Paper designs by Mr Yen have global reach

Jonathan Chapman of Mr Yen with some of his Japanese-inspired works. PIC: Simon Hulme
Jonathan Chapman of Mr Yen with some of his Japanese-inspired works. PIC: Simon Hulme
Have your say

From his home in Armley, Jonathan Chapman uses a scalpel to craft paper into Japanese-inspired artwork.

His creations, which he sells under the name Mr Yen, have gone on to be featured in high profile magazines in the UK and United States such as O, The Oprah Magazine, Computer Arts and House & Garden, with big name brands such as Lynx also snapping them up.

Mr Chapman said: “I’ve created features for magazines, so props and things like that, I’ve done papercuts for window displays and I’ve created artwork that’s then photographed and used for stationery and greeting cards.” A graduate of Leeds College of Art, Mr Chapman said that a visit to Japan several years ago sparked his imagination. “My designs are quite detailed but the whole piece as one is quite simple”, he said.

His work is also inspired by nature, said Mr Chapman.

Mr Chapman had a job in retail until he was made redundant a couple of months ago.

He is now working full-time on his Mr Yen business. His plan is to invest in a laser cutting machine so he can take on larger orders and create stationery for weddings. But he said that he will continue to produce bespoke hand-cut designs as well.

Mr Chapman is among 173,933 home-based business owners now operating in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.

They represent seven per cent of the total workforce in the region, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics analysis from Leeds-based Direct Line for Business.

Mr Chapman said: “My decision of working from home was mainly to save money.

“But also, I feel with the ease of communication using the internet today, you can connect to anyone, anywhere in the world.

He added: “So a dedicated premises isn’t really a priority initially.”