Student’s Paper Cut Art Wins Applied Arts Award

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Sooeun (Mono) Ahn graduated from Sheridan’s Bachelor of Illustration program in June, and then to top it off she won the 2013 Applied Arts Student Award for Children’s Illustration. She was one of many winners from Sheridan who received awards. I interviewed Mono to learn more about her experience.

Mono came from Korea to study Illustration in Oakville, Ontario four years ago. She wasn’t sure what “Illustration” really was at first, but through the years she found her niche.

“I always want to do something different,” Mono explained, and what she found to do was paper cut illustration. “It is another version of Illustration. Instead of using a brush or paints, I mainly use a knife and glue.” You can see examples of Mono’s award winning paper cut illustration – called To Be a Fly on the Wall – in the slideshow above.

“Since I found my new art skills for paper cut, I was searching who paper cut illustrators were.” Some of the names Mono found were: Rob Ryan, Elsa Mora, Su Blackwell, Helen Musselwhite, Heather Moore, and Kako Ueda. “There are so many amazing paper cut illustrator out there!” Mono also received guidance and inspiration from her Sheridan instructors Rick Sealock and Julia Breckenreid.

“When I was in 4th [final] year,” Mono said, “I told my thesis teacher Rick Sealock about my new art skill, paper cut. He encouraged me to develop my skills, and taught me how to improve and apply these skills to my illustration.” Mono’s To Be a Fly on the Wall illustrations were completed in her final year.

Mono explained the concept behind her award-winning illustrations: “I’m always curious that what people are thinking, or I wish I were there so I can see what is going on, like a transparent person.” – or, indeed, like a fly on the wall. “My picture book had different scenarios, different point of views or perspectives.  I used animal characters or children because my target was young children.”

Now a Sheridan graduate, Mono is focusing on developing her paper cut illustrations and opening her own business. “It’s called Silkpulp, which means silkscreen plus paper cut, since I also do silk screening. I make greeting cards, posters, custom work… I am extremely happy because this is what I really want to do for my life – working on my own stationary line, illustration – how wouldn’t I be happy? I know I’m not a typical illustrator, but who cares? If I love what I’m doing, that is best way to build up your career.”

Keep up with Mono’s work at

You can find out more about Sheridan’s Bachelor of Illustration program here.

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