CUTTING REMARKS

Jonathan Chapman probably would have made a great surgeon. Instead, this freelance graphic designer took his precision, dexterity and proficiency with a scalpel to the world of paper art, launching a collection of gorgeous hand-cut goods under the appropriately charming name Mr. Yen.

Drawing inspiration from vintage portraiture and botanical drawings, Chapman’s creations are Victorian in nature and equally old-fashioned in execution (no laser-cutting here), ranging fromadorable cards ($7 to $16) to large-scale art ($230).

Our favorite pieces, however, are his personalized silhouettepapercuts ($62), which make for terrific gifts and all-around conversation-worthy keepsakes. To get one, you’ll have to send Chapman a photo–he advises posing your subject against a white wall and pulling back any hair longer than shoulder length–which he then uses as a template for your hand-cut design. For an additional $15 he can add a name and date to your masterpiece or cut exquisite creeping vines and leaves directly into the profile.

Because of the intricate nature of the designs, each small piece takes up to six hours to complete. Good thing Chapman considers the scissor work his favorite part of the process.

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