Welcome to our Illustrator Interviews feature! Each week we bring you insight into the industry through shared advice and experiences gleaned by our amazing #IllustratorTeam.
This week we’re excited to introduce you to the lovely Noora Murad Ali. Noora is a talented Bahrain based artist. She has worked with a couple of corporate and fun art studios around the island. Her skill set varies from anime to landscapes and so much more. She is always open to trying something new!
QK: Noora, thank you for taking the time to share with us today. To begin, can you tell us about your journey into illustrating what led you to pursue your passion?
NM: Actually that’s quite difficult to talk about! Since I was young, basically since kindergarten, I would draw on whatever I could lay my hands on – paper, walls, tables, a piece of cloth – you name it. Only when I reached the 8th grade did I made the decision to pursue my passion and set it as my career. I learned whatever would help me to get into the animation, film, and gaming world. So having to create my own world and share it with people is one of the top reasons that led me to pursue this dream. To show the different worlds and story, bringing them into the one we live in. And let our inner child and imagination run free.
QK: Illustration can be as tough a market to break into as the books we help bring to life. As you developed your career, what helped you most?
NM: Hmmm, I’d say a lot of things play into this instead of just one. Such as meeting and surrounding yourself with talented and creative people. You collaborate on stories, concepts and most importantly receive feedback. Those who are experienced can really tell you where to improve your skills and advise you on anything related to it. Same goes with the audience, but more in terms on how you’d want them to feel, know from your art and story, etc. Another thing is to keep browsing around on the net, such as youtube, Behance, Pinterest, artstation, etc. This helps you see what other artists are up to and shows their personality and experience through their work. So that really helps with inspiration and gives you the push to continue working harder and developing your skills further to get into the market. So practice is definitely key!
QK: We see you employ various methods to bring your creations to life. Do you have a favorite medium and can you describe your technique?
NM: I do really like water color, it’s just so satisfying and aesthetically pleasing! It feels like being in touch and one with nature, if that makes sense. I’m no pro in water color but I do find it challenging. I often wonder how other artists work their way with water color and apply different techniques to their own style. Quality of paint, brushes and paper really matters to achieve the quality you want your artwork to be. At least it has in my experience, but you can pretty much make anything work to a certain extent.
QK: Is there a medium you love but don’t get a chance to use often in your work?
NM: I would have to say watercolor, because most of my work is digitally drawn on my Wacom. The digital watercolors don’t feel the same as when you make it yourself traditionally. There are times where I get to do it traditionally and just have it scanned so I can refrain it digitally and then send it to a client or add it to my portfolio.
QK: Depending on your medium, how long does it take you to complete a project, typically and how do you decide when it is done?
NM: Most of the time, my work is digital. So a full concept art piece usually takes me about a whole day to finish, if I work on it nonstop. I usually leave the work for the night, till I come back to it tomorrow morning with fresh eyes. This way I can analyze and evaluate what needs to be fixed or adjusted. It’s usually around that time, till I feel satisfied with it, is when I know it’s done. Sometimes less is more, you know?
QK: Any projects from your portfolio you are especially proud of and would like to share?
NM: I have equal amounts of pride for each project because each shows me how far I’ve come in this journey. Also they set a reminder to myself why I’m on this journey and why I continue to do so, despite knowing that this field is very competitive. So I’d share all of them if I could. To share my own experience and journey with others.
QK: While working on so many wonderful projects, have you been inspired to write a picture book of your own?
NM: Well, what I had planned in mind could be put into a picture book. I wanted to create a series of story scenarios which we usually do for storyboarding in animation. So like a mixture of both a comic and film. A compilation would actually be really nice to put into a picture book one day.
QK: That sounds fascinating! Hope we get the chance to see your story come to life. Are there any new projects you’re working on that you’d like to share with us?
NM: For now I’ve just being working on personal projects such as my animation, and scenario storyboards that I consistently upload on my portfolio account 😀
QK: Are there any professional goals that you have not yet reached? What do you see for your future?
NM: Yes, the one that I have yet to reach is to animate for a film/television show, but I’m getting closer to it day by day.
QK: Do you have any advice or insight for illustrators who are trying to break in?
NM: To keep going at it, practice practice practice! Get feedback from people and surround yourself with talent and inspiration. Set a reminder on why you want to do this. Is it because you love it? You want to share with the world? There could be many reasons and yet as simple as they are. If you want it, you work for it, ey! XD
You can discover more of Noora’s work on her portfolio at Qamber Kids and the following links:
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