Emergency Cuts

Imagine this: you are making your last cut for a commissioned artwork. You’ve been straining your neck for the past 2 hours. Finally, you hold the paper with both hands, raise it to eye level, and admire your hard work for a few seconds. You’re about to give yourself a pat on the back when… Bam! You realize you’re missing an entire line of three words. You’re world crumbles (exaggeration) and you swear to yourself that you did double-check everything when you made the draft. Or so you think.

How in the world of Van Gogh did that happen? You must have been singing along mindlessly to a favorite song. You could have also been enjoying (more than a normal person should) the flawless feel of your prized stone paper against your fingertips. Or maybe, your hands are just faster than your brain at the moment. There could be a thousand reasons for all we know. Never mind the how’s. This calls for an emergency. 

Here are some tips that you can follow when trying to save a “wounded” papercut art:

1. Look at the artwork as a whole. Does the mistake visibly pop out? If it would take a microscope and an overly obsessive compulsive person like you to see it, let it go. Remedying it may just compromise the entire project and you will just waste the hours you’ve spent on the whole thing. Of course, if it’s text that you’re missing, then that’s a different story. In that case, read #3.

2. If you can, try to look for the papercut debris of the part you were making. You must have cut more than you should, and that bit of paper can be attached using an invisible glue or a clear double-sided tape. Emphasis on invisible and clear. A glue stain and peeking tape will just put more attention to the damaged area. 

3. When you miss a word or phrase (try not to do this one!), don’t scrap everything yet. You may still salvage your artwork (but you will only realize this after a few minutes of cursing at yourself). 

  

 In the image above, I missed the phrase you’ll know it. It was a good thing that there was a line connecting the phrases. I removed everything below that line, recreated it, measured the remaining space, and figured how to fit the rest of the sentence in that space. Finally, I secured it in place with double-sided tape. If you look hard enough, you’ll see (the goal is that you won’t) that the diagonal line holding the additional phrase is on top of the old line.  

For the papercut project below, instead of missing a word, I duplicated the word be. This was easier to fix as it’s as simple as cutting out the extra word. The result was a gap between always and be. It bothered me for a bit, but I was told that It looked like it was deliberately done, so I let it go.   

No matter how good you are or how long you’ve been crafting, making a mistake will always be inevitable. When you do, try not to be too hard on yourself. Mistakes are there anyway to be corrected and learned from. 

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