Courtney Jentzen of Swiss Cottage Designs with her handmade holiday wrapping paper (Nikon D610)
Gift Maker: Courtney Jentzen Inspired Gift: Hand-drawn wrapping paper and holiday cards Nikon Camera: The D610, the D800 and the COOLPIX A captured the brilliant designs and sweet whimsy of Courtney’s work and studio.
This holiday season, Nikon teamed up with Apartment Therapy to post the stories of three makers from our community. We hope showing how these people create handmade holiday gifts will inspire your own creativity. Our photographer Gabriela Herman will help us capture their stories brilliantly.
The holidays have always been a creative time for Courtney Jentzen, the designer and illustrator behind Swiss Cottage Designs. She’s been giving handmade gifts for as long as she can remember. “I’m talking as far back as the magic marker days!” Courtney told us. We got to watch Courtney as she created whimsical gift wrap from an old paper bag, and as she painted this year's holiday cards. Are you ready to be inspired?
For her holiday card, Courtney drew a classic Brooklyn brownstone as a motif, and let her lettering serve as its own design (Nikon COOLPIX A)
Courtney is proud that she kept up with her childhood card-making hobby even through college and now as a busy New Yorker. “I think receiving mail is one of the best feelings in the word.” In this fast-paced, digital society, handmade gifts are a way to show someone “that you’re thinking of them and not just ticking off a box on a list of who to buy for.”
Finding time to be creative, even in the busy holiday season, is important to Courtney. In sharing her hand-painted cards, she hopes she’s sharing her inspiration and creativity with the recipient. “I love the days when I can put aside the emails and the everyday to-do list and just sit and draw. It’s the best feeling . . . I really love being able to lose myself in the drawing and just have fun with it.”
Courtney's studio is as playful and inspired as her work! Here are some more images of her charming workspace (Nikon COOLPIX A)
Of course, Courtney is a talented illustrator. But her favorite part of the process is in capturing the concept. "As any creative person knows, the best ideas come to you at the oddest times, so you always have to be ready for that. Once I have the idea, I love pulling out a fresh piece of paper and just going for it. I put on my radio and just draw."