Q&A - Ellen Giggenbach

When we came across Ellen Giggenbach´s work on the internet we just had to get a closer look and get to know her a little better. We share her passion for colorful illustrations, paper projects and mid-century influence. Ellen lives in New-Zealand and she was so kind to let us bombard her with some questions ;)

Where did you study?
I went to high school in New Zealand. Art was defiantly my best subject! Then our family moved to Vienna in Austria for 3 years so my father could work at the United Nations. I liked the atmosphere of the Graphic Design School more than the very fancy Fine Art Academy so I chose to go there till we came back to New Zealand. I then completed 3 years Design School in Wellington and was awarded a Diploma with Distinction in Graphic Design.

Did you always aim at becoming an illustrator?
As a child our family was very crafty, My mother was a professional seamstress, My father was a geochemist but he loved to paint and make furniture and my sister and I loved to draw, sew and knit our own clothes (mainly because at that time New Zealand was very behind in fashion!)

How would you describe your style?
Even though you could call my style Collage because it involves cutting and arranging paper, it is quite formal and graphic.
I grew up surrounded by German traditions (my father carved folk flowers and birds into our Kitchen cupboards),because of this, my work often looks quite Scandinavian and folksy.
I am absolutely passionate about Mid century Design especially children's book illustrations, I particularly love the bright and unusual colour combinations.
I also like very simple beautiful shapes and for me straight lines and circles are the most simple so you will notice my art is almost only made up of these 2 things!

Could you tell us a little about your projects?
During my career I have created designs for most products, I have just finished 2 amazing paper craft books, I have created designs for many greeting cards and stationery products. Recently my designs where featured on Valentines Packaging for the Hyundai Department store in South Korea.

Do you have a project or a piece of work that your are the most proudest of?
My most recent paper craft books which feature a complete Zoo and Town that you can assemble has to be a highlight.

How is your daily life in New-Zealand?
I live in a beautiful little village across from our capital city called Wellington in New Zealand.
I live very near to the hills and forest and the ocean. My home which I share with my husband and two teenage boys is an original mid century house filled with vintage treasures that I love to collect.
I have a lovely sunny studio which I work in every day as soon as the children have left for school.

How is it living in this beautiful country?
I love living in New Zealand for many reasons but the main one is that the culture of New Zealanders or "Kiwis" as they are often called is very relaxed and easy going, they are very  accepting of individually and do not pressure you to conform.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I love to visit sites such as Pinterest to enjoy images of mid century illustrations and design.The images are so joyful, as soon as I have looked I just want to start a new piece of art!

Do you have a life motto? Something that you find inspirational and drives you?
I have learnt to relax and enjoy the little things in life. Every day I go for a walk, and instead of looking down, I look around me at the flowers and birds, smells and colours, it's about living in the moment,
It helps me appreciate my lovely life!



Thank you Ellen for letting us "pick your brain" ;)

Ellen has a website that we recommend you take a look at and also an Etsy site where you can buy some of her lovely stuff.

Ellen has offered to give to a lucky reader one of her beautiful projects; the paper birds mobile which comes in a set of three. All you have to do is leave a comment here on the blog, wait for us to announce the lucky one and start crafting. We will send the pdf file to the lucky one and you do the assembling...and if you don´t have a printer we can send it to you (the paper mobile that is..not the printer ;)

So hurry up and leave a comment...you have until Wednesday!
Enjoy your evening,

All photos come from Ellens website and her Etsy store.


  1. Já, takk. Flottar vörur :-) Ýr...

  2. Litríkt og fallegt:)
    Kv. Ásta Ósk

  3. Yndislega fallegt :)
    Kv. Embla Ýr

  4. Æðislegir regnbogalitir :)
    Kv. Nikolína

  5. Lovly things and very interestin chatt.

  6. fuglarnir eru fallegir
    kv Eva

  7. Ekki skrítið þó að þið systur hafið heillast af vinnunni hennar :)
    Fuglarnir eru algjörlega geggjaðir :)

    tek þátt og krossa putta um leið (voða erfitt að pikka þá samt :Þ)

  8. Yndislegir þessir fuglar, svakalega fallegir.

    Kv. Inger Rós

  9. gudrun.thorgerdur@gmail.comApril 30, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Vá en fallegt!

  10. Fallegar vöru,

    kveðja Guðmunda

  11. Dasamlega fallegt og litrikt!
    Takk fyrir ad deila! Awesome Work!

  12. Vá, flottir fuglar og gaman að lesa viðtalið :-)



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