About Ellen and her work

Like a champ he stands on the astroturf, in his mini Ajax shirt and white trainers, to wish the club good luck at the kick-off of the new football season. At schiphol airport he sits on the baggage belt, that has been made rainbow-coloured specially in honour of Pride Amsterdam. In Copenhagen he wanders down a street full of colourful houses. On the ferry to Ameland he enjoys the views over the mudflats and in Sweden he has a husky as travel companion. 

He’s a busy bee, that monkey in Ellen Honig’s photos. His adventures can be seen daily on Instagram; every day the Amsterdammer posts a picture of her Herr Nilsson online with an cheerful and preferably topical caption. She takes the monkey (20cm/8 inches tall), an iconic design by the Danish Kay Bojesen, with her everywhere. In daily life Honig, who has always had a love for Scandinavia, works as a place brander and concept designer. The monkey serves as a reflection of her own life and as a means to take a less serious look upon life as a whole; ‘play more often and see joy in every situation’ is the message she conveys with her work.

Meanwhile, Herr Nilsson has become a full member of the family. He’s one of them. Ellen Honig is always keeping her eyes peeled for suitable places and scenarios to photograph him. Whenever possible, with a topical twist or link to current events; on the frozen waters in iconic Dutch landscapes or sipping a cocktail on the beach in Zandvoort. The clothes and accessories Herr Nilsson wears in the photos are often made by Honig herself – a fiddly job requiring a lot of patience. ‘I’m always looking for miniatures that would fit into the life of this monkey. Making the accessories is pure relaxation; Herr Nilsson provides an escape from daily life’, explains Honig. ‘I enjoy it greatly. I hope to put a smile on the face of my followers by means of these pictures.’

Picture 1: This classic antique car was in a window in Modena, Italy. I just hád to ask the shop owner if it was all right to use it for a photo…

Picture 2 : During the skating season in the winter of 2018 at the Zaanse Schans

The making of:

The result: