Published on July 15, 2021. Corrinne James is an artist who is currently based in Los Angeles. Her hand-drawn animations are inspired by old folk tales, past and present psychedelic movements, and kudzu-covered landscapes.
Her work most often explores feelings of shame, guilt, and love. She is interested in synesthesia and the ways in which senses can overwhelm the human experience. She investigates how such senses can connect us to the natural world. She was a 2019-2020 Aunspaugh Fifth-Year Fellow at the University of Virginia (CLAS'19).
Corrinne is our second featured 2021 artist in our fifth 7x7x7 Series, which asks 7 questions to 7 Charlottesville artists and is published once a week for 7 weeks. This summer's series is presented by The Seven Society and features artists affiliated with the University of Virginia.
If you had a free afternoon in Charlottesville what would you do or where would you go?
I would go to Bodo's of course! My order is an everything bagel with veggie cream cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and sprouts. I usually get two of them, plus an orange juice and a coffee. After Bodo's, I would hit up my friends in my band, Orange Folder. I would probably walk from the corner to downtown just for the memories, and then I would want to see my former New Media professor, Lydia Moyer.
Describe your artistic work in 7 words.
Melodic, colorful, obsessive, indulgent, scared, excited, hyper.
Who or what inspires your current work?
Definitely place and lifestyle. I was so inspired by Virginia while living there, and now that I am in Los Angeles, I can’t even think straight - but that’s inspiring. Artists that create their own worlds really inspire me. Allison Schulnik is my favorite. She’s an experimental animator and a painter. Her film, Eager, changed my life.
Consider one piece you’re working on right now. Give us a snippet of your routine—from start to finish, what goes into making it?
I’m working on a hand drawn animation, and usually, I can draw around 10-60 frames each day. I animate at a rate of 12 frames per second so 120 drawings is about ten seconds. That can take me anywhere from ten to two days. I wake up, make myself some coffee and sit at my desk. I’ll either listen to music or watch something as I am working. I’ll draw each frame in pencil and then I will go back and shade the drawings/add color. At the end of the day, I will scan all of the images and number them so that After Effects can place the files in order. The days I am animating can be tedious and even lonely, but it’s always worth it when I watch the drawings come to life at the end of the night.
What have you learned about yourself as a person through the experience of making art?
So much. I could probably write a book about this…I’ve learned that all that matters is how full you feel when making work. If you are making it for yourself, it will recharge this necessary battery. If you are making it for something else, the process of making can feel really painful. When I make something I am really proud of, I want to take care of my body more…I get this overwhelming feeling that I don’t want anything bad to happen to me until I finish the work. It becomes bigger than myself and makes me feel really purposeful.
What would you like to see happen in Charlottesville to better support artists in our community?
Maybe there could be more studio spaces and resources available to the public? I grew up right next to the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, and there were so many cool programs that families could attend. Those definitely changed my life for the better. Maybe some family oriented artistic activities that also engage with artists in the Charlottesville community?
What is currently on your studio/work desk?
An original cel from Yellow Submarine.
The opinions expressed in this interview are solely those of the artist and do not necessarily represent the policies or positions of NCAI.