Based in the District-Maryland-Virginia urban area between Baltimore and Washington, DC, NoelleRx is inspired by African American culture, images of the Harlem Renaissance, African American hair, human relationships and love. She often tackles difficult issues in her artwork but does so in a powerful and positive way.
From individual portraits to artwork for brands, clients love the way she captures the moment and the emotion in each piece she creates for them.
Starting off with a selection of reference images, NoelleRx draws and paints with Procreate on her iPad. She uses a restrained colour palette, working on the flesh tones and building up the layers until her subjects look just right. She’s careful about her background tones, setting the scene and providing enough contrast between foreground and background.
NoelleRx creates images that are often warm, rich and emotive. Experimenting with forms and using blocks of colour as a basis for her compositions, her work has an abstract feel, but she conveys plenty of feeling through the facial expressions and body language of her subjects.
Question: What led you to become an illustrator? NoelleRx: Stress and sadness from the state of the country in 2020. The combination of heightened racial injustice and COVID 19 was getting to be too much for me so drawing/illustration became my escape Question: Where did you grow up? NoelleRx: Suburbs of Philadelphia, PA
Question: Do you have a childhood memory relating to drawing/art that you hold dear? NoelleRx: I illustrated my mom’s life story in the second grade I remember giving her a pink and purple dress, a side ponytail and huge bangs and adding a disco ball Question: Where do you live now and what drew you there? NoelleRx: Outside of Baltimore I moved for my job Question: Describe your studio for us NoelleRx: I don’t really have a studio I draw in bed, on my couch and at my desk at work. Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration? NoelleRx: Love and family Question: How do you get your ideas? NoelleRx: I get ideas from conversations with people, scrolling through social media or watching people interact with each other
Question: Do you collect anything? NoelleRx: Vintage hand mirrors and sea shells
Question: What are your interests outside of illustration? NoelleRx: I like to give back, volunteer and help people. I also like to sew, paint with alcohol ink and do floral design. Question: What is the first record you bought? NoelleRx: TLC crazy sexy cool I got my mom to buy me the cassette tape then had to create a diversion so she wouldn’t listen to it in the car and take it away Question: What was your favourite assignment ever? NoelleRx: I’m working on one about diversity right now and I really like it. Question: What would be your dream commission? NoelleRx: Anything for Oprah or Beyoncé Question: What makes a good client brief? NoelleRx: I think it’s helpful to get a clear vision for what they want and information on color scheme. I’ve done some grayscale portraits but I love working in flesh tones so getting an idea of what type of color scheme the clients want is very helpful Question: How much of your work is hand drawn? NoelleRx: I hand draw but on my iPad. I don’t do much with pencil and paper Question: How do you envisage illustration evolving? NoelleRx: For me personally I don’t know that I fully understand the distinction between illustration and fine art. I think I would just like to see expansion of the appreciation of the artistry behind the work Question: Who is your art hero? NoelleRx: Charles Bibbs Question: Who is your music hero? NoelleRx: No hero but I love love love Whitney Houston Question: If you were not an illustrator, what would you be? NoelleRx: I would still be a pharmacist Question: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? NoelleRx: Stop comparing yourself Question: If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? NoelleRx: Tanzania Question: Have you any hidden talents? NoelleRx: I can walk very lightly Question: How would someone who knows you well describe you? NoelleRx: Very creative, thoughtful, funny, giving, and outspoken Question: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?NoelleRx: Tossa De Mar Question: If you could travel back in time, who would be the one person you would want to meet and why? NoelleRx: My paternal Great Grandmother. She just sounds like she was amazing from all the stories I hear my dad tell Question: What themes or content in the world inspires you? NoelleRx: I love love, and seeing smiling children or elderly people Question: How do you keep on trend and up to date in our quickly changing industry? NoelleRx: This is all new to me I’m still learning Question: What is your go-to comfort food? NoelleRx: Cinnabon
Question: What movie can you watch over and over? NoelleRx: There are so many. I love anything with music and a happy ending Question: What do you listen to when you’re illustrating? NoelleRx: Hallmark movies Question: What was the last concert you went to? NoelleRx: Santana with my dad Question: What is your favourite book? NoelleRx: There eyes were watching God Question: What do you do when you have creative block? NoelleRx: Watch hallmark movies Question: What is your go-to karaoke song? NoelleRx: I’m Every Woman