About 1001 Stories with Noa Snir
Illustration by Noa Snir for a group exhibition ComfortZone
Noa, you were our guest of de.sign lecture series in Prague and talked about your project 1001 stories, can you tell our readers more about this interesting topic.
1001 Stories was the name of the lecture I gave in Prague, presenting different projects of mine including my illustrated edition of 1001 Nights (also known as Arabian Nights). This was my graduation project from the Bezalel art and design academy in Jerusalem. It is an ongoing project of mine, fueled by my interest in this literary piece, as well as in folktales and folk-art in general. I think of myself as a story-teller as much as an illustrator and therefore I thought this was a fitting name for my lecture - I am always interested in telling a story in my work.
Illustration by Noa Snir, personal project inspired by the Arabian Nights (1001 Nights)
What do you like the most about illustration?
For me, illustration is a great way to communicate without having to use words. I am typically a bit shy, even though I have a lot to say. I find that illustration allows me the opportunity to speak in my own authentic voice into the world. Apart from that, I enjoy the process a lot. I am not one of those suffering, tormented artists - I get a lot of joy out of painting or screen-printing or cutting up linoleum palettes. A lot of what I do is handwork, and I love doing it.
Illustration by Noa Snir for the Heart Magazine
You are originally from Israel, but at the moment you live in Berlin. Is your experience diametrically different? Did this life change influenced your work?
Actually during the Q&A in Prague someone pointed out to me that my work seemed to have toned down quite a bit since I am in Berlin. Before, I used to apply lots of vibrant colors and have switched to black-and-white, monochrome or very restricted color palettes for example. Also the subjects of my projects seem less happy in nature. I can attribute this change to the weather, which has definitely been affecting my mood and my inspiration. But I think this is also just me growing as an artist - I used to paint much more instinctively, and today I take more conscious decisions and think more at the start of each project.To me, Israel is chaos (and I mean that as a good thing - this chaos means creative freedom) and Germany is order. I think a combination of the two will only benefit my work in the long run.
A little black-and-white book about mental disorder by Noa Snir
As a part of the de.sign lectures, you also illustrated the front page of A2 cultural journal that is printed in 2 colors only (black and orange). Was it a challange for you?
It was, but certainly a good one. As I said, I am learning to put boundaries on my color work and to be less abundant in my approach. "Less is more" is totally not my philosophy but I respect it and use it when it's right for the project. I think an illustrator needs to be flexible in order to best suit the subject matter of the project.
Illustration by Noa Snir for A2 Newspaper realized within de.sign lecture series 2015
What technique do you like to use? Do you experiment with printing techniques?
In the beginning of my freelance career I did a lot of acrylic painting. It's an enjoyable but tedious process and I have to admit I haven't done it in a while. Small or quick projects usually demand other techniques. I've made friends with the computer in the last two years - photoshop, wacom tablet, all these things that don't come naturally to me and used to scare me completely. I think it's important for an illustrator to have a large toolbox to work with. However, my love always lies in hand-based work. In the last year I've fallen in love with lino-cut, and have been experimenting with screen-printing. My next big project is going to probably be screen-printed. I'm very excited about that.
An illustrated series inspired by the book A Simple Story by S.Y. Agnon, created for Sipur Pashut bookstore in Tel-Aviv
Thank you Noa!
Interview by Ludmila Favardin
Photo credits: the archive of Noa Snir