Lia-Nelson James | Little Brown Skin Girls

What made you want to start your paper art business?

I had a decoration dilemma, my husband and I had bought a house that was built in the 80s and it had big walls. It had lofted ceilings and I wanted to put African-American art up that nobody else had, but we didn’t have the money to be paying the thousands and thousands of dollars to get those pieces. So I started creating my own thing.

When did you decide to make your art public?

Right away. I had started to do some stuff for the house, and I had some friends that I shared some of the pictures with. They liked it and asked if I was selling it? I told them “No”, and that It was for my house. One said, “oh my God. No, you should sell it”. Over time, people started requesting and purchasing my art. My mom belongs to several organizations, and she would ask me to create pieces for events, gathering, or fundraisers or raffles. After a couple of years making paper art, I wanted to do an exhibit to show my community the art I’ve been creating. With some help, I was able to set up a rotating gallery at a local library and also a few places around town. It’s been a fun experience.

How has your paper art impacted you on a personal level?

This art has helped me heal through some of my difficulties. My dad was a creative person. He used to find things around the house to turn into art, sketching on the glass, making wire sculptures. He just had a creative spirit. When he died, I was grieving, and one of the things that helped me through it and helped me
remember my dad was doing paper art. It helped me to process him being gone and missing him. It was very cathartic

Business Spotlight

Little Brown Skin Girls
Lia Nelson | Scrap Paper Artist