Designer Paris Dukes has the passion and soul of a true paper-crafter. When shes not designing unique collage projects, cards and scrapbook layouts for Hot Off The Press, shes either spending time with her family or volunteering at her daughters school. Paris enjoys listening to music and crafting at home with her daughter Natalie. Together the two of them do beading, painting and other craft projects. Paris confesses to loving chocolate (particularly dark) and coffeeespecially non-fat no-whip mochas. She also enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with friends. Paris and her family live in Oregon.
Q & A with Paris:
What gives you creative inspiration?
Just about everything! I see ideas every day in nature, magazines, catalogs, fabrics, and working with such talented designers at HOTP. I also love to listen to music when Im creating because it frees my mind and allows me to be creative. Oh, and dont forget chocolate and coffee!
What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment in terms of your work?
I'm proud of my work on "Scrapbook Recipes for Journaling". Even though I was an English major in college, I struggle with journaling on my scrapbook pages. It can be hard for me to put my feelings on paper for the world to seeI much more enjoy the "playing with paper and embellishments" part of scrapbooking. This book really pushed me to my limits, and it has been a breakthrough for me. I still struggle with my journaling, but it has helped me to realize that my words are just as important as the photos. It is definitely a challenge to incorporate different ways of journaling into the fun part of designing a page, but this book proved to me that I can do it!
Whats the most challenging part of designing full-time?
It can be difficult being a working momI like to make time for my family and friends, have time to create my own scrapbook pages, and find time to sleep! I do a lot of work from home and its so much more fun working instead of cleaning my house!
What excites you the most about the future of the paper crafting industry?
I love that the possibilities are endless! I am so excited about all of the new products that we have coming out, including sarabinders and the new Busy Scrappers Solution themes.
Whats your favorite part of your job?
I love getting paid to create artwork and to work with incredibly talented and creative women.
Paris advice to other paper crafters:
Just do it! Dont be afraid to try new things. I had never done collage or altered books before I came to HOTP. Now I love them just as much as scrapbooking. Also, make time to create. I know life is busy, but taking time for art is so important.
Paris top Hot Off The Press product picks:
- 8x8 mini albums. I love these mini albums because I can finish a whole album in a weekend! They make such fabulous personalized gifts, too. The paper packs are so great because the papers and artwork are already coordinated for me which saves tons of time and stress! The cardstock packs are great for mats on photos and journaling, and sometimes I even use the textured cardstock in the background of my layout. The albums are fun to decorate the cover with album accents and ribbons, and since theyre post bound I can add more pages if needed!
- sarabinders. I cant get enough of these! Theyre so fun to personalize, and theyre so versatileI can make absolutely any sort of organizer or gift book I can think of!
- sarapapers . I love the hip, fresh colors on the two latest sarapapers releases: Fresh Citrus and Retro sarapapers. Theyre perfect for my girl and tween photos, and the patterns are so versatile that you can even use them for layouts with themes like vacation, reunions, best friends, schoolyou name it!
- Cardmakers Citrus Ribbons. I love all the bright colors in this fun collection of ribbons, and the variety of styles is so versatile, too. Not only do they match the Citrus Creative Pack perfectly, but theyre great to use with Fresh Citrus and Retro sarapapers as well!
Paris other top paper crafting product picks:
- Big foam stamps. One of my latest obsessions! Theyre great to dip in ink or paint, then use to create titles and accent journaling on scrapbook layouts and to add monograms to sarabook and sarabinder covers.
- Tim Holtz Distress Inks. I especially like to use these ink pads for direct-to-paper inking. They come in great colors for inking the edges of journaling and artwork, and they also work well on sarabinders covers and folded over paper (to tone down the stark white on the back of patterned papers).
- Rub-on alphabet letters. Rub-on letters are great for creating titles and accenting journaling, but I especially love using them on unique surfaces other that paper like on photos and sarabinders covers.
- Faux stitching and ribbon stamps. These save me so much time! They give the artistic look of intricate stitching scrapbook and card borders and around photoswithout the needle and thread!
Favorite project published by HOTP:
Since I sometimes struggle with putting my feelings out for the world to see in my journaling, I really love the I Am page I created for the About the Author section of Scrapbook Recipes for Journaling. It was fun to reflect on myself to come up with all the facets of my personality (both the good and the not-so-good!), and I loved getting to use such artsy 3-D embellishments, too!