Magellan has a social chat with London-based paper artist, photographer and Instagram sensation Rich McCor (aka. paperboyo) whose vital statistics are 290,000 followers.
How do you get the scale right?
I never usually get the scale perfect, but that’s the great thing about having a couple of different lens in my camera bag- I can find one that will make the perspective of the cutout work well. I do tend to research locations in advance too, so I have a pretty good idea of how to design the cutout to suit the best vantage point.
Did the Standard article propel you into the public consciousness?
I’m not sure I’m in the public consciousness as such, but I think a lot of people associate me with silhouettes on Instagram because I quite often get tagged in or mentioned in silhouette photos even if they’re not made from paper. It’s quite nice to have my own little niche in the world of Instagram.
Do you have imitators – have any caught your imagination?
A few people do occasionally tag me in their own cutout images, I have to say the quality varies but I do get a little nervous when someones produces something brilliant! I want to encourage them of course, but part of me also wants them to get off my territory!
How do you keep the creative juices flowing?
I think it’s a case of constantly finding new and exciting architecture to play around with, and when I can’t travel I play with ideas on a smaller scale.
How did PaperBoyo get started? Why did you do it?
It was a response to having been in London for four years and realising I hadn’t really explored the city properly. So I ventured out with my camera and joined Instagram, and somewhere along the way decided to create photos that were different to the ones I was coming across on the social media platform.
How has PaperBoyo evolved?
After my images got noticed by the press I began to receive commissions, and then opened more doors and allowed me to spend more time and effort on the creative process which has only helped me produce better work I think.
What inspires you? How do you get your ideas?
Some ideas are relatively simple if you think about them, some are inspired by pop-culture and others are just completely off the wall and I have no idea how they came to me. I don’t question where they come from, I’m just grateful they come.
Which social media stream do you think will have the most impact in the future – live streaming, snapchat etc?
I think video is always going to be an important area that a lot of brands and platforms will want to develop. The problem is though that a lot of people are self conscious and perhaps don’t want to talk to camera, show their face too much etc. So things like boomerang, hyperlapse and filters have made the world of video sharing a lot more accessible and interactive which is really exciting. I think Instagram has nailed it’s approach to video, and the pressure is on snapchat to respond now and do something innovative or else I think Instagram is going to steal their thunder.
How have you grown the PaperBoyo community? What are you five tips for anyone starting out?
I get asked a lot about how to get followers, how to get paid on social media etc etc. My honest answer is that your focus should be on the content. I didn’t get into Instagram with a plan to make a living from it, my ambition was simply to make creative images and the rest took care of itself. So my advice is find what you love to do, and then just do it.
What’s next for PaperBoyo?
I’m releasing a book of my best images and a bunch of exclusive ones, this Autumn in the UK (and in Spring 2018 for US and Canada). I’ve pretty much filled up the rest of this year with travel plans so I haven’t really stopped to make a game plan. It’s just a fun ride and I’m enjoying it whilst it lasts.
How do you relax?
I’d love to say by going to the gym and doing other healthy things. The honest answer is Netflix.
Photographs courtesy of Rich McCor
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