Hey everyone! We’re back with our latest fresh and shiny biweekly queer artist interview!
This week we are lucky to get to know Ellie AKA Noirnicorn a little bit better!
They are an incredible artist and here’s what she had to say…
- Introduce yourself, as an artist and as a queer person!
Hello there, I’m Ellie! I am an Afro-Latina artist who specializes in illustration. I absolutely love drawing fae, animals, and fantasy weapons!
As a queer person, I identify as pansexual although I do have preferences towards masc-presenting individuals. For my gender identity I currently have been going by non-binary, however I feel at times I can be fluid. My pronouns are she/they.
- What made you take up art?
I’ve drawn ever since I could hold a pencil and have always used art as an emotional outlet for myself. Fun fact about me, I actually had an “art gallery” in kindergarten in which my teacher featured my art on a wall. It was absolutely adorable, even though most of the paintings were blobs.
In high school, I got my first tablet as part of my first job which was working as a graphic designer at a biotech startup. I ended up drawing often because of my work. I was also obsessed with playing Neopets and was converted into a furry when I started making character designs from my Wockies & Aishas.
I stopped drawing when I started film school because I wanted to fully focus on the material. I didn’t get back into illustration until after I graduated, and I started up again as a means to cope with an abusive relationship. During that time I lost all interest in film because of my PTSD, so turning to drawing as my creative outlet was a better option for me to pursue at the time. The process of creating helped bring me back to myself and I’ve been way more active in it ever since.
- What is your favorite mediums to work in and why?
I come from the world of traditional art in that I mostly used colored pencils, alcohol markers, and watercolor throughout my life. I like the feeling of an actual pencil in my hand and to me, traditional art is more intimate. Even now, I still sketch in my sketchbook before transferring it to digital, I just believe it gives my pieces more love.
My favorite medium is still a combo of using colored pencil with alcohol markers along with tan paper. Side note – tan paper is a lifesaver for your eyes. I rarely use white paper for anything nowadays. Even when I’m working digitally, I make the background a muted color in order to start my work.
Anyway, even though I received a tablet in high school, it took me a LONG time to transition to digital.
By long time, I mean *7 YEARS* in total for me to transition. And I feel the main reason I draw digitally now is because I purchased an iPad. I often work in Procreate & CSP because it’s really become an industry standard.
In my experience, people tend to be more receptive to my digital work over traditional AND are more likely to purchase it. It’s so unfortunate, but because my art is my income, I just have to adapt.
- How does your queerness intersect with your art? What do you like about that?
I think I tend to gravitate towards subject matter that has roots in queerness. The essence of fae has historical roots in our community. Fae in general challenge gender expression and celebrates fluidity, which I want to incorporate in my work. I love the campiness that usually comes with fae media too. It’s liberating.
I also have a fascination with vampires, which if you know some film & literature history, the subgenre is often linked to queerness.
When I design and draw my characters, I definitely unconsciously make them all queer. I feel that each OC is an extension of myself and my personal identities is central to each one. My main characters are either pansexual or bisexual and tend to be non-binary. They’re usually POC too because I said so. I enjoy exploring through them.
I hope to share more of my character centric work in the future. I have so much written down of their stories but haven’t drawn much yet. Although I currently don’t have a lot of full on romantic or sexual pieces posted publicly (I’m very nervous to share because it feels so vulnerable for me atm), just know that every character of mine has been paired together in some way or another at some point. And I love it!!
- What is a project you are most proud of currently?
I’m most proud of my Love Is A Battlefield project from February 2021. I put a ton of thought, work, and concept art to create a short comic and a shop release. I absolutely love the sword & dagger set, I am in love with the sword earrings I made, and the best part of the project was me creating my two main characters right now.
I originally intended on releasing a short comic of my two characters, but as soon as I finished the initial sketches, I canned the concept. I ended up generating better ideas, a better understanding of what type of story I wanted to tell, and clarity on where I was coming from in regards to my gender.
Aelfred is my OC, she is a moth fae with long curly hair, eyebrow fringes, and a large set of watercolor wings. She was born into a world on fire. Literally. With simple instructions after a large tragedy was concluded, she takes up her role to record the events to the best of her ability.
On her search, she finds a soldier left in the rubble, who I refer to currently as Mantis. Mantis lost their wings and is eager to help Aelfred on her quest.
From me working on all of this, I found a new direction for everything and I’m excited to eventually start posting more about the story! One day…soon enough!
- What is your typical creative process like?
My creative process is pretty spontaneous. I go through periods of time where I have to push myself to pick up a pencil and other times where out of nowhere I get the urge to sketch and then poof I’m fervently getting all the details down. I have an awful short term memory so I do thumbnails ASAP because otherwise I will forget the imagery in my head completely.
From the first sketch (usually done on a napkin) I’ll go back in and completely re-draw the image in my tan paper sketchbook. As I mentioned before, I only sketch on tan paper. Helps with the eyes and looks cooler. I digress.
I might spend an hour just playing with the sketch before I take a picture of it on my phone and transfer it to Procreate via airdrop. From there, I change the background color to something muted (usually a muddy pink), make the sketch layer semi transparent, then proceed to line the sketch.
Lining is my favorite part. When lining, I usually zone out and completely relax. I’ll keep adding random lines & garnishes until I snap back to consciousness and decide thats it. Then I make a layer underneath, blow it out with a ton of noise, set it to overlay, and boom! You got a finished Noirnicorn piece.
- And how can we support you as a queer artist?
The main way you can support me and my art is to share my work, comment, like it, etc.
I appreciate every bit of engagement I receive as it helps spread my work!
I also have a shop where I sell stickers, prints, and now jewelry. You can find it at:
>> [Noirnicorn.com] <<
I also have started a ko-fi:
>> ko-fi.com/noirnicorn <<
But really just liking my posts helps tremendously!! Thank you so much for taking the time to check out my art!
And the rest of their links live on her [Carrd]!
Let’s share some love and check out their site’s shop! There’s plenty of cute and well designed stuff awaiting you there! ❤
Thanks for tuning in this week folks! Hope you enjoyed getting to meet Ellie!
Have a great weekend and see you next time! ❤