Helga Stenzel

Helga Stentzel

Tell us about yourself, where you’re from and how long you’ve been doing visual art?

I was born in Russia and moved to London in 2005 to study at St Martins College of Art and Design. Upon graduating I pursued a career in advertising, and even though it’s been years since I left the industry, it still has a huge influence on my art.

How did you get started with mixing visual art and DIY? Would you say your work intends to turn everyday objects into art?

I’ve always been a visual person, and growing up in the Soviet Union taught me a lot about reusing, reinventing and making things from scratch. The choice of clothes, stationery, home furnishings etc was very limited when I was a child, so instead of going shopping, we had to stitch, sew, glue and drill to get what we wanted.

I found both functionality and visual appeal of my projects very important, so this is probably where my desire to mix art and DIY comes from. Also, I like it when my belongings multitask.

A tray that doubles as a wall deco, a tape dispenser which is also a press paper, a pair of children’s gloves that turn into an interactive toy (available in my shop).

I wouldn’t say I’m intending to turn everyday objects into art. It’s rather about seeing more than catches the eye and adding emotional value.

Helga Stenzel Cheese Art

Do you typically have a set vision for your artwork, or do you start with a small element and build of it as you go?

I have a sketchbook where I write down and draw all ideas that come to my mind. This is like a little treasure box of mine. Some ideas take shape very quickly, whereas some other need more time to ‘ripen’.

This means I keep coming back to them from time to time until they are good enough to be filmed. Once they are, I start thinking about the details. I always set out filming/ shooting with a solid concept in mind.

I search for the sounds on the platform, and the results very often exceed my expectations. They sometimes add a new twist to the story – it’s like unlocking another level of creativity!

Do do you have any favorite objects, tools or materials that you like to work with?

I adore working with food and small electric items. For some reason, I find sockets and plugs very fascinating!

Stop motion or static artwork – do you prefer one over the other? What do you find challenging in both of them?

I’ve been doing stills for the past twenty years, whereas motion graphics is a relatively new genre to me. I’m learning After Effects and Premier, and the more features I discover, the more exciting it gets! I still can’t quite get my head around the fact that it is now possible to do the volume of work of the entire animation studio on a tiny laptop!

Most of your content is silent but you can find some artworks supplemented with sound. How did that go?

It was problematic for me initially to work with sound as I only had basic recording equipment at hand and the results were not great. About a year ago I came across Soundsnap, and it transformed the way I approach audio editing.

Instead of recording something I think would suit a particular piece, I search for the sounds on the platform, and the results very often exceed my expectations. They sometimes add a new twist to the story – it’s like unlocking another level of creativity!

Helga Stenzel Dog Landscape

Would you consider yourself as having pareidolia, the condition of seeing faces in inanimate objects?

Haha, it’s the first time I hear about this condition and yes, I definitely have it. As well as many other abnormalities I’m afraid. Like seeing elephants in electric plugs.

Have you ever had visions for larger pieces, in which might incorporate large, heavy objects?

Yes, I have a few ideas for monumental pieces, and I’m planning to execute them this year. Stay tuned! 🙂

How do you make people see your work? Do you have any favorite social media channel?

My favourite social media channel is Instagram. I use hashtags to help people find my work and also take part in competitions hosted by Adobe, Google and Instagram itself. It’s great fun.

Helga Stenzel Banana Ducks

Any advice for your up-and-coming peers on how to build a following and distribute your art?

Do something that’s genuinely interesting to you, experiment and take part in creative competitions.

If someone wanted to contact you or find more of your work, how would they get ahold of you?

Helga Stenzel

I can be reached through my instagram (I read all direct messages), or via email helga.stentzel@gmail.com Looking forward to hearing from you! 🙂