in conversation with Gemma correll...
Gemma Correll is an illustrator and cartoonist currently living in California. (You can buy her works here.)
Some of her favourite books include Wild Swans by Jung Chang, Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.
Please tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm Gemma. I'm an illustrator and cartoonist. I live in Oakland, California - I moved here about a year and a half ago from England. I love reading, drawing and writing. I am quite short and have terrible eyesight.
What is something on your bucket list?
I want to go to Japan. I am fascinated by the culture, the art and the imagery - and I love Japanese food.
What inspires you?
Disney animations, carnivals, fairgrounds, vintage decorations, children's drawings, the USA, Japan, music, mental illness, being a woman, folk art, animals, cartoons, overheard conversations, books, magazines, coffee and my pugs.
Upon reflecting on your life, if you could do anything differently, what would it be?
I would have spent less time worrying about my work and more time just doing it! I have lost so many hours over thinking my ideas and drawings, which I could have spent making work. I would try to live by the words in this Andy Warhol quote - "Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art."
You are compiling a weekend playlist. What do you add to it?
Saturday Night - Misfits
Follow Your Leaders - Screeching Weasel
Shiny - (from Moana)
Memories - Leonard Cohen
Gimme Brains - Bratmobile
I Told You I Was Freaky - Flight of the Conchords
Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash
Cabinet Battle #2 - (from Hamilton)
One Day More - (from Les Miserables)
My Own Worst Enemy - Lit
It is a lazy Sunday and you reach for a book. What do you choose?
Lynda Barry's The Greatest of Marlys, because I can dip in and out of it easily.
What would you choose as your last meal? And what song/film/book would you want to enjoy with it?
I would choose a selection of delicious Indian food from my favourite takeaway back in Norwich, in England. And while I ate, I would watch the musical Hamilton.
What are some of the strangest books you have ever read? Did you enjoy them?
I read quite a lot of non-fiction books, which some people might consider strange. For example, Smoke Gets in Your Eyesby Caitlin Doughty, about the experiences of a young mortician, and Morbid Curiosities: Collections of the Uncommon and the Bizarre by Paul Gambino. If anything, I enjoy these sorts of books the most, because I really love to earn about new, weird and unusual things.
Do you have a favourite quote by an author/influencer?
"I am different, not less." - Temple Grandin (I adore her books).
What author should everyone read at least once in his or her lifetime?
You are stuck on a deserted island and can choose one book to keep with you. What is it?