Dear readers! We are jubilant to announce the publication of Issue 039 today! Herein lie thirteen speculative fiction short stories by woman-identifying authors that we hope will make you think, stimulate your imagination, entertain, and inspire.
And, as you might know, with the celebration of every issue release, we love to give a shout out to our cover artist. This issue, we are delighted to feature work by Corinne Reid. Continue further to read more about her art and her inspiration of this issue’s cover.
LSQ: Please tell us about the Issue 039 cover art “Silent Visions.” Who is this character and what is she seeing? Does she have a backstory? Does this piece exemplify your style and aesthetic? Why or why not?
Corinne: Absolutely! I’m so glad you asked. This is a tribute image of Helen Keller, done originally for a gallery show about women who have risen above challenges in their lives. I wanted to visualize her imagination and inner spirit and pay respects to her kindness. Stepping into her hand is one of the many canine companions she had throughout her life; it’s meant to further symbolize her connection to animals and the love she had for the natural world. I felt this piece was a stepping stone in where my aesthetic choices currently reside, as it mixes symbolism in dreamlike ways with real people and experiences.
LSQ: Animals and insects feature prominently in many of your works. Can you tell us about some of the overall themes you’re capturing in your art and how/why animals are a major player? What is it about the natural world that inspires you?
Corinne: Animals and insects have always held an important place in my heart. During my childhood I would easily lose myself searching for and catching insects in my parent’s garden, and my room was covered wall to wall in jungle animals. I can’t quite describe it, but I’ve always felt a connection to the natural world and thus it is naturally entwined with my visual vocabulary. Animals for instance, can be anything: kind, playful, unforgiving, excited, hateful. They present the most truthful parts of ourselves in ways that are uncontaminated by social values. Speaking of nature, it’s an unforgiving place where love, life, and death are layered indescribably in any one given space. It’s overwhelming to realize, but so fascinating to explore.
LSQ: Please tell us a bit about your background and your journey as an artist. Can you describe your artistic style? How has it evolved over time? Where do you see yourself and your art in five years?
Corrine: I must attribute my interest in art to my uncle who is also an artist. I remember early on he would draw pictures for me for my birthday, really weird stuff like butterflies with human-like faces, dragons with amazing patterns. As a child I didn’t see it as weird, just imaginative and wonderful. When I was 5 or 6, he volunteered to paint a mural on my wall, and taught me how to draw a snake wrapping around a tree by having the lines meet up on the other side. Something clicked, and I’ve been deeply invested the craft ever since.
Art is no exception to any evolving organism, however, and my art has had many phases of evolution. I discovered anime and video games in my young teens and it drastically changed my style to look more Japanese, and movies like Princess Mononoke kept my imagination alive. When I was in college, I discovered folklore and the works of James Jean, which opened that strange, conceptual door my uncle built for me so many years prior, and that is where I’ve been since. If I had to sum up my experiences, I would like to think that the first half of my life was about craft, and this second half more about concept. I’m most interested in exploring ideas than I am about making a perfect image.
LSQ: Do you have a favorite piece that you’ve done, or, if that’s impossible to answer, a recent piece that you’re most proud of currently? And why? What do you find most challenging about the art you create?
Corrine: There is a piece I made earlier this year titled “Wake from Death and Return to Life”, and it’s my favorite piece to date. It landmarked a lot of personal achievements I’ve been quietly striving for in my career, and it happens to be a piece I abandoned in 2015 due to lack of faith it would ever evolve into anything meaningful. It has a lot of symbolism and connections regarding human life, our fragility, and the ebb and flow of nature’s seasons. It isn’t meant to be a sad or negative piece, but I wanted it to have a dusty sort of tiredness to it with lots of movement.
I am still learning a lot about my process and what I cherish in my work, and right now the greatest challenge is finding a middle ground between digital and traditional art. Much of my work is digital made to look traditional, and I’m still working on bringing my paintings up to par. Paired with that is loosening up my paintings. Someone relayed a wonderful quote once which read “perfectionism is fear in fancy shoes”, and I feel that describes my traditional painting process.