Update: Designing a new line

Over the past couple months, I’ve been in deep with a new project- developing what has become a new line of products. At first, I was just experimenting with a new illustration style…very soon I was in over my head! I wanted to share some of my process for how this has happened.

Here’s the first drawing I did on that first Sunday, moving through its phases of development- a pen and ink owl.

When I finished I couldn’t believe 7 hours had gone by since I settled in on the deck with my pad and pens. I hadn’t gotten this blissfully lost in the process of making art in more years than I can count.

I could hardly wait to start on the next creation- an elephant.

Since I embarked on this journey, I have spent many days immersed in this process, resulting in about a dozen new designs! I will share more of them on the blog upcoming, and they are being introduced as high quality prints, suitable for framing.

Obviously, this line is a departure from the colorful style you see in my current gifts. These have a different feel with the intricate pen and ink detail, but I think the new designs, while fresh, retain some of what makes my stuff my own. I’m still drawn to the whimsical, to images from nature, animals, and celebrating the important things in life. Stay tuned to see how I these themes appear in this new line of prints. You can get your hands on them this holiday season!

Lisa Frank studio tour

So, recently I posted a tour of Paper Scissors Rock’s studio, and I mentioned that I am really intrigued by other artist’s workspaces and processes.
This week, Urban Outfitters posted this tour, of the elusive 1980’s craze designer Lisa Frank’s studio. Apparently she is very reclusive (wouldn’t show her face in the interview.) but she recently sold her designs to the company, and agreed to do this tour with them.
Wow. So weird and interesting, all of it! Her lifelong obsession with rainbows and glitz, her giant psychedelic teddy bears, the fire-proof vault containing all her original work… And so sweet how she kept all the letters from her kid fans over the years!

Paper Scissors Rock Studio Tour

Wonder where the whimsical wall clocks are made?

A lot of people ask me about my artistic process, and while I am sometimes reluctant to talk too much about it (how interesting could this really be??) I am always fascinated by how other artists work too, so I understand the curiosity.

I spend a lot of time alone, and while you might think that would get boring or lonely, solitude is where I experience a lot of joy and renewal, as well the inspiration that helps me make stuff. My home studio is the hub of my art life, so I think the best way to explain my process is to show you around my space…so…welcome to my studio!


whimsical clock drill

Here is the corner of my “factory” where I drill holes in my wall clocks to place the hands. Even these mundane parts of my work are a holistic part of my creative process. They are not done in a factory overseas, but by me, in my home. I daydream about new designs or take breaks from developing a new piece while I make things with my hands. You can see the signs of that process here in the colorful clutter. 🙂
On the bulletin board I post stuff I’ve been working on, and random things that I find that inspire me…juicy color that draws my eye, photos of interesting or unique shapes and textures, and of course, my cats, whose interruptions of my work are the source of the many gifts I make with cat lovers in mind.


painting whimsical frog wall clock

This is where I paint. The froggy clock and flying pig wall clock were works-in-progress at the time of the photo. I frequently work on a new piece over a week or more, letting it sort of come together organically in its own way.


studio window view painting whimsical clocks clock studio window

Here in my creative corner, I have a view of the lush Pacific Northwest forest that surrounds my house, getting visits from deer, birds, and the occasional fox. A number of my designs show glimpses of the Pacific Northwest, and my love of animals. Of course, I have all my drawing and painting stuff here…lots and lots of brushes, reference for drawing human anatomy, and Prismacolor markers (THE BEST). I also draw inspiration from spirituality– from many of the world’s traditions. You can see my Tibetan prayer flags in the window. In addition to the spiritual aspect of life, I am a big fan of miniature things and colorful things. So, I really, really love these prayer flags. (See if you can spot all the miniature things in these pics.)

frog wall clock
Unfinished frog clock painting…it went through some evolution after this. Its still a frog though. 😉


Painting miniature pig clock

flying pig wall clock progressI can spend hours adding tiny detail to my work. When to stop?…when pigs fly?





In the background you can see my collection of tiny beads. These are not part of my clocks or other gifts, but I really enjoy working with them. (Tiny, colorful, painstaking to work with…what’s not to love?) I don’t sell my beadwork, but I can’t help but do it. I’ll post about this someday, too.


Pike Place Market Seattle clock painting
This painting of mine was selected as a poster celebrating Seattle’s Pike Place Market, where I have been a craft vendor for more than 30 years. The Market is a very special place. If you visit Seattle, come say hi to me on a Saturday. I have a wall clock celebrating Pike Place Market available hereIn the background you can see the area where I assemble wall clocks. Sorry for the mess under the table…ugh. I really like to have a clean studio, but since I do everything here, sometimes its not.


artist Pam Corwin Paper Scissors Rock office

Here is me, at the desk  in the office side of the studio. Proof that if you ever call to order a clock you are not getting a call center! 🙂 That is actually me. Yup, I answer the phone, too.


wall clock assembly

Clock assembly. Again, not the most artsy work, but its all part of the process.

I also shot some video on the day we took these photos, so one of these days I will post a video that shows the whole wall clock making process from sketching to shipping. Stay tuned!