Lilli Carré’s exhibition will be on display at the Ralph Arnold Fine Arts Annex from December 8 – January 21.
How did you know you wanted to be an artist? What there a
specific moment when you knew or did you always know that was what you wanted to study?
I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. My mother is a graphic designer, and my father was a designer and forensic animator, so there was no shortage of encouragement and art supplies around the house. In my senior year I transferred to an arts high school, then came to Chicago to attend SAIC, and am now studying in the Book and Paper Arts department at Columbia. I guess I feel like I never made a very conscious decision to pursue art, it was just something that I always identified with and felt the need to do.
Why were you specifically interested in animation and comics
as opposed to painting or drawing?
I like building longer narratives and working with the movement and pacing of time, image, and words that comics and animation allow for. Those mediums are so bottomless in the possibilities they offer, and they both have histories that really inspire and interest me. I especially respond to work made by an individual, where you can feel their own eccentricities within the work– This is something that translates to the kind of comics and animation that I’m interested in, in which a whole world can be constructed by a single individual, with only a big stack of paper and a pen.
From your experience, what should arts majors (or grads in
general) do after graduating? Any steps they should take?
Mainly, just find a way to keep making work regularly! Obvious, yes, but regularly working through ideas and projects is very important to make time for, even as life gets hectic. I think what throws some people off after graduating is that they no longer have deadlines imposed on them, and it’s harder to keep up the motivation to focus on working as much. My other bit of advice, then, would be to self-impose deadlines and really try your hardest to stick to them, or seek out opportunities that impose a deadline of sorts, as a way to make yourself generate work within a set time frame.
You have illustrated for your own stories, like Nine Ways to
Disappear. How is it different illustrating your own works as opposed to someone else’s, like The Fir Tree by Hans Christian Andersen?
My job is working as a freelance illustrator, so I’m always splitting my time between drawing for my own work and drawing things to go with other people’s articles, books, stories, etc. The opportunity to illustrate an entire story by Hans Christian Andersen and expand it into 70 pages was very exciting to me, because I love his dark, imaginative stories so much. It aimed to give it my own style and personality while still trying to respect the tone of his words. My favorite challenge of that project was to give the main character, a tree, a good sense of personality. I didn’t want to give it a face or any human characteristics, so its personality and emotions were expressed through posture alone. I like getting the invitation to work on projects like these, because it offers good challenges like this and kind of shakes me out of my groove in a good way. It allows me to try out some new ways of approaching how a story can be told or how a character can be depicted.
What other cartoonists and animators inspire you and why?
This is a big question! I’ll answer it generally for sake of brevity: Right now I’m really into the amazing comics and print work that’s coming out of KutiKuti studio in Finland and Kuš in Latvia. As far as animation– there’s so much I like! I co-direct an experimental animation festival called Eyeworks (and we actually just held the 2011 fest last week). Eyeworks is a way for me to put together and screen some of the exciting work that’s being made now along with earlier experimental animation work that deserves to be seen or re-seen. The best way to describe the type of animation that I find inspiring is to take a look at what we’ve programmed at the Eyeworks Fest: www.eyeworksfestival.com
Moving on to your new exhibition, how did you come up with the idea for it? Were there certain events that occurred that led you to want to create this?
I was invited to show my ‘moving drawings’, which are little drawn animated loops that I make when I am between projects or just trying to blow off some drawing steam. I’m including a range of my other work in addition to these loops in the show: some of my printmaking work, some artists’ books, and a selection of my published books that will be in a little reading nook in the gallery space. Since I do make different types of work in these different media, it’s nice to be able to include them all in one show and see how they play off of each other.
What is your main goal for this exhibition? What are you hoping to instill or inspire in people that see it?
I hope people enjoy engaging with and reading through the different kinds of work, and are able to draw parallels between the animations, the singular prints and the sequential comics work as different ways of expressing narratives, moments, and characters.