Hi! My name is Ellen Giggenbach, and I create joyful art in the form of prints, paper craft kits, sewing kits and scarves. I work from my home in Eastbourne, New Zealand, a lovely seaside village near our capital city.
I’ve always been drawn to arts and crafts. I fondly remember the many happy afternoons I spent with my mom and sister drawing, sewing, and knitting jumpers, and art was by far my best subject at school. Inspired by a Matisse poster on my wall, I began experimenting with hand-cutting colored paper. My favorite part of the process was creating simple, graphic shapes; I also loved the spontaneity of being able to move elements around to form surprising color combinations. After studying graphic design in Vienna and New Zealand, I went on to work in advertising as a freelance graphic artist. And after that, I became a mum to two gorgeous sons.
I always knew that I would pick up my scalpel and work with cut paper again one day, and that time finally came when my boys started school. Suddenly, I found that I had enough hours in the day to work on reigniting my passion, so I created a few pieces of work and posted them on my blog. Even though some time had passed, my passion for color hadn’t faded; I was pleasantly surprised to see that other people liked my work, too. I opened my Etsy shop soon after and was delighted to receive my first orders. The rest, as they say, is history.
Whenever I see a heart, a bird, a vase, an animal – even a hot air balloon – I imagine what it would look like if it were made of paper. When I’m ready to create, the next step in my process is playing around with paper, scissors and sticky tape until the image is exactly how I envisioned it. I like challenging myself to design each of my paper sculptures so that they are as simple as possible to make.
Recently, I’ve been adding more and more detail to my art digitally, which has given my designs a whole new element that I love. I am also currently working on a new range of DIY sewing crafts and cushions, and I’ve just completed my first collection of colorful scarves. I’m excited to know that there are many more ideas just waiting to pop into my head — and I am always so happy to know that someone, somewhere in the world, is having fun cutting and folding my creations.
All photographs by Ellen Giggenbach.