Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Interview with Jesse Corinella

q)Who are you? Where are you from and where do you live now?

a)I'm Jesse Corinella, born and raised on Long Island in Roslyn, New York.  I went to school at the University of Delaware and, after a bit of traveling, I ended up back here in New York.  Presently, I live in Carroll Gardens, in Brooklyn.

q)What is it that you do? What media do you use?

a)By day, I work as a retoucher at Wieden+Kennedy, but by night, I work as an illustrator.  Most of my work is done in pencils, inks and watercolors, though more and more, I'm working digitally.  I don't think I'll every completely work digitally, but it's a tremendous time-save to digitally colorize analog drawings.

q)What do you think sets your work apart?

a)Everybody brings something unique to the table, be it conceptually or through their craftsmanship; lately, I think it's the way that I render, more than my subject matter, that's gained attention.  I really enjoy rendering, so whenever I get involved in a project, I'll spend tons of time focused on the minutiae of a piece.  As long as I can maintain a sense of scale throughout the rendering process, I always feel that the pieces come out stronger in the end.  Patience goes a long way, but to me, drawing is meditative.  I could never spend so much time doing this if I didn't enjoy it so much.  

q)How long have you been showing your work for?  Did you have a “big break?” 

a)I've been showing work since I was a kid, but not in any serious sense.  I was always the kid in school doodling in class, so I was always getting involved in small projects here and there.  I still haven't had any great break, but to be fair, I think I need to be producing more work to get there.  I don't think it's a single moment as much as it is persistence.  There's a lot of competition, so it's really important to keep fresh and updated with your work.

q)What are some things that have inspired you?

a)Oh, man.  Nature is a huge inspiration; pine cones, crickets, lightening bugs, dogs.  Outer space is huge too - I'm a really big science buff.  Lighting is huge too: the golden hour is my absolute favorite time of the day - that moment when the sun blares orange and red on everything it touches.  That blood orange on a concrete wall against a brilliant blue sky is something I think about every time I color a piece.  It's pretty unbeatable.  I don't follow design journals all too much, nor illustrators or photographers, really.  I probably should, at least to know what's going on out there.  I used to be a pretty big video game fan, but I've distanced myself from that world a good deal.  It's so easy to get lost in absorbing other peoples' products, so much so that you don't produce anything yourself.

q)What have you been working on recently?

a)For the past year and a half, I've been working on an epic science fiction graphic novel, OHM.  The story takes place on a dying Earth in the near future, in a world run by corporatized nations.  One such nation, OHM, is the centerpiece of the story.  I've been having a blast conceptualizing space ships, futuristic fashion and all sorts of fantastic architectural settings.  It's been a real project of passion, so at the end of the day, I'm hoping to knock this out've the park.

Also, I've been doing a bit of collaborating with a Brooklyn-based band, Snowmine.  I grew up with some of these guys, so it's great to see that they've gained so much traction.  They're really talented, so I hope that they keep getting the press that they deserve..

q)Do you listen to music while you create your work?  If so, would you give some examples? 
I do; I listen to a lot of ambient music.  Explosions in the Sk and Loney Dear come to mind.  I listen to a lot of talk radio too; WNYC is my go-to NPR and PRI affiliate.  I'm a really big fan of Radiolab and This American Life, so whenever I get a chance, I try to catch up with those programs.  Recently, I've been kind've obsessed with Joe Frank; I accidentally came across his work while working really late one night.  He's a brilliant, tremendously talented storyteller.  He produces both fiction and non-fiction and he goes to tremendous lengths to produce these wild, fantastical, rambling, biting stories.  Sometimes, they're light and fun and eccentric - but often, they're profound and dark and heart breaking.  They're great fuel to work through a long night in.

q)Do you do work in any other media? Other projects not necessarily related to your main body of work?

a)I do a great deal of writing, though it usually shows up in my illustrative work.  I do a bit of photography, too; I was simultaneously trained as both an illustrator and a photographer, though the pencil dominates more of my time than the camera nowadays.

q)What advice do you have for artists looking to show their work?

a)Keep working.  Stay really busy producing work that you're happy with.  Find the time to make a large body of your work, but even more importantly, share it.  As long as you have a cohesive idea or style, you'll be able to find someone, somewhere to help host it.  Once you've produced, get your work out there as quickly as possible; just make sure that it doesn't disappear into a drawer somewhere before other people get to see it.

q)Do you have any upcoming exhibitions of your work that you can mention?

a)Nope; I've been spending most of my time working towards a publication.  Once that piece is up-and-running, it'd be great to display all've the original pieces that went into it: character designs, setting designs, models and all sorts of production artwork.

q)Where can people see more of your work on the internet?

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