Interview with the artist: Canadian coin designer Jesse Koreck

Third coin from designer in three years shows playful snowman
By , Coin World
Published : 11/18/14
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Jesse Koreck’s whimsical design of a snowman throwing snowballs is now available on a silver $20 coin available at face value from the Royal Canadian Mint.

The coin is the third design that Koreck has created for the RCM. Coin World recently contacted Koreck to explore the art that he has created for the RCM as well as some of his other projects outside numismatics, which include conceptual art, design and illustration, and even the development of a mobile app. 

Koreck is based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Here is a slightly edited transcription of those questions and his answers. 

Coin World: How did you come to work with the RCM?

Jesse Koreck: The RCM contacted me in 2011 with the task of contributing more stylized, untraditional and dynamic design concepts. My portfolio and field of study focuses on both technical and scientific illustration, which offers a unique perspective and approach to coin design.

CW: Did the RCM approach you for a design contest, or with a specific request in mind, or did they want to modify a design that you had already created?

JK: All of my designs with the RCM have been through Art Design Requests with specific plans and requirements to illustrate original concepts.  There are always certain guidelines to follow, but they are very open to letting the artists explore and take the design into new creative places.

CW: What did you learn about the coin production process in creating the design for them – did the RCM  explain how coins are struck; what technical considerations were you alerted to?

JK: I learned very quickly early on just how easy it was to get carried away with adding one too many details to a large illustration that will eventually be reduced tremendously in size. They were very helpful all along the creative process in explaining how we could achieve the results we were after. It was a playful challenge of getting just the right balance of detail, shape and form.

CW: When did the whole process begin, and how long did it take to unfold?

JK: The whole process began earlier in the year and it moved rather quickly. The creative process was roughly 2 weeks from concepts to final drawing. 

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