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Obed Marshall: A Chat With Crafting’s King Of Colour

Meet Obed Marshall: his bilingual, colour-laden collections are making the world of crafts even more joyful

Obed Marshall: A Chat With Crafting’s King Of Colour

Colour, to me, is one of the most important things in the world,” declares Obed Marshall. You know what, Obed? We kind of guessed that already. An illustrator, papercraft designer and scrapbook extraordinaire, since 2014 Obed has been making it his mission to make the world more colourful. Just take a quick glance at his designs and his big, beaming smile and you cannot help but be uplifted. In Obed’s world, there’s no such thing as doom and gloom.

“Imagine what a world without colour would be like,” he requests. “Almost impossible, right? We sometimes might not even realise how important and valuable colour is. That’s why I love it so much, and find it so important to include in everything I do.” Suffice to say, Obed has succeeded in that department. In every one of his designs, the colours are pushed to the extreme – each shade is somehow brighter than you ever thought possible. Still in his early twenties, Obed has achieved a remarkable amount with his colourful ethos. An American Crafts designer with two major collections out, he has also brought his sharp eye to work for big-name clients like Create Room, HP and FujiFilm Spain.

Yet all of this started just a few years ago, with a bit of washi tape. “Those little rolls of patterned tape were the first papercrafting supply I owned,” Obed explains. From there he came across papercrafting and scrapbooking, and the rest is brightly-coloured history. Despite not coming to papercrafting until his teens, he was always an artsy child. “Since I was very young, I have loved everything art-related,” he says. “I took up drawing and painting classes in school and that ignited the passion for art inside of me.”

As for many people around the world, papercrafting was a treasured hobby for Obed, but before long it became so much more. “I started joining a few design teams for which I had to create specific projects and absolutely loved the experience,” he says. “I finally decided to submit my projects for consideration to become a part of the American Crafts Design Team, and to my surprise I was chosen!”

After some time in the AC family, perhaps the biggest moment of all arrived. ¡Buenos Días! was Obed’s first collection for the company, and helped to bring his work to the world. Not only did it feature in PaperCrafter (surely the highlight of his career!) but it also allowed Obed to showcase his bilingual designs. It is something that, alongside colour, powers his art.

“Including sentiments in both Spanish and English in my collections is very important,” he offers. “Representation has always been significant for me. Coming from a multicultural background and a bilingual home I know first-hand how important it is. The response I had after the release of my collections was amazing! To this day, I receive countless messages on my social media from people saying how happy they are to finally be able to craft in their mother tongue.”

Obed continued this bilingual approach with his second American Crafts range, Fantástico. Despite some differences – ¡Buenos Días! has a greater emphasis on travel and togetherness – both collections display Obed’s signature style, which he sums up as simultaneously colourful, modern and nostalgic. “I know it can seem incompatible,” he admits. “But that’s the beauty in it.” Given their success and the fact they have his name emblazoned across them, it would be easy to focus entirely on these American Crafts releases when assessing Obed’s crafting. In reality, he has been up to so much more. On top of a varied portfolio of client work, Obed is also a keen papercraft teacher. “Each teaching experience is an opportunity to meet new people and mutually share our crafting knowledge,” he says. “I love learning tips and tricks from my students, as we each have a personal papercrafting style that’s unique.” It is easy to imagine, too, that someone with such enthusiasm for his subject is a wonderful teacher to have.

When it comes to finding your crafty inspiration, he has just one lesson: slow down. “In my opinion, being inspired can come and go,” Obed explains. “But I think inspiration is anywhere and everywhere, and that we can be inspired by anything. I know that might sound idealistic and abstract, but if you slow down and observe your surroundings, you’ll find inspiration.”

So what next for crafting’s King of Colour? “I’d rather focus on making the most of the present than thinking about the future,” he concludes. “Don’t get me wrong, planning for the future is really important – but let’s not lose focus and miss the present.” Despite this, Obed provides us with some assurances. “There will definitely be crafts, art and colour in my future,” he says. We at PaperCrafter can’t wait to see all three. Adiós, Obed!

If you like the look of Obed Marshall’s colourful crafts, why not take a closer look at his ¡Buenos Días! and Fantástico collections for American Crafts? And don’t forget all his other incredible work and the myriad delights on his Instagram page.

Can’t get enough of top-drawer American Crafts designs? Download our FREE American Crafts printables today!

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