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Corissa Nelson

Q&A with artist Corissa Nelson

An FIC e-news exclusive! Learn more about artist Corissa Nelson, who illustrated the hymn "The Seven Words," which appears in the March issue. Corissa's illustrations were also animated in the video performances of the hymn.

FIC: Tell us about your journey to become a professional artist.

Corissa: I learned art and design through architecture school and professional experience. When family/economy/ministry shifted about ten years ago, I began working freelance as a graphic designer and illustrator. Over the years, I added to my collection of worship art, helped churches with logos, and illustrated for other clients. As things are shifting again, I’ve found an opportunity to bring my art and design skills back to architecture. I’ll also continue with creating worship art.

FIC: When you began creating illustrations for "The Seven Words," where did you go for inspiration?

Corissa: I’ve been creating worship art for quite awhile, so I have an established process and approach. I read through the Scripture lessons the art is for and watch for picture language and symbols. Then, I set out to present those symbols in a simple way. This time I studied the hymn alongside how the “seven words” are written in the Gospels. To plan for animation, I was shown some sample projects by the animator that helped set the style direction. For general inspiration of my illustration style, I tend to love pieces that are minimalist and have a handmade feel. I’m really into “less is more.” I watch what is trending with color and design styles in general.

FIC: What was your reaction as you watched your artwork in animation form in the videos?

Corissa: It was fun to see the vision come to life and to see movement added to the symbolism I’ve worked with for Lent over the years. I thought it was powerful to see. It was actually more surprising when I showed the videos to family members. While I kind of knew what to expect, they did not. It was a more tearful screening than I expected.

FIC: What other projects have you worked on with WELS churches, schools, or other ministries?

Corissa: I’ve consulted and designed for more than 50 WELS groups or congregations specifically, and hundreds have downloaded worship art from corissanelsonart.com. Especially during 2020, when church quickly moved online and visual content was needed, I was happy to be an available resource.

Check out Corissa's art for "The Seven Words" and meditate on Jesus' words from the cross.

Sneak-peek: The Fifth Word

The Fourth Word
This Lent, Forward in Christ has teamed up with WELS Commission on Worship to offer short weekly videos based on each verse of "The Seven Words," hymn 436 in Christian Worship: Hymnal. The videos are released on social media each Wednesday in Lent. Each hymn verse also has a corresponding article in the March issue of Forward in Christ. Catch a sneak-peek of the fifth video. Or watch all five videos at forwardinchrist.net/videos.

A daily Bible reading plan

Follow along with these daily readings in God’s Word. This year-long study, which began on March 2, covers nearly all of the New Testament and about one-third of the Old Testament. Follow the schedule listed or adapt it to fit your needs.
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Explore these articles from the March issue:

I am thirsty.

Jesus on the cross with head down
“Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips” . . .

The Judas priority

Judas Money Bag
It was just 30 pieces of silver. But that was enough. He betrayed Jesus, a friend who chose him and loved him. The others Jesus also chose elected Judas to take care of their expenses. He had been careful—at least publicly—with the funds. Our Lenten . . .

Take a sneak-peek from the April issue:

Building God’s kingdom in Parrish

Building God’s kingdom in Parrish
“There are tremendous opportunities to share the love of Jesus in Parrish and bring more people into God’s kingdom, and we want to support the ministry as much as we can,” says Caleb Free, pastor at Risen Savior, Lakewood Ranch, Fla. More than 40 of Risen . . .
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