paper, quilling, craft, workshops, Manila, CraftMNL, Joy Ann Chua
Quite the quiller: meet the quillist, Joy Ann Chua.

We met Joy Ann last year at the second Etsy Craft Party (we had to celebrate the box-ful of materials from Etsy with everyone!), and she wowed us all with her genius in the medium of paper.  Through quilling, she’s brought to life (in both two and three dimensions) whimsical images, filling our imaginations with pretty curlicues and even more possibilities with paper as a medium.  She’ll also be giving a quilling class at the workshop this weekend!  Check out the schedules here.

How long have you been crafting? What got you started?

I started crafting when I was a kid. My older sister was hoarding stationery, pens, bottles, seashells, etc. so I also started hoarding my own bunch of color markers, flower petals, etc. I affectionately called the output of my hoarding and crafting, junk art.

What’s your favorite medium? Why?

Paper. I love everything about paper because of its variety and versatility.

Tell us about your favorite projects.

Every project I start on is a favorite. As long as I’m not finished with it, it consumes almost every thought in my head; which is a good thing, because I draw inspiration and ideas from everyday objects then I add it to the current project.

paper, quilling, craft
Quilling in 3D

What’s the one crafting skill you’ve always wanted to master/learn?

I’d be happy if I can draw something more than a stick figure.

What are you currently working on?

A lot! There’s a wedding commission for invitations and venue decors, a Filipino folktale/fairytale series I want to collaborate with a friend, a quilled calesa I want to make from a paper-mache horse I bought from Takatak, a quilled chessboard, standardizing my own line of products that I can sell, etc. My idea notes are already running to 3 pages and I’ve only finished a handful of them!

What’s your dream project? What have you done to make it happen so far?

The Filipino folktale/fairytale series. I’m a sucker for fairytales, and I’m fascinated that even if cultures are divided by sea and strife, the stories we were told practically run the same plot. Ibong Adarna is also the Russian Firebird. Lola Basyang’s Maria Alimango is also Cinderella. I can quill a decent scenery, but I also want to bring out those elements that all made us wonder, laugh, and dream.

Aside from crafting what else do you do?

Professionally, I work as an environmental documentation assistant and I’ve just started taking a master’s in Environmental Management in Ateneo. Out of it, I upcycle neat stuff that I find outside or around the house, I try to brew a good cup of coffee, rubbercut and papercut when I feel tetchy and make homemade lollipops. A recent trip to Lumban, Laguna inspired me to embroider so I’m also doing that now on a piece of piña cloth that I can pass off as a handkerchief when I’m done.

paper, quilling, craft, Joy Ann Chua
Lovely quilled paper decor.

How does creativity influence the other areas in your life?

Being creative always urges me to ask, why not? Then I look at what available resources I can use, and make the best out of it.

Any advice for other aspiring crafters?

Always keep a notebook around and in hand to doodle your ideas in.

What do you do to beat a ‘creative block’?

If looking around tumblr, Craftgawker and other craft sites don’t work, I either take a long nap or watch a comedy show.

Give us 3 crafting essentials you must have in your toolbox at all times.

Glue, craft knife and paper.

paper, quilling, craft, Craft MNL, Joy Ann Chua
Quilling is a wonderful medium for whimsy.

Why should people get their hands busy (and start crafting)?

There’s a satisfaction to be gained in making something yourself. For me, crafting gives me the peace of mind I can only find in reading a book.

Where can we find your work?

thequillist.wordpress.com