Behind our Hong Kong art prints

Elsa Jeandedieu

On Paper Lab Co-founder and Artist Elsa Jeandedieu on her Hong Kong Magic City art prints collection

Q: What's the story behind the Hong Kong art prints collection?

Elsa: These art prints are actually based on a series of sketches I did over 10 years ago when I first moved to Hong Kong.

What amazed me the most about the city when I first arrived here is that the concrete and the wild are so intertwined. You can often see wild pigs coming to town, parrots flying between buildings, massive trees growing on walls or buildings, and that’s exactly what gave me the inspiration to create my very own HK city where buildings, trams, and taxis are transformed into wood. In my “green” Hong Kong, dim sum steamers are steaming up iconic buildings, drying outside on bamboo poles, and ants take the bus and pollution doesn’t exist!

I used to draw in my sketchbook while commuting to work on the MTR, and I was just fascinated with creating wood patterns and capturing scenes from Hong Kong in a unique way. I wasn’t creating the drawings with any intent to sell them as artwork, it was more for my personal expression and to pass the time while on my commute to work.

Q: So the prints are based on your old sketchbook drawings. Were there any changes you made to the sketches before putting them up as art prints at On Paper Lab?

Elsa: At the moment, the Ding Ding illustration of the tram is the only art print based on my original sketches. I scanned the drawing from my sketchbook and then played with a few different colours digitally.

For the rest of the designs in the current collection, I made new drawings with my concept of creating Hong Kong scenes using natural wood patterns, showing iconic scenes such as a traditional junk boat, a mini bus, taxis and even a locksmith stand.

Q: How has the response been to the collection so far?

Elsa: Really good! We’ve sold quite a number of prints so far. Some of our customers buy them as decoration for their own homes, and a lot of other customers buy them as Hong Kong themed gifts for friends, especially for those who are moving away. I think the art prints and postcards make great Hong Kong souvenirs.

Q: Do you plan to add new prints to this collection?

Elsa: Absolutely! I have ideas for other Hong Kong scenes to draw, and other colour palettes to play with, and I have a lot of other old drawings in my sketchbook that I want to scan and work with digitally. Whenever I have time in-between other work and client projects I try to create new art prints to add to the collection.

Shop the On Paper Lab Hong Kong Magic City prints collection here!