Jen Corace answers questions. November 17, 2008 09:29

The work of Providence, RI artist Jen Corace has been featured on Craftland postcards for the last three years. She’s also illustrated her way around more than a handful of books, magazines, record covers, websites -- and exhibited her work in solos shows around the country. Find out a bit of what makes America’s Sweetheart tick. What is your favorite color? I have been thinking about this question for far too long...I should probably just say something like "blue" instead of the convoluted stream of rambling that is going through my head. What I want to say is that my favorite color is a nameless, warm, greenish-yellowish grey that conveys a sense of light coming through it. Then I think...that's a lie, your favorite color, jen corace, is cadmium red medium...duh...but really only when it's still wet and sinking into paper. What inspires you when it comes time to making the annual Craftland image? I usually am designing the postcard in September or October...which aren't very wintery months. Generally I think of a lot of snow and then something pops out of it. How do you choose your color palette? My color palette often depends on the sort of paper I am working on and the mediums that work best with those papers. When I work on Rives BFK there are only one or two inks I have found that draw well on that paper and a lot of the color ends up being opaque because the surface is so delicate that it is better to have an acrylic/plastic base vs. flooding it with a water based medium. When I work on watercolor papers opaque paints seem too heavy for the surface so I primarily work with inks and watercolors. Beyond that there are a few base colors that I really love and tend to find the rest of the palette based on the tone of the pieces I am working on. How do you make time to make all the different kinds of work that you do? When I am working I generally work thirteen hour days. Not thirteen hours straight...I take breaks, eat meals, walk the dog. In the more heavily scheduled times I have no social life. I tend to work at night until four am. It might sound grueling, but I actually prefer it that way. I have always been a late night shut in. What do you listen to while working? Lately I have been listening to a lot of books from Curry's readings of the Lemony Snicket series, Lolita, the new Sarah Vowell, David Rakoff. If I am in the process of figuring out a project or image I tend to listen to somber music like Bonnie Prince Billy or Elliott Smith. For everyday illustration work when I have a clear idea about what I want to do I will listen to movies. Do you have any hand health tips for fellow draw-ers? Take a lot of breaks, learn and implement helpful hand stretches. At the end of a drawing session I like to wrap my arm in a heating pad and have a whiskey. How did you become America's Sweetheart? I think by talking a big talk and walking a medium walk. Check out the forthcoming Craftland program booklet in-store for the full interview!