Rebecca Green.

I just graduated with my BFA in Illustration five months ago and am currently working as a freelance illustrator/ three-dimensional artist/ fine artist/ barista.  I moved into this space three months ago, and I share it with four other artists. It’s in an old furniture warehouse, very lonely and large and dusty. First, let me apologize for the disarray. I suppose honesty is the best policy, and I am a mess…a complete mess when I’m in the middle of projects. Since I work on many different types of art simultaneously, it’s hard to keep it clean. I deep clean once a month or so, but in between, it can get out of control. The last studio almost fined me for being a fire hazard (haha).”

Rebecca Green recently graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design with a BFA in Illustration.  Her primary focus is in painting and drawing, but she also works as a three-dimensional artist and hopes to move farther into the realm of film and stop motion. She enjoys coffee, autumn, and roadtrips, and her favorite color is muted teal.

FROM YOUR DESKS: How do you work? 

REBECCA GREEN: In waves. Some days seem devoted to my career and my artistic goals, and other days, I see these ambitions as unnecessary and superfluous. It’s a cycle, but I hear that’s normal. I work better at night, so that’s when the majority of my work pushes through. I work on many different things at once, which most times leaves me feeling like a jack of many trades, but a master of none. Most of my work is done relatively fast, as when I spend too much time on a piece, it ends up losing it’s freshness and feels forced. I suppose that’s why I jump around from project to project…to keep it from getting static. I like to have thick, black coffee on hand, and loud music.

My favorite stop motion, as cliché as it sounds, is ‘Nightmare Before Christmas.’ 

FYD: What is the story of your City of Lumbourge

RG: It was a book project that started a couple of years back, which followed a family of three: “The mother, Ol’ Ginny, was getting quite old. But she had two young children whom she’d stolen, I’m told. She was a cook, and said mother of two, with a big swollen belly and little red shoes.”

The story is a 96 line poem, which follows characters as they eat the city’s pets, squirrels, and birds. A terrible thing happens once these animals are gone and the family devises a plan to solve it. I had the inspiration of a small European town in the mid 1930’s. I never give my 3-D pieces or paintings actual settings. I think it’s better for the viewer to make that assumption. I also don’t have to stick to facts if I pull the place out of my head. The illustrations for the book were built three dimensionally from found objects, sculpey, paper, and photographed by Ryan Pavlovich. The sets only stand about a foot tall. Sadly, we haven’t touched this project in about a year, due to more pressing obligations. This type of genre is hard because it’s not really for children, but it’s not an adult book either. My plan is to someday find the right publisher, submit it, and get it into production.

FYD: What is the process of taking your illustrations, as in Cellegratonia, and placing them in a city or on a ship?

RG: I find it’s not really a transfer of information, but working the same in a different material. Three dimensionally, I usually start with a rough sketch and then start building.

FYD: What is Josephine’s boat made of ?

RG: Four bottle root beer box and popsicle sticks. The boat is a visual reconstruction of Josephine’s house, as she tears it down to build the boat, so the house was built out of the same exact materials.  The city she lives in was built out of cereal boxes and found objects. It was a last-minute decision that I built the set, so money and time were tight.

FYD: Besides illustration, what are your favorite mediums?

RG: That’s hard to pin down. My favorite animation is the original ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ My favorite stop motion, as cliché as it sounds, is ‘Nightmare Before Christmas.’ I could watch that 24/7. I love the children’s books,”Bridge to Terabithia” and “Bony Legs.” I adore theatre, building sets, carnivals and the mystique of ‘entertainment.’ I also love the medium of life (that sounds incredibly phony, but how else can I say it?) I could spend hours watching birds swoop in to catch minnows or ants carrying loads much heavier than themselves. There are so many worlds going on, and I love losing myself in them.

It’s a cycle, but I hear that’s normal. 

FYD: I recently saw Midnight in Paris.  Woody Allen’s character longs for 1920’s Paris.  Which era would you transform yourself to? 

RG: That’s a difficult question. I was thinking of a time more simple, before computers and such, where people focused on one another and community. Where family was taken more seriously and people respected the earth, animals, and one another. If I went back, even a couple of decades ago, as a woman, I would lose a number of rights. If I had to choose, I’d love to live during the late 19th century to see the invention of the light bulb. I can only imagine how magical that would have seemed.

FYD: What is your 2011 summer motto?

RG: “There’s no blender in the grave.” This is connected to the idea of doing things rather than talking about them. I always want to make fruit smoothies in the morning, get lazy and have cereal. The other morning, I looked in the cabinet and yelled, “There’s no blender in the grave! Damn it, I am making a fruit smoothie!” It just sort of picked up, and my boyfriend and I interchange words for the blender. I’ve had two fruit smoothies in the past four days. I’m turning over a new leaf.

Rebecca’s blog here.

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