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The Seed for Images: Interviewing Guest Artist Jensine Eckwall

2016/4/5 — 14:47

【Text by Berny Tan and Jensine Eckwall】

"I absolutely loved all the stories, and learned something different from every one of them."

Illustrator Jensine Eckwall is our guest artist for the January 2016 issue. Her beautiful watercolour illustrations, which manage to be simultaneously delicate and vibrant, illuminate moments in eleven of our texts in the Fiction, Nonfiction, and Drama sections. I interview her about her practice, her experience contributing to Asymptote, and her upcoming projects.

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Berny Tan: You’ve illustrated magazine articles, books, zines, and so on, in addition to the eleven texts in our January 2016 issue. Could you describe your process of conceiving and executing pieces based on existing texts?

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Jensine Eckwall: If I can, when I receive a text to illustrate, I like to read the whole thing and pick out favorite phrases or words that are particularly evocative of the text’s theme for me.  Then, in the corner of the paper I’m sketching on, I write those words out, as well as other phrases to which I’ve drawn mental connections. That’s often the seed for images, and I extrapolate from there. For commercial projects, I send a series of sketches to the client for approval. For non-commercial projects, I usually run the initial ideas by a friend or the publisher, if there is one.

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