Paper-Ya on Granville Island

always fresh always fun always new

Paper-Ya offers the creative individual a unique and inspired collection of decorative and unusual papers from around the world. We specialize in all areas of contemporary personal and office stationery including photo albums and wedding invitational papers.

Keep The Little Ones Busy & Creating These Final Summer Days!

With Fall looming on the horizon, here are a few ideas to keep the little ones busy and engage their creativity in these final summer days and evenings before it's back to school! Whether it's learning origami, drawing, painting, cutting, pasting, or writing, kids tend to love creating if they are given the chance. 

Origami is fun and fairly easy for a little one to learn, especially with our paper sets! Not only can they choose to create giraffes, paper airplanes, dinosaurs and more, some even suggest that by creating those little origami animals it can help develop their brains. That's a pretty good deal! 

Setting them down with a blank page and giving them colored pencils, brush pens, or paint sets can be a fun (and perhaps messy!) way to see what their imaginations can come up with! If they are having a hard time coming up with something on their own, then we also have sketchbooks that give them ideas and prompts to help spark that individuality. 

Have them color in postcards to send to their friends living in other cities or send one to their grandparents, let them create maps of their favorite places, draw a flamingo-giraffe, or just write about their favorite part of the day. There are so many different ways to let children start enjoying art and creation from an early age, and although the final days of summer can be bittersweet, let them be full of fun and creativity! 

The Perfect Guest Book for Any Occasion

Guest books can be used for any occasion. Whether it's for a wedding, retirement party, summer house guests, or more, guest books make wonderful keepsakes!

Lines are more formal, while blank pages can be more expressive. Get a few guests you know well to begin the entries. That way, they can set the tone for the entire book. If the first person puts an address and name down, it's likely the next person will do the same. However, if the first person writes a heartfelt note or draws a picture, that will lead the guests following to feel as though they can do the same!

Make sure to provide a variety of writing tools, a pot of colored pencils, or a few pens for your guests to choose from, so they can add some personality and creativity to your treasured keepsake. 

Another snapshot interview with a favorite local artist, Kaori from Sleepless Kao!

Kaori, where did the name Sleepless Kao come from?

It's because I don't sleep much and I really like to make art late at night when most people have gone to bed; and my nickname is Kao. Don't worry though, I catch up on my sleep in the mornings!

What gives you inspiration for your drawings?

Usually, there will be a sudden warm feeling that begins in my body, near my heart. Things will pop up, and if I have pens and paper close by, I will start to doodle. Often I will see a beautiful pattern and color composition in nature, and that will be the inspiration. Old songs from my past with nice associations can also be inspiration, like Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over," because that is from my generation.

When did you start creating artwork, and how has it evolved over time?

I started drawing at 3 years old - pen and paper first. Jumping ahead to arts school, I moved toward the computer and drawing things realistically in the various foundation classes. After graduating however, I took what I learned from the life drawing and theory classes, and brought that back into a traditional kawaii Japanese style which I love.

How do you make the prints, like the ones we sell at Paper-Ya?

I make my prints two different ways - one is silkscreen, and the other is digitally by using design programs like Illustrator and Photoshop on my Mac computer.

What's one piece of advice for those wanting to start creating and selling their own artwork?

I think it is good to be aware of whom you are creating for. It is quite rare to meet someone who is doing exactly what they want and making a living with their art. Usually, there are external demands from a client or influences from the general public at large. For example, when I am asked to create some promotional material, like a poster or a logo, I think of myself as a designer for hire and will happily receive artistic direction. If the client does not like a drawing, it does not affect my ego, and there is no conflict. However, when I am preparing for a solo or group show, I present artwork that is solely from my point of view. I think the sooner an artist can come to terms with how much they are willing to please people, the better. Making sure that I make time for my own personal projects really replenishes the well, so when I am required to manifest someone else's vision, I have the capacity to let go of my artistic preferences. 

Thanks so much to Kaori for these wonderful answers. Paper-Ya loves carrying the Sleepless Kao prints in our store!