We are pumped to introduce you to Ashlee who is perhaps our most prolific Resident-teer! Hailing from the land-down-under, she has built half a dozen of our paper animal sculptures to date. With the self-proclaimed goal to eventually build every single one of our kits, Ashlee has tons of great insights and suggestions for a successful and enjoyable build. For Ashlee, carving out time for herself is what she most enjoys about constructing Resident kits.
"Some people like meditating, and this I guess is my way of simply not thinking about anything and just relaxing. I find Resident kits therapeutic to build and once they are complete, its like a breath of satisfaction.
Resident kits were designed with exactly this goal in mind-- to provide an opportunity for people to disconnect from their hectic lives and unwind with a project. Check out the rest of the blog for a look at Ashlee's current Resident collection and to glean some tips and tricks from this mega-builder.
Doesn't everyone have a closet that looks like this?How did you hear about Resident?
A few years ago, my partner and I were browsing my favourite online novelty mall, ThisIsWhyImBroke, and came across a thumbnail of a wall mounted animal head made from paper. Following the link took us to the Resident website where we found what I didn’t know at the time would be my new favourite hobby. My birthday was coming up, so my partner asked if I wanted one. A quick ‘YES’ from me found us buying my first papercraft kit.
What was the first creature of ours you created?
There were a good handful of designs to choose from and me being me, I chose the biggest, and most technical one to start off with, ‘cause you know, that’s the smart thing to do when you’ve never done something before. What can I say? I like a challenge.
Tim the Mammoth was my first piece. He wasn’t as refined when I bought him as he looks now, and I had a tricky time with the tusks. I actually built half a tusk inside out before I realised something was wrong, having to somehow dismantle it before trying again. Like I said, I like a challenge!
My most recent completed creature is Cecelia the Fox. A very fitting animal as it works very well with the woodland theme we created for our son’s nursery. She has an amazing shimmering orange colour and once built, a very elegant structure and very defined. She has to be the prettiest Resident I’ve completed so far.
What made you interested in building these?
Once I had finished the build, I was surprised at the size and the aesthetics of the piece, especially once hung – how the light hit it and the shadows the sharp edges created.
Where we lived at the time had a lot of large blank walls and I knew Tim needed a friend. My interest grew for them after I realised how much I enjoyed making the first one and the satisfaction of seeing a ‘flat pack’ turn into a 3D creation, much like IKEA furniture.
What is your craftiness level on our craft scale of 1 to 10? 1 being can’t build IKEA, 10 is crafting master
The craftiness scale indicator on the Resident website is pretty good at giving you an idea as to how hard or easy the piece will be to finish. When it comes to craftiness, I find that the awesome ideas I have in my head rarely turn out how I want them to or expect them to. Have you ever attempted a Pinterest project and failed miserably? That’s me! I’d say my craftiness level in my mind is a 10, but in reality, more like a 4. The Resident kits are very good at making me feel like a DIY craft master.
What is your process for completing a kit? Do you do it all at once or come back to it over several days?
When my kit arrives, I clear a space on a large table or bench; somewhere I know I won’t need to use for a while as I tend to go back over a few days and add pieces that way. I have completed pieces in one day before, but I prefer doing it slowly as it feels more satisfying once its done. It always amazes me how big the pieces are once complete, and I think that’s part of the reason I like to do them slowly – it adds to the anticipation.
What do you do while building a Resident kit? Binge watch tv shows, listen to music, podcasts (if you want to share any playlists or tv shows you watch, feel free!)
As I do like to take my time, I like to listen to things on YouTube while I build. It’s kind of therapeutic. My favourite things to listen to while building include Creepy Pastas and Joe Rogan podcasts. I have recently been into the TV show Black Mirror, so that’s another show I enjoy watching while creating these animals.
Any tips or tricks that you’ve found to make the build process easier/more enjoyable?
Recent kits have included a tongue depressor/paddle pop stick which I think is a brilliant move. It helps press tabs down in hard to reach areas. The more I use it, the better I like it. I keep a damp cloth or paper towel on my work space because your fingers get very sticky with glue. If you don’t wipe your hands often, it transfers to the piece and puts finger marks all over it. I also find when gluing pieces together, where possible, use a flat surface, like the table, to help create a smoother finish.
What is the #1 thing you love about building Resident kits?
The thing I like most about building the kits is the time I get to myself. Some people like meditating, and this I guess is my way of simply not thinking about anything and just relaxing. I find Resident kits therapeutic to build and once they are complete, its like a breath of satisfaction. I also very much like the reception they get when people come over and see them. I make them walk around my house and look for all of them!
"I very much like the reception they get when people come over and see them. I make them walk around my house and look for all of them!"
What would you tell someone who is considering building a Resident?
My number one tip on building a kit is don’t rush and take your time. The pieces look so much better when you take the time to make sure all the edges are straight and aligned perfectly. I have rushed before and I have been a little disappointed with the finished product. No-one else can see the errors, but I can and that’s a big deal. It’s a great hobby and worth the finished product.
What Resident paper animal would you like to see released next?
As an Aussie, I would love to see an Australian animal. A Koala would be cute as a free-standing piece, but personally I think a kangaroo head, or a frilled neck lizard would be awesome. I prefer the wall hangings over the free-standing pieces. I have a free-standing penguin and have found it hard to find a place for it to live. I plan on collecting all the pieces, so what ever is released next, I’m sure I’ll find somewhere for it to be put and admired.