Meet the Paper Artist who created our flourishing paper jungle
Jeannie Crosby is an artist and designer living in Austin, Texas with her husband and 4-year-old daughter, Clementine. When we discovered her portfolio of whimsical paper sculpture last summer, we knew her unique style would be a perfect fit for our next line. We invited her to create the flourishing jungle that sets the stage for our Spring 2015 lookbook. Today on Flourish, Noonday Founder Jessica Honegger interviews Jeannie to give you an exclusive peek into this collaboration.
Jessica: Before we met, I didn’t know that there were paper artists! How did you become a paper artist?
Jeannie: I have always loved working with paper! When I was a child, I spent a few years living in Japan. At school I took courses about Japanese culture and paper crafts, which is where I first learned origami.
It wasn’t until I got to college that I started to study paper sculpture seriously. I completed a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in Fine Art with a focus on sculpture. After that, I did a residency at the Skowhegan School of Art in Maine and then in Japan.
I moved to New York to launch my career as an artist and designer, and then two years ago our family moved to Austin, Texas. My favorite thing about Austin is the nature – it’s so fresh, lush and green!
It’s been amazing to watch the jungle come to life! Can you talk a little about what your creative process has been for this project?
When you and I first sat down together, I wanted to see what you were seeing – to get your vision. To help me bring that vision into the real world, I painted little watercolors of the set. I had never created a jungle before, so this was an exciting and challenging project. My sculptures have been mostly dainty and ephemeral, so the jungle was outside my comfort zone!
For two months, my garage became a paper jungle! Creating leaves, flowers and birds was messy – by the time I was done, there was green on everything! It was an amazing chance to go back to the studio and get my hands dirty after 14 years working mostly on a computer.
One of my favorite pieces of this amazing set is the paper birds. It’s obvious they were made with a great deal of love. Tell us about how you created them.
The birds were definitely a labor of love. Each of the birds took two solid days. First I built a paper mache form to create the general shape I wanted the birds to be. Then I dyed paper into bright shades of blue, green, and yellow that went well with the tropical paradise we were creating. I cut the paper into tiny strips, then glued each strip onto the paper mache form by hand.
On the days of the Spring photo shoot, you came down to the studio to set the scene. What was that like?
When the day of the shoot finally came, I set up each scene, positioning each leaf to make every shot come together. It was a lovely process. I loved working on set with the Noonday team!
My favorite part of the process was watching something abstract come to life. I had spent months creating every piece, but when it all came together, the jungle was surprising and spontaneous.
After creating a backdrop to the Spring line, it must have been fun to see all the new pieces laid out in person! Care to tell us what Spring styles are your favorites?
The Faceted Glass Bangle in Jade! I am really drawn to it. I love the celadon color. But I also love that it is glass, which gives it a delicate quality. It is precious – I think wearing it would make me more aware of my movements and remind me to act gently. I would love to pair it with a gold bracelet for an elegant arm party.
Jeannie, thanks so much for using your art to help bring our mission statement to life: to build a flourishing world.
It was great to be involved, especially because I think the mission behind the company is so beautiful. I love how Noonday brings together people from many races and backgrounds – and everyone is helping each other. This is rare!
You can see more of Jeannie’s work on her portfolio website, jeanniecrosby.com. Jeannie also runs an online shop that focuses on artful Japanese bath accessories and products. You can visit Kottocurio online at kottocurio.com.
Meet Jessica Honegger
Jessica is Noonday Collection’s Founder and Chief Dreamer. Jessica spends her days inspiring others to live lives of purpose—from empowering our Ambassadors to be powerful storytellers and stylists, to visiting and encouraging our Artisans partners across the globe. After hours, Jessica can be found relaxing with her husband, dancing with her three children, and enjoying a good book.