Elizabeth Figgie a.k.a. “Ms Figgie Paper” is a maker of chic, one-of-a-kind envelopes using recycled papers and Pro® Artist Tape (and a long-time follower of Pro Tapes®)! Today we’ll find out what inspires her to create her fine paper crafts and how she learned about Pro® Artist Tape.
Do you have a website or any social media sites you’d like to share with our audience?
Instagram is my most frequently updated platform and the best way to see the new pieces I’m making (@ms.figgiepaper)
I have an Etsy shop (see here), where you can order stationery.
My website (elizabethfiggie.com) has some more in-depth content about my stationery as well as other artworks.
How long have you been practicing art, and in what capacity?
I can’t remember not doing art. I grew up being creative, often drawing, crafting, and making up funny projects. I took my first art classes as a teenager, beginning with watercolors and drawing, then exploring other media here and there throughout school and university.
I really began focusing on my personal artwork over the past 6 years or so. Most recently, I’ve picked up acrylics and graphic design. Watercolor remains my staple, and of course, I keep up with my paper craft.
What inspired you to create bespoke envelopes using tape?
I’ve been a letter writer for a long time and have always had long-distance friends I like to keep in touch with. My friends and I started making our own stationery for fun, and I’d use masking tape for utilitarian purposes — to connect the pieces and close the flap.
I kept returning to stationery, and eventually had piles made up. Even if I didn’t have any particular use for them, I couldn’t stop cranking out new envelopes, postcards, note papers, or just little art clippings with a tape frame.
At a certain point, I thought if I was going to create so much, I needed to find a way of sharing them with other people.
I started playing around with working the tape into the design and thinking about how to make the pieces look more professional. I found Pro® Artist Tape, and it was just what I needed to create the looks I wanted.
Which of our Pro Tapes® products do you use in your craft?
I keep it pretty basic and use the black and white ¾ inch Pro® Artist Tape for my envelopes, and the clear double-sided tape for sealing the flap (Pro® tip: we recommend Pro® JLAR!) I use some of the thinner tapes for note papers and other smaller pieces. I’ve experimented with using some different colors as border tape for seasonal and specialty stationery (and all the time for my own use around the house!), but most often I like the consistency of the black and white tape.
How did you discover those products, and what made you decide to incorporate them into your artistic process?
I was delighted to stumble upon some at a local art supply store. It feels a little silly to admit, but I didn’t even know about Pro® Artist Tape at the time, but it seemed like it’d be perfect for my work.
I wanted to move away from masking and washi tape and find a tape that would look complementary to most of the materials I use for envelopes. After that, I started ordering different Pro® products online.
What do Pro® products allow you to do that other media (paint, spray paint, etc.) do not? What qualities do you appreciate the most about the tape?
The Pro® Artist Tapes are pretty perfect for my work. They hold the pieces so well, but usually don’t rip the paper if I have to make adjustments. They fold, tear, and cut easily. They’re nicely opaque and create such a bold, even border around the piece.
I’ve never considered using glues for stationery; I think it’d be a nightmare and more time consuming. The tape is quick, portable, sturdy, consistent, and pretty.
Since I don’t have a studio, something I enjoy about this stationery venture is it’s rather portable. I’m able to set up and work through stationery batches at a coffee shop or borrowed work space, and I enjoy that flexibility.
What other media do you use alongside tape to create your art, and how do they work together?
I use repurposed materials for my envelopes — anything from old books, magazines and gift bags to wallpaper scraps, tissue boxes, and posters.
The tapes serve as a border, and makes the envelope look really sharp and clean, as well as holding everything together. I print my own greeting cards, and try to use second-hand cardstock whenever I can find it.
When I’m not using tape for stationery, I use it frequently for other projects: borders and placeholders for paintings, decorations, collaging, or scrapbooking.
I use repurposed materials for my envelopes, so I’m often piecing together fragments of paper and scrap material. That part is the most fun to me. Every material is a new discovery and every envelope is a fun surprise once you see how it turns out.
Tape is the easiest adhesive when you’re working with flux materials. I don’t always have the volume to make single cuts.
If someone has never used tape in their artwork or crafting practice before, what are some of your tips for getting started?
Go for it! If I were starting out, I’d order at least one of every kind of Pro® Artist Tape. There are tapes I haven’t even heard of and would love to have on hand!
Copy some of your favorite art in tape. Look up some project ideas to get yourself working regularly with the tape and familiar with its qualities. Once you’re into it, you’ll branch out with your own ideas and find practices that work for you and the type of art you want to create.