Saturday, March 12, 2011

Jen Corace - A Welcome Distraction

There is so much tragedy in the news at the moment, so much to be saddened by; I am grateful to be one of the lucky ones, somewhat removed from it all. It is hard to imagine what other people are going through at the same time as I am taking pleasure in the ordinary routines of life. My daughter and I have just enjoyed a sunny day here in Auckland, celebrating a friend's birthday, splashing in the paddling pool, shopping for a lemon tree, and later treating ourselves to ice blocks; now she is tucked up in bed, and I am enjoying the intriguing illustration and fine art of Jen Corace. It feels strange and trivial to be talking illustration and fashion during a time of such turmoil, but I think that when life is sad it is important to look for inspiration. It has kept me afloat through difficult years, and this blog is what keeps me feeling excited and inspired at the moment. This project and others, along with my precious family and friends, bring some balance to a world that threatens to overwhelm me with sadness. I hope that you too can take a look at this incredible art, and feel uplifted as a result.

Fall, Fell; Art Print by Jen Corace

Down, Down, Down; Art Print by Jen Corace

Sitting, Thinking, Staring; Art Print by Jen Corace

Untitled; Art Print by Jen Corace

Jen Corace lives and works as an artist and freelance illustrator in Providence (Rhode Island, US). There is a sense of mystery and fantasy in the scenes that Jen creates - they give me the feeling of having caught a secret glimpse into someone's world. Often those worlds are contemplative, sometimes somber, or beset by challenge in the form of snow and ice, water, organic forms such as branches, grass or forests, or dangerous creatures such as snakes or octopuses (yes, octopuses! Grammarians, I looked it up, see here)  Her characters are never perturbed, however, and this is what makes them so intriguing.

Tentacles (left) and Snakes and Stumps (right) by Jen Corace

Jen is equally skilled at capturing tranquil, and often playful scenes. I particularly like this image of skaters. I love the way Jen uses backgrounds with limited colours that recede, and in contrast the figures, who are vividly coloured, immediately draw the eye in, creating a focus. She does the same with details, creating large areas of simplicity and then juxtaposes it with a concentrated area of detail.

Skaters by Jen Corace

Desktop Wallpaper by Jen Corace for Design Sponge

Awkward in Any Situation; Art Print by Jen Corace

 Detail from Awkward in Any Situation by Jen Corace

By Jen Corace (Title unknown, sorry)
This and Awkward in Any Situation (above) appear in a Jen Corace 2010 calendar at Art Star.

At Jen's website you can view much of her illustration, fine art, and design. Take a good look and be inspired! I am glad for something to distract me from the distressing headlines at the moment, but to those people who are experiencing the horrors of earthquakes and tsunamis, or have lost loved ones and are unable to be so easily distracted, my heart goes out to you.
Brenda X

These images are copyright. Many thanks to Jen Corace for allowing Kitty as a Picture Kids' Design Blog to feature this work. 


  1. So beautiful, I think the swimmers are my favourites!

  2. Hi there,
    I love the artwork, it is beautiful. What sweet faces and perfect costumes they have.
    I think it is good to have something that is calming and that you find solace in. I think beauty is not trivial and we all need it at times like this.
    I feel very small and insignificant after the horrible events in Japan. It helps to see the magic in life that is still there.

  3. Great pictures I love the top one!

  4. Oh these illustrations are Beautiful. I am going to agree with Greta- the swimming ladies are my favourite as well! B x

  5. I'm a huge fan of Jen's - I own several of the pieces in this entry. I only wish she would update either her blog or her other site to mention when she has new things for sale. I don't think either has updated since 2010.