About me

My name is Laura Barley and I’m the artist behind Paper Whiskers. I live in Wakefield, West Yorkshire with my lovely husband Jay. I am and have always been an animal lover. I’ve always had many pets, which was intensified when I worked in a pet shop for many years and seemed to bring every creature home (much to my parents’ frustration!). Currently, my furry family consists of two cats (Lotti and Millie) which is currently more than enough!

I have always been happiest when doing something creative, even as a young child. I used to make houses complete with furniture for my toys and I once made a whole family of robots from old pop bottles. Art is my main passion and I have always relished any opportunity to draw, paint, make and sculpt.

I followed my interest in art by completing a foundation course in art, followed by a degree in Fine Art at Leeds College of Art (Now Leeds Art University). I found that I had a passion for sculpture and I also enjoyed creating art that involved putting together different materials and patterns to create interesting effects. This eventually led me to discover my enjoyment of paper collage.

About my art

During my spare time whilst working as a primary school teacher, I made a paper collage of my cat using some wallpaper samples that I had picked up. I’ve always been quite good at cutting really complicated shapes using scissors so I was able to create the tiny details quite easily. I realised that not only did I enjoy working with paper as a medium, I also had managed to achieve a fairly good likeness of my cat, Millie (see image). This led me to create more collages and I began to create them as gifts for friends and family.

Pictured above this text is my lovely Lotti (the cat) with her portrait which was my second ever one (I’ve since done a much better version!) and Riley my cousin’s beautiful pooch.

After 5 years of teaching, I decided that it was time for a new challenge. I wanted to get back to doing what makes me happy so I launched Paper Whiskers in February 2020. I create paper collages of  animals using various different papers (mostly wallpaper) and I then use a black and a white fine liner pen to add additional details that I cannot achieve with paper alone.

I love to make personalised pet portraits for people as a treasured keep-sake and a special way to remember your beloved pets.

Recently, I have been very lucky to be selected to exhibit some of my artwork in amazing exhibitions.


26th August – 26th November 2022
The Art Department, Paisley (Scotland) – Big Art Show Annual Exhibition –
Exhibited ‘Naptime’


16th November – 20th November 2022
Gallery@oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf, London – Sketch for Survival UK 2022
Exhibited ‘Bao the Red Panda’ (Finalist in the top 100)


4th November 2022 – 20th January 2023
Aire Place Studios, Leeds (West Yorkshire)
Exhibited ‘Kitten Cuddles’


29th April – 31st May 2023
Rose Patterson Gallery, Weston Park, Shifnal – Association of Animal Artists Spring Exhibition
Exhibited ‘From Tiny to Tall’


31 August – 18 November 2023
The Art Department, Paisley (Scotland) – Big Art Show Annual Exhibition –
Exhibited ‘Asha the Elephant’, ‘Kitten Cuddles’ and ‘Daisy the Rabbit’


10th November – 5th December 2023
The Station, Richmond (North Yorkshire) – Association of Animal Artists Autumn Exhibition – Exhibited ‘Safe in her Shadow’, ‘Holding On’ and ‘Minerva the Owl’ (Won Chairperson’s Award)

I look forward to exhibiting more in the future and continuing to attend craft and artisan markets with products such as greeting cards, prints and originals.

Get in touch

Email: paperwhiskersart@gmail.com