HYBRID REALITY ARTIST / DIRECTOR / PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Skipping in the footsteps of her Smith forefathers, Central Saint Martins graduate AJ Smith traded her anvil and hammer for a scalpel and a cutting mat, forging a whole new era of creativity.
And so a Papersmith was born.
Her studio’s techniques and paper problem solving have lead to a diverse body of work, telling memorable stories for both commercial and artistic projects of any kind. Papersmith combines intricate design with unique craftsmanship to execute the unusual and bring people into a world outside of their own.
Her projects include sending a paper rocket 38,000m into the stratosphere (Heineken’s Legendary Posters), touring museums of the world with a full-sized interactive Guillotine that people actually line up for (Paper Cuts Exhibition), creating a paper globe that can withstand submersion in fluid (3M Science at SXSW) and most recently founding an initiative to spread awareness about the complicated and devastating practise known as Female Genital Mutilation (No More Cutting).
In 2017 Elle Magazine labelled her as runner up for female activist of the year for her work on No More Cutting, and her collaboration with Plan Nederland reached over 2 million people helping to educate more people on the subject.
While Smith’s magic stems from one of mankind’s oldest materials, her expertise extends into film, animation, interactive installations and advertising.
These skills and her collaborative spirit have meant that her Amsterdam studio has been fortunate enough to bring visions to life for brands and agencies such as Toyota, Coca Cola, Tommy Hilfiger, Google, Heineken, Wieden + Kennedy, 180, VICE and BBDO.
Papersmith can work on briefs extending from concept through to execution and is happy to collaborate at any part of the process. She isn’t afraid to start new ideas and her unusual take on projects have lead her to be featured in online journals such as ‘Fast Company’, ‘PSFK’, ‘Designboom’, ‘Trend hunter’, ‘Creativity Online’, ‘This is Colossal’ and ‘It’s Nice That’ to name a few.
AJ Smith is a two times TEDx speaker, first for TEDx Amsterdam Women 2013 and more recently TEDx Amsterdam 2016 where Smith was invited to share her journey on how she ended up making paper genitals to raise awareness of female genital mutilation. In 2017 she has continued to been a keynote speaker for events such as the Persgroep's Advertiser's Summit in Budapest and Dutch Digital Day to an audience of 500 plus people.
Smith has also been the guest speaker at events including 'Creativity Online' at Pakhuis de Zwijger, Creative Mornings Amsterdam, BNO Utrecht and LGBTech.
CODA Paper Art 2017 - June 3rd - Oct 29th 2017
No More Cutting - TEDxAmsterdam at Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam, November 2016
A Rose is a Rose Exhibition - Berlin Art Week, September 2016
Paper Cuts Exhibition - Stadtmuseum Aarau, Switzerland, March 2015 - March 2016
Owen Gildersleave’s Paper Cuts - Proud Gallery London, September 2014
Paper Cuts Exhibition - Pick Me Up, Somerset House London, April 2014
Heineken’s Legendary Posters Exhibition - Stedlijk Museum Amsterdam, April 2014
Paper Cuts Exhibitions - De Waag Amsterdam, March 2014