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Shobhna enjoys a new challenge and would be very happy to discuss possible commissions. Please feel free to send her an enquiry:


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Shobhna Patel is a freelance illustrator based in North Lincolnshire, UK. With a huge passion for creativity, she specialises in paper-cutting and paper-engineering.

During university, Shobhna specialised in bookbinding and book publishing. After graduating with a First Class honours degree in Graphic Design from DeMontfort University in 2012, Shobhna has since had books published by Carlton Publishing and Thames and Hudson. Shobhna has also been commissioned for publishing, advertising and promotional projects in both the UK and the US. Some of her work has also been exhibited in a London art gallery.

Shobhna has recently grown passionate about teaching her skills to others and has been invited to multiple art institutions and local schools to provide paper-cutting and bookbinding workshops.

When not at her desk, Shobhna can be found reading books - she is highly influenced by literature and is motivated by classics written by Dickens, Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson and poetry which captures exceptional imagery.

Shobhna Patel profile photo


I specialise in two areas, paper-cutting and paper-engineering. Paper-cutting is a method of creating illustrations with paper, by cutting designs into a sheet of paper with a scalpel or scissors (I prefer to use a scalpel as it allows more freedom of movement). The end result holds a very sweet and dainty charm and when photographed can cast beautiful shadows.

Paper-engineering on the other hand is a method of creating sculpture-like forms with paper. The end result of paper-engineering is a smart, 3D paper object, which can also be cleverly engineered to create movement, open and close, become longer and shorter or convert into another shape.

The possibilities with what you can create with paper are endless. While most people may not realise it, paper as a material can be fairly easily manipulated.
I've always known that I wanted to be an artist, since the age of 4! Throughout my secondary education I was well known for my artistic talent by teachers and students; different teachers always told me that I had a natural artistic talent which I must pursue.

However, it wasn't always so great! During my A-Levels due to changing schools my grades within Art and Design subjects started to decline. After sitting my A-Levels, I attended an interview for a Foundation Diploma in Art course at college, the art tutor looked at my portfolio as if to say "Oh please…NEXT!!!" – it was mortifying, however after starting the course the same tutor apologised for misjudging me and was highly impressed with the artistic ability I displayed, I was even awarded a 'Most Outstanding Artist' award at the end of the course – it still stands with great pride on my mum's fireplace!

During my Foundation Diploma course at college, my passion for art and design flourished, and as I started pushing my artistic abilities I realised how important a career in the creative industry was to me.
Rob Ryan, Helen Musselwhite, Kate Forrester and Su Blackwell are my sources of inspiration. Looking at all four I am able to see the endless possibilities with paper and how working with this media can create an outcome which can be commercially viable. These artists specialise in working with paper, however they all utilise completely different methods from eachother.

I'm also motivated by books. I love books - mostly children's books and novelty books. I find them fascinating! I like to buy books to read the story, look at the illustrations or the fantastic paper-engineering – and then take it apart, to figure out how it was created, genius ideas behind the book and how I can work to improve upon a concept whilst adding a touch of my own style. My all-time favourite book is ABC3D by Marion Bataille.
I enjoy sewing, embroidery, baking and reading.