Defining Design | Cori Corinne

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with cori corinne

Cori Corinne currently lives and works in New York. 

She is a designer for employment, a writer for fulfillment and an artist for growth.

She has a formal background in design and a deep-rooted passion for art. Currently, her work examines how these two identities coincide and define who she is as a creative.

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When and how did your journey as an artist begin? 

I can remember being asked to draw my family in my preschool classroom. The tables were full with crayons scattered in the center, buzzing children reaching for supplies and our teacher walking around studying our scribbles. There wasn't a moment of hesitation as I went to grab the colors instinctually. Not once did I doubt my ability to draw, especially something that I loved and experienced every day. I drew my mother and father, starting with rudimentary shapes for their simplistic forms and finishing with their hair. It was the defining detail when I look back at all of my childhood drawings, it felt the most expressive—a thick black, scribbly line at the top of my father's head and swirling curly-qs around my mother's face. Those details may not be revolutionary, but they were created instinctually. I felt a calming pride in creating and it’s a feeling I’ve never forgotten. Drawing felt so simple; creating was natural. As an adult creating isn’t always so easy, but it will always be natural and a necessity to live fully. The journey began as a child finding a love for expression but continues with purpose as I uncover who I am in this life.

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What inspired you to pursue design?

As a teenager, a very confusing, unknown time in everyone’s life, I was desperately searching for a space where I could identify. The question that every adult asks from the moment you can speak to the time of graduation, “What do you want to be?” is awful. I’d say “an artist” but no one seemed to be able to fathom that as a possibility, so I began to question it myself. It wasn’t until a friend of mine decided to be a fashion designer that I looked into design. “Design” was such a novel concept to me. Even though it seemed design had been around since the dawn of time, the industry felt up and coming and exciting. There was this beautiful overlap with design and art that I wanted to pursue. 

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What is your greatest source of inspiration? 

There isn’t just one source of inspiration I find myself going back to. Inspiration comes as I become more mindful and present in the moment. Collages of concepts, imagery, color, writings appear when I’m quiet in the midst of motion and chaos. I find this occurs most when I’m on a crowded train, my focus soft, listening to the conversations of other people and the train’s murmur. If I allow my mind to wander, becoming an onlooker to my thoughts, inspiration can flood my vision. It can also be as simple as being present while reading, watching a film, listening to a song, even while doing the most mundane task. That is when my inspiration peaks.

What designers have influenced your work?

The overall creative industry, may it be designers, artists, photographers, writers (the list is endless) have all equally influenced my work. Designers may be the smallest portion of that list. Some of the individuals who I’ve followed in the recent past consist of Darren Oorloff, Tony Gum, Ignasi Monreal, Vince Aung, Douglas Gordon, Patricia Voulgaris, David Maljkovic, Jonas Mekas, and Alejandra Pizarnik. Some of the animated work I’ve continued to look back on are Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju, Tekkonkinkreet, Samurai Champloo, Cowboy Bebop, and Spirited Away.

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What does design mean to you? How has it impacted your life? 

Through my experience, design is another form of expression found within structure. It’s formulaic at its core and has the purpose of communicating an idea to a specific audience. Whereas art forms through the internal patterns of the mind, it’s organic and aimed at no one in particular but oneself. Presently, I’m finding the balance between these two statements, making design more impactful and exciting as it once was. I’m just beginning to understand who I am as an independent creative separate from who I am in my career. I’m starting to see that design will always be part of my work and the foundation of my process, which is more important to me than the finished frame.

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See more of Cori's work

Visual Voices