Practicing Creativity

ABOUT

The first thing people ask me is where my blog’s name 'Paperesse' comes from. It’s a lengthy explanation, and by the time I get to the end of it, most people’s eyes have glazed over and they’re wishing they hadn’t asked, but if you still want to know, here goes.

Paperesse is loosely connected to the French word paperasse (note the second 'a' there), a word French people use often.  It means paperwork – specifically, all the administrative paperwork for which France is famous. When one talks about paperasse it’s not in a positive sense. The American side of me has always been impressed the French could have such an elegant sounding word for such an unpleasant concept.  I might not like what it stands for, but I like the way it sounds. Brainstorming a name for my new creative blog back in 2012, I thought of paperasse, but quickly dismissed it. Francophone readers wouldn’t have a pleasant association and pronounced in an English fashion would leave Anglophones wondering exactly what kind of blog they're looking at (try it, see what I mean?).

Nothing seemed right. Why couldn’t I find just the right word that summed up the awesomeness of paper, its versatility, its far reaching impact?  Because when you think about it, paper is a wonderful thing. Think of all the ways paper (and its original version papyrus) has left its literal mark on the world, all that we have learned from it. Think of the pleasure it gives – books, music, recipes and photographs printed upon it, works of art drawn on it, gifts wrapped up in it, love declared by it and memories associated with it. Paper is a powerful thing. Even in this digital age, we still use paper.

I’ve always been a fan of paper in all its different forms – books, plain paper, drawing paper decorative paper, handmade paper, photographic paper, sheet music – in all of my creative pursuits there’s a paper connection somewhere. Even if it's nothing more than the ticket stub I save as a souvenir.

Then it came to me – how about Paperesse? Replacing the second 'a' with an 'e'.  In Old French the word suffix ending -esse, means female. Middle English adopted the French practice, but dropped the final  'e'  leaving us with potent female designated words like lioness, duchess, mistress, princess, countess, seductress, etc. Paper-esse…yes that was me!  And so Paperesse the blog was born.

I hope you enjoy Paperesse, my creative practice!

Shani Thomas
aka Paperesse

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