Today's featured artist is Ellen Giggenbach. She is the owner and artist behind a successful Etsy shop that features retro folk cut paper, art prints, and paper crafts. Keep reading to learn more about her and her beautiful work!
I was born in Augsburg, Germany. My scientist father's obsession with volcanoes bought us to New Zealand when I was a young girl.
New Zealand wasn't very trendy then, so my sister, mum and I used to sew all our own creations. I have always loved bright colours and have some very stylish photos of me as a teenager with bright orange pants, a lime green top and enough bright plastic jewellery to start a small shop!
My father was also very crafty and rather eccentric (when he wasn't taking us on scientific adventures) he carved traditional German folk motifs in our kitchen cupboards and collected old signs which he hung all around the living room, even on the ceiling!
I also loved drawing (definitely my best subject at school!)
I particularly liked Matisse's graphic style and how he cut simple shapes from bright pieces of paper. I also liked the idea that I could play around with composition thus being able to be more experimental.
I have also always had a passion for the 1950's and 60's, I think it is because they where an era of positivity and optimism, they didn't take design too seriously, I particularly love the quirky colour combinations they used.
My house is filled (sometimes to my families dismay!) with all sorts of mid century treasures which I find during my weekly visits to our local second hand stores and in the vintage section of Etsy (yes some do ship all the way to new Zealand!) these constantly inspire me, especially my collection of children's books.
I am very lucky in that I am able to create pretty well everyday (as soon as I have shipped my family off to work and school)
My Etsy shop is filled with an ever growing collections of paper cut art prints and my personal favourites, a collection of fun papercraft kits which consist of joyful little 3D houses, animals, birds and angels.
My little houses are my best seller along with my bird with umbrella print, I think my customers like the groovy 60's fabric I have used as decoration on the umbrella.
I really enjoy developing my 3D paper crafts, I start with an idea and continue cutting paper till the final shape fits together perfectly (no computer help here!) then I start to embellish it using prepainted paper which I hand cut out using a scalpel.
As far as advice goes: be original, take gorgeous photos and don't be afraid to actively promote yourself, people need to find out about you! a blog is great for this.
My other passion is photography, it's just a hobby but there is nothing nicer than walking in my neighbourhood, along the beach or in the bush looking at flowers and plants right up close, being in the moment, sniffing the sea air and feeling the damp cool air under our native ferns and trees and watching our busy little native birds.
My goal for this year is simply to continue creating paper cuts for an even greater variety of customers and products. I absolutely love it and have been blessed with a wonderful environment and family who make it possible and a joy every single day!