Footscray mum Louise Seymour has always been fascinated with paper, after learning about the story of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes when she was 8.  Pursuing a career in medical science, then recruitment, after the birth of her daughter 3.5 years ago she was drawn back to her papery passion. Drawing upon various paper art disciplines such as origami, papercutting and paper sculpture, Louise transforms the humble sheet of paper into bespoke pieces of art for a variety of audiences. Recently she was the artist-in-residence at Gucci, Collins Street and has worked with brands including Facebook, Bendigo Bank, Westfield and L’Oreal creating visual displays and delivering custom workshops.

First and foremost you’re a mum, tell us a little bit your family.

We are a family of three with my husband Chris and my 3.5-year-old girl Poppy. Both Chris and I run our own businesses and we enjoy living and working out of Footscray – Chris’ company Carcloud is based out of The Dream Factory and it’s great being so close to home. It allows us to have flexibility around family and work life and we do our best to strike up a happy balance between the two.

Your background is medical science, not so creative! What inspired you to pursue paper art?

I was at a point in my life where I was done with working in a lab – I no longer enjoyed the environment and the shift work was wreaking havoc on my health. I really started to think hard about how I wanted my life to be. After 10 years in the industry I knew I had to make the break so I went into a HR role and decided to explore my creative side more. I’d always loved anything to do with paper since I was a kid and had been folding origami cranes since I was 8. I used my spare time to learn all I could and I started to experiment more and more with paper. Eventually got to a point where I felt confident enough in my skills to want to share them with other people so I decided to run a workshop in paper art and it was a success! I built upon this over a couple of years and after having Poppy I decided to give this paper thing a real go and launched myself into Paperlab full-time. That was 3.5 years ago and it was the best decision I ever made!

Who was Sadoko Sasaki and how did she inspire your love of paper craft?

Sadako Sasaki was a little girl who lived in Hiroshima, Japan during WW2. At the age of two an atomic bomb was dropped near her home and although she survived the attack she would go on to develop leukaemia that would be linked to the bombing. While Sadako was in hospital for treatment her father told her about the Japanese legend of the 1000 paper cranes which states that a wish is granted once 1000 paper cranes are folded. So Sadako set about to fold these cranes and she reached 644 before she passed away. Her friends and family finished the rest to reach 1000 and today Sadako is a symbol of peace in the world. We read her story at school when I was 8 and I was deeply changed by it. I made it my mission to fold 1000 for Sadako and I have had a love of paper art ever since.

What does a typical day involve for you?

A typical day for me usually involves breakfast as a family and then some play time with my girl before we set about the tasks for the day. Some days it’s catching up on admin and replying to emails and other days it can be straight to the studio for some creative time. Poppy is at kinder twice a week so those days are mostly set aside for intensive studio making time otherwise I do my best to set up a craft station for her as well so she’s involved in what mum is working on. Deadlines can mean I’m working day and night to get pieces done – sometimes this calls for a space offsite so it can be a juggle to make sure I’m as present as possible in my home/work life.

You’ve created paper art for big clients like Facebook, Instagram, Bendigo Bank as well as Gucci and the NGV. How do you market yourself?

To be honest I’ve never really marketed myself… I’ve been fortunate that my clients have found me because of my work which I share on my website and through my social media channels.

What is your favourite paper creation you have made so far?

Hmmm that’s a tough one because I’ve been able to create such diverse work for a broad range of clients and with every single project I’ve been challenged and grown as an artist and achieved outcomes I’m really proud of.  My exhibit – ‘My Native Heart’ was a personal highlight and a labour of love. It contained 14 individual pieces all of which were original designs ranging from the Waratah to Sturt’s Desert Pea to a Crimson Rosella and it was my ode to native flora and fauna of Australia.

How do you juggle work around time with your daughter?

I like to think I do my best to be absolutely present when I am with her and committed to our time together. Whether that’s Lego playtime or a babycino date I try to focus and be in that moment.

What is the hardest part about your job and what is the most rewarding?

The hardest part of running your own business is that you are in charge of it all! The admin, the invoicing, the payroll etc etc. You do have to wear a few different hats sometimes. The most rewarding is doing what you love, carving your own path and fitting your work around your family.

What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?

“If you wait until everything is perfect you’ll never start. Just start”

Find Louise and her creations at or Facebook and on Insta.