Arts·Paper Cuts

Paper artist Sam Heidinger spends a lot of time with a knife...but we promise for very nice reasons

The Calgary artist's practice is almost meditative. "Some people do yoga; I paper cut."

'Some people do yoga; I paper cut'

Paper artist Sam Heidinger spends a lot of time with a knife...but we promise for very nice reasons

3 years ago
Duration 3:35
Sam Heidinger explains how she "draws with a knife." Filmmaker: Asim Haque

This video is part of our new series Paper Cuts, in which you get to be hypnotized by artists doing incredible things with paper, scissors, glue sticks and X-Acto knives.

Calgary artist Sam Heidinger made her first paper cut of Godzilla eating a train. Back then, the medium was necessary — she didn't have any money, and it was her boyfriend's birthday. But you know the old quote about the mother of invention. Now, Heidinger has mastered the art of cutting.

In this video by filmmaker Asim Haque, you'll see Heidinger as she carefully, so carefully cuts a piece dear to our hearts — it's the CBC Arts logo, featured this month in our ongoing logo project! And she explains some of the challenges of working with paper: "It's both delicate and strong. You can push it pretty far, but if you push it too far it'll break. If the paper tears, you need to be prepared in order to change your design on the fly." This design made it all the way to our offices in Toronto, so we commend Heidinger on her very X-acting work. (See what I did there?)

Sam Heidinger working on her paper cut version of the CBC logo. (CBC Arts)
I keep coming back to paper cutting because I find it really relaxing to do. It's really good to relieve stress at the end of the day. I can kind of hyper focus in and anything that I might be stressed out about kind of goes away. I get in the zone. It's almost meditative. Some people do yoga; I paper cut.- Sam Heidinger
(Sam Heidinger)

Follow Sam Heidinger here. And stay tuned for more Paper Cuts artists to come!


Lise Hosein is a producer at CBC Arts. Before that, she was an arts reporter at JazzFM 91, an interview producer at George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight and a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. When she's not at her CBC Arts desk she's sometimes an art history instructor and is always quite terrified of bees.