Multimedia artist and digital art professor Joellyn Rock has been combining traditional graphic art techniques, classical imagery and storytelling, and video and digital technology to create animations, interactive installations and other experiments. Her art takes advantage of and blends quickly evolving technical opportunities, and her curiosity draws her into constant new challenges.
J.R.: My creative medium has shifted dramatically over the years, evolving from traditional art forms like painting, drawing and ceramics to digital media formats such as web narrative, experimental video and interactive installation. One thread of continuity: I seek new ways to tell old tales. I often borrow from fairy tales and mythology, choosing to update an old story with social commentary or a revisionist spin. For me, old tales provide an anchor when working in digital media, offering the viewer a cozy narrative, reinvented for the distress of our digital age. I use a visual vocabulary that harkens back to the storytelling on ancient pottery or vintage children’s books … graphic compositions, intense colors, set off by crisp silhouettes of characters in action. Those familiar forms get remixed, layered with historical references or contemporary ephemera, juxtaposing ancient story with modern dilemma, part comfortingly old-school, part shock of the new.