Friday, March 13, 2015

How I Started Serving Others with My Gifts

Serve others to find joy. ;-)

Hello friends! Today, I'd like to share with you how I started serving others with my gifts (not to mention finding joy  every single time I do it). :-)

As mentioned in my previous post, in my early years of paper cutting (doing it as a hobby), I only make papercuts for myself. Mainly because I find delight in doing it and partly because I'm not sure if other people would like it and see or appreciate it the way that I do.

In 2011, I made my first wedding-themed papercut and gave it to my aunt as a wedding present. It was a couple kissing under a church bell. She and her husband liked it so much. As of this writing, I had made 10 wedding papercuts (7 of them are client work) and I'll be making my 11th wedding papercut (commission piece) this month.

It was only in late 2013 that I decided to monetize my papercut crafts. It was when I was convinced by my good friend and business mentor, Jen Ombania of ListLab ( She is also my co-founder at .

CraftLab shop cover photo in Facebook
We bumped into each other at a Christmas Bazaar where I participated to sell my handmade fashion accessories. She mentioned that she, and another crafty friend are putting up an online craft store and invited me to join in to showcase my handmade fashion accessories. When we were brainstorming on what other products we could sell in the shop, I mentioned that I also make handmade papercuts. I'm not sure if she knows what papercuts are so I showed it to her and I remember her saying something like; "Why are you not selling these?" and "These are totally sellable!". So I agreed and made a few pieces and launched it (Craftlab Shop) in Mother's day of 2014 . It was well received - we got a lot of page views, page likes, inquiries and compliments, but I didn't get a sell until August 2014, when I joined in Art's Night Outa one night arts and crafts fair at The Collective, Malugay Makati. It was my first participation in an arts and crafts fair as a papercut artist (yey!). I sold a few framed papercuts and again, I got lots of inquiries and compliments. 

It is an amazing feeling when people find a connection with the creative work that I do. I'm happy when somebody resonates with the message I convey in my artworks. And that translates my purpose in doing what I do - to give people joy, inspiration and value that they deserve.

Art's Night Out poster
My participation in Art's Night Out made me realize that in order for people to appreciate my craft better, they must see it physically. To experience it's charm, one has to view it up close. It has to be personally introduced to it's audience. Behind the scenes stories must be told . The craft of paper cutting is not as popular as hand-lettering and calligraphy in the Philippines these days. I think participating in arts and crafts fair and exhibits are the best opportunities to make people aware of this interesting craft.

Fortunately, in Art's Night Out, my papercut craft and I were spotted by the Agsalud sisters of Type Kita Academy ( and I was invited to participate in the 2nd Type Kita Exhibit that was held last October 2014 at 10A Alabama Arts and Crafts ( in Quezon City, Philippines. There I met a community of happy and awesome creatives who are living their passions. Seeing their works + the joy, passion and fulfillment in their eyes, I was more inspired to share my gifts and create more papercuts, an encouragement to continue doing what I do! I felt like I found my tribe :).  However, there were only 2 more papercut artists in the said event. Very few, compared to hand-letterers and calligraphers who participated.

The 2nd Type Kita Exhibit poster.
There I am, last row, 2nd column. :)

'C' One of papercuts I sold (in the 2nd Type Kita exhibit) to Camy and Patrick Cabral.
'I do what I love. I love what I do.' Also one of the papercuts I sold in the 2nd Type Kita exhibit.
As of this writing, I have made a total of  61 papercuts  and provided (intangible) value to the people who requested for it (as well as to those who've seen it) And I will create more, because I love utilizing my gifts well, in order to serve others. I want to continue to bring joy to many people through my papercut artworks. 

I hope you too, are finding joy in providing value to people with the work that you love to do. 

- Leeanne ;-)

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