The art of Jana Curll is full of color, and of animated personalities. I love her use of curves and lines to create mood and movement, but also to suggest personality and relationships between her characters.
OCB: What do you think about Woodson’s claim?
Jana Curll: I think this is true for visual arts as well as writing. I think this is why abstract art is so fascinating and illustration so important (as just 2 visual art examples). When I see personal work I often see subject matter take the forms of: mantras (this is how it should be), mirrors (what feelings are being dealt with right now), or muses (what is inspiring to the person). Is the work complicated? Simple? Conflicted? Harmonious? It may not be a literal interpretation of an experience, but often the abstraction is where the connection happens with the audience. The line into mastery is a subtle one.
OCB: What are you painting or creating art for (as in, what is the deep-down driving force behind your choice to paint in the first place)? What is it about the act of drawing or painting or illustrating that speaks to you or resonates with you most?
Jana: The act of creating is simply the most comfortable space to be in. I enjoy challenge of capturing abstraction of feeling and form into an interesting composition. It’s also fun to wrestle with through the creative process.
OCB: What technique/media did you use to create the images from “The Woods?”
Jana: I thumbnail in pencil, compose in Illustrator, and then ping pong back and forth between digital and traditional medi for the colour and texture. There is a lot of trial and error.
OCB: Since you illustrate books for young readers, did you have a favorite illustration or illustrator when you were young (or now)?
Jana: Beatrix Potter, Dorothea Warren Fox, Bill Watterson . . .