Play Versus Purpose with A.I.R. Lisa Perez

Play Versus Purpose #playwithpaperconnection

The theme for my belated first contribution as Artist in Residence here at Paper Connection, evolved naturally out of a struggle that we all find ourselves up against at times in our creative practice.

creativity, play, paper artist, washi, paper connection international

Some explorations + tests to get to know new papers –  photo: Lisa Perez

The list of what we think must get accomplished, or should happen a particular way oppresses us with expectation… Coupled with self-editing before something even begins, we derail our process. I know I should take my own advice to my students when they are feeling stuck: PLAY – Jump in and explore materials and processes without judgement or expectation. It’s simple and direct, present moment action that fosters creativity. With that in mind, I also believe that we are always more successful when we are resourceful, respecting our plentiful resources – meaning use what’s on hand, and find ways to avoid waste in the processes we love. It is this exploration that becomes the rich and fertile practice that we all can appreciate.

Play is productive…..

One word…PLAY.

So, get into the studio, play with what’s on hand, and show us what happens – tag it on instagram: #playwithpaperconnection. We’ll be sending out some free assorted paper sampler packs to selected artists that inspire us with their works on and of paper!

I’m thrilled to be the first artist-in-residence at Paper Connection! Paper explorations shown in these photos were created with some of the “drop” (left over from paper cut for collections and samples) or some of our smaller pre-cut sample papers: from color kozo collage (color studies in homage to Josef Albers), cyanotype photogram experiments on kozo paper, like joomchi  with hanji, to digital printing on Indian handmade paper.

The diversity of color, weight and texture of a paper from all over the world offers endless points of inspiration for any creative practice – from simple graphite drawing on kozo paper, chine collé on gampi paper, collage with lokta paper, to origata/origami with yuzen paper! I’m grateful for already learning so much here at the Paper Connection and looking forward to sharing more of my creative explorations using these specialty papers….

Next post will be a year-long AIR recap as well as some words about an awesome Kozo Collage class I taught with Paper Connection…

Lisa Perez, Artist in Residence

Paper Woman


  1. PJ Bergin on March 16, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    Hello Lisa,
    Love the message you send in this. I think a lot of people feel a “plan” needs to be in place before they can get started. Just the opposite is what I find happens for true magic. It is when my brain is free and open to new ideas the most successful artwork is created.
    I look forward to future posts from you during the residency.

    May I be one of the lucky ones for a sampler packer?
    PJ Bergin

    • Paper Woman on March 20, 2019 at 10:46 am

      Thank you so much for the thoughtful reading and response PJ! Love your work and happy to send out one of the sampler packs out to you to inspire some creative play in your studio. Happy Spring!! I know the shift in season is an inspiration for us all. 🙂

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