you were to make a paper cut for one global woman that inspires you, who would it be?
I’m actually not sure there is any one person in particular. I mean, I would obviously flip out if I was to make something for Beyonce, but I think every would, right?! My dream project would be more community driven. I’d love to one day be able to create something for the City of Sydney or London – the two places I consider home.

What are you working on right now?
I’ve just launched my website and online shop, so at the moment my focus is on building that up. Besides that, I am keen to keep making, making, making. Making little stop motion animation is something I really enjoy, so will probably start doing a lot more of those.

To support Claire's body positivity activism and art, shop at Studio Flos.

The Fashion Advocate x

The Fashion Advocate interview studio floss body positivity feminist paper artist

The Fashion Advocate interview studio floss body positivity feminist paper artist

The Fashion Advocate interview studio floss body positivity feminist paper artist

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