For this issue’s Who’s Who, I travelled to Paradise. I thought the only treasure in Paradise was Pearle’s Fish and Chips, but I have found something else, folks: a talented, unique ,and pleasant paper-cut artist named Adrian Montfort-Guy. This guy is a cut above the rest, in person and in his profession!
Adrian Montfort-Guy is 43. He was born and raised in the UK, but later moved to Paradise with his husband of 22 years (congrats!) to embrace a simpler life. From the big city to a farmhouse in Paradise with 20 chickens, a one-legged duck, two cats, and a lab (the dog, not the place for experiments!).
Besides being a full-time stay-at-home dad to two amazing boys, Adrian is also a part-time cardmaker and self-taught paper-cut artist. He was inspired and taught by a book given to him when he was 7, the Tale of the One Way Street, a collection of fantastic modern folk tales illustrated by a Polish paper-cut artist. Adrian began copying those and then started creating his own unique works. I encourage you all to take a peek at the amazing things Adrian creates. It is such a neat talent.
Adrian loves being in charge of his own creative process and getting to choose what interests him, what colours work, and how he presents his work to consumers. He says, “It’s hard work being self-employed, but I get to pick my hours and base them around my family. I’ve been lucky: my work has recently been picked up by a store in Toronto and I have just shipped out an order to them, and Paper Pleasures in Greenwich is carrying a selection of my cards and paper-cut art.”
Adrian also sells through the Annapolis Farmers Market, the craft site Etsy (www.etsy.com/shop/ParadisePapercraft), his own website (paradisepapercraft.ca), and of course the obligatory Facebook page PaperCutCrafts. He will also bring his incredible pieces to the Horton Christmas craft fair this fall.
Outside of work, Adrian is a true family man, spending as much time with his husband and kids as he can. He reads to relax, loves movies and wine, and every now and then likes to sit in the back meadow with Morag, his favourite of the chickens, and listen to the quiet. He would love to expand the business into laser-cutting and etching work, as this would allow him to offer his creations at better rates and also create even more unique products. Adrian is currently running a crowd-funding campaign to buy a laser cutter/engraver to help translate his work from ephemeral card to wood, stone and glass. Check out the campaign, which ends September 6, at igg.me/at/ParadisePapercraft/x/4017279. All support is greatly welcomed.
And if you think his talents stop at paper cutting, you’re incredibly mistaken, folks! Adrian can also wiggle his nostrils like he’s Bewitched, and wiggle his ears . And he’s so handsome that a drunk man on the London Tube was once convinced that he was ’80s teen singing sensation Rick Astley and wouldn’t leave him alone until he gave him an autograph. Jealous yet? Well, Adrian also can boast that he was once nearly run over by the Duchess of York (Fergie) as she left Buckingham Palace. He was royally flushed by the experience.
Adrian says,“I believe in the buy-local movement. It keeps our rural economies moving and helps other small businesses to grow and develop. I am lucky to live in a stunning part of the world that has attracted many people who recognise the value of my work.”
We are all looking forward to the next part of your artistic journey, Adrian. Through your jolly personality, your hard work and special talent, and being half of a couple that is a symbol of progress, commitment, sustainability and happiness, you’re an inspiration. Cheers!