My Experience as a Guest Paper Artist in TAO Chicago

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.”
― C. JoyBell C.

It is difficult to remember how many times that people have suggested me to teach papercutting. The bad news is I would always come up with an excuse, whether it’s the lack of confidence, feeling of authority, or anything that circles back to self-doubt. I was not very vocal about my doubts and instead, I would mention that the biggest deal for me was: I do not think it’s safe to work with tiny sharp blades during an art class or demo.

papercraft-holiday-ornaments-handmade-papercutting-yang-cuevo

However, this reasoning completely contradicts the fact that I learned papercutting through a small craft class in 2013 when I was still residing in the Philippines. Is it my authority in this particular space? I have heard of many beginner artists who have dipped their toes on teaching their craft early in their journey. I also believe that the best way to keep learning or mastering something is to teach it. And I remained scared, in doubt, and sadly unconvinced of my own capabilities.

papercutting-art-demo-tao-chicago-yang-pulongbarit-cuevo-paper-artist

papercutting-art-demo-tao-chicago-yang-pulongbarit-cuevo-paper-artist

But one year ago, there I was in one of the most beautiful upscale venues in Chicago that I have ever been to – demonstrating and teaching the basics of papercutting art IN THE DARK. While drinking champagne (woot!). This was a very unique experience. I was commissioned by the Chinese Fine Arts Association for a private company event in TAO Chicago. The venue was incredibly beautiful, albeit incredibly dim. But I immensely enjoyed my time, the conversations I had with tons of people, exploring the extra art supplies that the organization provided, listening to music, having some Polaroid photos of us taken, and the creations that I made on the fly for some curious folks who wanted to take a simple papercutting piece home with them.

papercutting-art-demo-tao-chicago-yang-pulongbarit-cuevo-paper-artist

papercraft-holiday-ornaments-handmade-papercutting-yang-cuevo

papercutting-art-demo-tao-chicago-yang-pulongbarit-cuevo-paper-artist

papercraft-holiday-ornaments-handmade-papercutting-yang-cuevo

papercraft-holiday-ornaments-handmade-papercutting-yang-cuevo

That night was extremely special. I love that new and exciting experience no matter how terrified I actually was a couple of days prior the event. I was dreading it. But doing it and committing to this amazing experience killed all my insecurities and excuses. I can teach art! I can demonstrate papercutting!

People love to learn new things, especially something that is creative. And this is another purpose that I can pursue — bringing joy to others by enabling them to be creative. What creative pursuit brings you joy? I’d love to know! (:

papercutting-art-demo-tao-chicago-yang-pulongbarit-cuevo-paper-artist

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