Quick on the Draw

How Living in a Fifties Time Capsule Influences Cerise Zelenetz’s Illustrations

Though she grew up in Vermont, Cerise Zelentez’s family has always had NYC ties, and, nowadays, the artist lives in what was formerly her grandparents’ downtown apartment. Take a peek at her very mid-century home—as she draws it—and hear her take on how it affects her creative style. (Also: If you didn’t meet Cerise in our first installment of this series, remedy that here!)

Video Transcript


Cerise: I live in the Lower East Side, in my grandparents’ old apartment. It’s been in the family since the 1950s.

Claire Mazur, Of a Kind co-founder: Does it look the same now as you remember it when you were a kid?

Cerise: Yeah, my grandmother decorated it. There’s a pull-out bar and a piano that’s out of tune. This is the kitchen. She put in these vinyl green chairs with matching kelly green wallpaper. That’s been a big influence on my work.

Claire: Why haven’t you redecorated it?

Cerise: I love it. It’s changed a little, but the basic layout is the same—and I think it’s great. It’s unlike any other apartment I’ve been in in New York.

Erica Cerulo, Of a Kind co-founder: You mention loving kelly green, but are there any other colors that you hate? That you never use?

Cerise: I don’t think I hate any colors. There are some combinations of colors I really don’t like. Red and black seem very menacing, so I don’t do that very much.