If you follow the Baltimore craft scene at all there’s no way that you wouldn’t know of Annie Howe. Her papercuts have become synonymous with craft made in Baltimore, and I’m lucky enough to not only be her neighbor, but also her friend.
I first met Annie while running DomiCile. She was one our our winter market vendors, but I had already seen her work through various instafeeds and the amazing Empoiyum signage she created in 2014. At this point her work can be found in and around the city, from Catonsville at Rooster and Hen, to Owings Mills at the Honey House, in Hampden at Trovh and all over our Hamilton-Lauraville neighborhood. As the first of many local maker spotlights, I asked Annie to answer a few questions about her work and why she loves living in Baltimore.
Name: Annie Howe
Business Name: Annie Howe Papercuts
Business Type: My handmade papercuts used for a variety of projects including illustration, surface design and three dimensional work.
1. How long have you lived in Baltimore? I have lived in Baltimore since 2001 after I graduated Maryland Institute College of Art I just never left!
2. What's your favorite thing about living in Baltimore? That is tricky- I have many favorite things. I have to say the people. Baltimore is filled with amazing people doing amazing things.
3. What's your favorite place to meet local creatives? There are almost too many places and events to meet people. Some of the great events and places to look are - Impact Hub, Baltimore Creative Mornings, Bmore Art parties!
4. What are some of your favorite local products? Again - too many to name all of them here but, some of my faves are Jinji Chocolate for a special treat ( so delicious! ) Priya Means Love for incredible handcrafted skincare products and perfumes and Thread coffee!
5. How did you end up starting your business? I worked for many years making shadow puppets and started cutting paper to give to people as gifts. Encouraged by friends I started showing work and people started buying it. I began at craft shows and was able to build a great audience there. That expanded into partnering with a lot of local businesses to use my papercuts for all kinds of things. Some of the earliest places I collaborated with were Woodberry Kitchen and Local Color Flowers! Trohv in Hampden also was an early retailer of my work. All of those partnerships exposed me to a larger audience and really helped propel my work forward.
6. What's your favorite part about running your business? I never know what the next project is going to be. I am always learning something new and my projects are always pushing me to expand my skills and push my artwork further!
7. What inspires your work? I love looking at textiles and surface design patterns- especially the way plants and nature are interpreted, I also love the architecture of the city. I also draw a lot of inspiration from poems and literature.
8. What do you collect and display in your home? I am really into paired down living. I don't collect anything!!
9. What's your favorite thing in your home? My favorite things in my home are a bunch of paintings and etchings my great grandfather did. He was a high school art teacher for his whole career and painted prolifically.
10. When you aren't working what do you enjoy doing? I love riding my bike in the city, I love hiking around especially in our amazing Herring Run Park and I love going to see live music and performances. This city is full of so much creativity! It is everywhere!