I was so pleased when, after months of sporadicly checking her site for updates, a blog post popped up in my RSS feed last week letting me know the new Jen Corace website was live at long last.
Jen Corace’s work is so obviously something I would like. She draws girls in cute dresses and sinister situations. She draws antique-y houses with explosive floral wallpapers. She draws nature in all of intricacies. Her scenes are quirky, even dangerous, yet her solitary figures quietly take it, even seem to relish it at times, making the situations dreamlike; they’re lovely as they are threatening or strange. Many artists are playing make believe when they draw (I know I frequently am) but it feels particularly true in Corace’s work; these are scenes I can see suburban girls dreaming up (Cecilia Lisbon eat your heart out). Her typical bob-headed brunette with vacant brown eyes reminds me of a paper doll moving from scene-to-scene
Corace lets nature due a lot of her storytelling. We see the sublime in her waves and sea monsters, beauty and camouflage in her florals, whimsy and oddity in her room full of jackolopes. It’s also just prime subject matter for her style of line work, as seen in the repeated forms of water, flowers and other plants. No wonder her bibliography includes the words “entomology” and “Charles Darwin”.
Also worth checking out: The Little Series (available in hardcover and board book box set) written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Jen Corace. While the palette of her children’s illustrations is far more sun-shiney, her signature line work and attention to detail (even her animals are well dressed) remains. Plus the stories are just cu-ute. I recommend Little Pea in particular.
All images copyright Jen Corace. Pictured above: “You, Me”, “Creature”, “Closing In”, “Hidden”, “Playing Joan of Arc”, & “Sitting, Thinking, Staring”