FROM Evening Times journalist to renowned artist and illustrator – via New York music manager and circus ringmaster along the way – Boo Paterson’s career has been challenging, creative and never dull.

Now she is publishing her first book, which taps into our enduring fascination for ‘grown-up-friendly’ arts and crafts.

Papercut This Book is an introduction to an intricate art which will appeal to anyone interested in creating beautiful pictures and sculptures from paper.

“I have always made things from paper, even as a child, and I used to create pop-up cards for friends’ birthdays and Christmases,” explains Boo, who divides her time between New York, Glasgow and Dundee.

“It was always such a heartswelling moment for me when the people I loved, really loved these things I had created.”

She adds: “I’d always loved art – I won the dux at school for it, I was supposed to go to art school but everyone told me there was no money in it.

“Back then you were never encouraged to consider the arts as a career, so my second best subject was English, and I decided to become a journalist.”

Despite valiant attempts to “keep doing art on the side”, Boo eventually gave up.

“When you’re working full time, you just can’t do it,” she shakes her head. “I’d spend three months doing a bit of painting here and there, and do the odd commission for friends, but it was really unsatisfying and difficult to maintain.”

Boo was already considering a career change and left journalism to pursue her interest in music and event management.

It took her to New York, where she fell in love with the city which is now her second home.

And it also resulted in a spell as a circus ringmaster.

“It was amazing, but eventually, so tiring and physically demanding that I decided to give it up,” she explains.

“I was basically building the site every day then running around in high heels for eight hours a night – I was exhausted and I knew it was taking its toll on my body.”

She grins: “So I ran way FROM the circus. And it was around that time that a friend of mine, who is also an artist asked me what on earth I was doing, mucking about in PR and circuses when I should be doing art.”

Boo had starting papercutting by this time, creating works inspired by political events and current affairs, like the refugee crisis in Syria and the Glasgow School of Art fire.

It was the latter which gave Boo the boost she needed when it was pre-selected for the Royal Scottish Academy of Art exhibition in 2015.

“I suppose I needed to hear that I was good enough, and that was the validation,” she says, slowly. “So then I worked non-stop to build up a portfolio and the following year, I entered again and this time I was selected.”

She grins: “I was a bit gobsmacked. And then to be shortlisted for the 2016 World Illustration Awards – I think that was the moment when I thought oh, okay, this is a thing. I can do this.”

When she approached publishers about the possibility of making papercutting accessible to all, they were immediately interested.

“Colouring-in had reached a bit of a peak, and I think they liked the meditative element of paper art,” explains Boo. “You have to concentrate on it while you are doing it – you are using a knife, and the cuts are intricate, so you really can’t think about anything else.

“I’m really excited about the book coming out – it’s being released here on August 10, and in America on September 5.”

The book teaches you how to bring to life a variety of animals, from tigers to sloths, kangaroos to orangutans – partly inspired by the local wildlife Boo encountered on her travels around the world with the circus.

Cutting templates are included along with high-quality art paper in a variety of colours – all you need is a scalpel and a cutting board. The projects vary in complexity, making the book perfect both for beginners and for those wanting to develop their skills further.

Boo has dedicated the book to her former Evening Times colleagues Fred Terry and Stewart McNee, and to her friends Jason Lyons and Ian Ferguson, all of whom sadly died in recent months.

Boo recently completed a road trip in Ian’s honour, across the US.

“He had talked about doing it himself, but when he was diagnosed with cancer, he couldn’t get health insurance to travel,” she explains.

“I told him I’d go instead, and he could follow my pictures and videos on social media, and I’d visit the places he wanted to see and do the things he wanted to do.

“Sadly, he died before I could go. I saw him just a couple of days before he died and told me I should still do it.”

Boo adds: “I think he meant, just do it - before it’s too late. Seize the day.”

Boo travelled from Miami to New York, via New Orleans and few misadventures along the way, leaving postcards with Fergie’s quotes on them in locations all over the States.

“It wasn’t the trip we planned but in the end, I think I did him proud,” she smiles.

“I think Fergie, Jason, Stuart and Fred would all have loved the fact I have done this. They’d have been my cheerleaders.

“I still miss them all.”

Papercut This Book is published on August 10 by Batsford, an imprint of Pavilion Books.