Today, there are a lot of reasons to be excited. Firstly, today is the official one week countdown to Halloween (yesssss). Secondly, my interviewee and fellow-blogger, Claire Suellentrop, has graciously posted a guest post penned by yours truly over at General Overachiever (also yessss). Thirdly, I am finally finished with midterms (read: sane again). Finally—more importantly—I get to post a most superbly awesome interview. Superbly-awesome. Superbly. Awesome.
Of course, I thoroughly enjoy every one of my interview sessions with self-described creative types. Each interview provides me with insight, food for creative thought, and motivation to get out, get down, and get creative. However, today's interviewee is a special kind of a big deal. Not only has she proven herself one heck of a prolific digital artist, she has also achieved the sort of Internetty fame with her Broship of the Ring series that the rest of us on Tumblr can only salivate over.
Unbeknownst to her, she also happened to maybe-sort-of change my life a little bit.
Her fabulous doodles, her hilarious animations, and her inspired work on the Tolkien parody, the Broship of the Ring, really resonated with me. I saw her art and just had to know how she made illustration look so effortless. Without her, I am convinced that I would have never bought that Bamboo Wacom tablet and started desperately trying to learn how to draw digitally. So, I must take a moment to thank her.
Thank you, Noelle Stevenson, for inspiring me to draw, and draw, and draw. I've learned a lot from you, and you're one heck of an artist.
Without further ado, let's take a trip with the Bro-meister herself, shall we? Ladies and gents, allow me to present the highly creative, digital artist extraordinaire, Noelle Stevenson.
Name: Noelle Stevenson
Location: Baltimore, MD
Occupation: Aspiring illustrator
Primary Modes of Creative Output: Drawing, comics, writing
Self-Description: Art student, overly dependent on caffeine, short hair and a shorter attention span.
- Do you consider yourself to be a creative person? What is your personal description of creativity and/or What are the characteristics of a creative person?
I do consider myself a creative person. In my mind, a creative person doesn’t just accept the world as it is; they are always thinking of how it was made, or how to make something out of it. Maybe you see a lady with a funny hat on the bus and wonder what her story is, or buy a hideous dress at the thrift store because you want to make a skirt out of it, or watch a movie and you just have to draw the main characters. The world can always be different or better, and what’s already there always has a story to tell.
- You're one heck of a digital artist and the creator of the Internet phenomenon, The Broship of the Ring. Could you tell us a little bit about how you come up with concepts for your art?
It’s pretty instantaneous most of the time. I’m a fast-paced artist and I tend to act on whims. So the Broship of the Ring happened when I was watching Lord of the Rings, and I must have had some glimmer of inspiration that said, “What if they were modern-day bros?” and that was enough to get me rolling. That’s generally how it happens; I think of something I want to draw, and then I think, “okay, but they have to be wearing cat pajamas, and they have to be dancing.” There always seems to be that second part that just comes out of left field. It’s hard to explain exactly.
- What is the coolest/weirdest artistic project you've ever completed? Interesting/humorous stories from the life of Noelle?
Well, being at art school, I’ve done some pretty weird art projects before. One time I bought a bunch of bras at the thrift store and went around putting them on trees all around campus. I don’t remember if I had a concept or anything. I think I just wanted to mess with my teacher. One time in my Sculptural Forms class I attempted to teleport a peanut butter and jelly sandwich across the room. It was foundation year, and weird stuff like that happens a lot, since we have to take classes we don’t really care about. In the illustration realm, I did a piece once that was a massive battle between zombified Edward Cullen and Jacob fan girls. That was fun.
- Have you always been interested in art? What made you want to go into art as a profession? It's a tough world for artists out there!
I guess it was really obvious from the start that I was artistically inclined. I was one of those kids who always got art sets for Christmas, and my dad would bring home stacks of paper from his business that were printed on one side and blank on the other, and I would cover them with drawings and comics. I loved crayon time at school. So I guess I’ve just always known I was going to be an artist. I don’t feel right when I’m not drawing, so I can’t imagine doing anything else.
- What are your primary creative obstacles? How do you deal with them?
As I mentioned above, I’m a pretty spontaneous artist. That works for me in a lot of ways, since it’s usually not hard for me to find inspiration and I work quickly, but it also means that I have trouble committing to long projects. I have so many ideas, but they seem to always come out in spurts and only hint at something bigger, when I’d really like to make a full-length comic or write an illustrated novel or something like that. It means that lot of ideas have kind of just died out or never reached their full potential, which is frustrating. I’m working on it, though. Art school helps. Having someone tell me to do something always motivates me, so most of my long projects were done for class. I need to work on motivating myself, though.
- What is a recent moment of victory in your creative life?
Recently, it was sitting back at 7 am after a night of nonstop drawing, with only 2 hours until class starts, and realizing that I was really proud of the piece I made, and that made the night of lost sleep worth it.
- What do you think counts as a creative success for you? and/or What do you hope to achieve creatively?
I want to get my stories out of my head and into the world! I want to always make things and have fun making them, and for other people to have fun looking at them. And if I could support myself doing that, then I think that would be all the creative success I’d need.
Now, if that doesn't get you off of your proverbial creative tuckus, then I don't know what will. If you'd like to learn more about Noelle or take a gander at her lovely art, head over to her blog, A Girl And Her Demons, or take a stroll down her Tumblr at How Are You I'm Fine Thanks. They are certainly worth your time, so go have a peek!