A Conversation With Simon Noynay, illustrator

Melbourne-based Simon Noynay [pictured below right] illustrated my ‘future of the music video‘ story for Rolling Stone, as shown below. His work has also appeared on t-shirts for Threadless [my interview with Art Director Ross Zietz here]. Coincidentally, I wore his ‘drum ‘n bass‘ shirt design last night. Spooky. I asked him some questions about his craft.

'The Future of the Music Video' article by Andrew McMillen for Rolling Stone, as illustrated by Simon Noynay

Simon, are you a full-time artist and illustrator, or do you work on a freelance basis?

Simon Noynay, Australian illustratorUntil recently I was working as a part-time freelance illustrator, but have since joined a commercial illustration agency and heading towards full-time client work.

How did you follow this career path?

I have been drawing since I was five and originally began pursuing a career as a fine artist after high school. Although I’ve been a part of several exhibitions and artist’s residencies, I was searching for other creative avenues where collaboration was more encouraged. I completed a Bachelor of Communication Design last year which helped reinforce my love of illustration and character design. I now enjoy working together with artists of different disciplines, ranging from animation, sculpture, fashion and graphic design.

How did you become an illustrator for Rolling Stone?

'Songbird' by Simon Noynay

I was introduced to the art director of Rolling Stone through my illustration agency. I’ve currently worked on three recent and upcoming issues.

Where else has your work appeared? Who are your regular clients?

My work has appeared in different media and in a variety of styles. From clothing, shoes, magazines, books, installations & tattoos etc. I was also profiled by Art & Australia and NOISE as one of the top 25 artists under 25. While I have had the privilege to create things for clients like Adio, Adobe and Qantas, my regular clients like L.A. clothing label Acrylick and my own character design creation, “The Moops” are my favourite jobs to work on.

Is it difficult to illustrate for briefs? How much do you like to know about a story before you’re comfortable illustrating for it?

On occasion, it can be difficult when there is a lack of clear communication and indecision, nevertheless I enjoy the pressures of deadlines and the overall processes of working with clients and art directors. Sometimes all you have to work with is a short sentence and a few examples; however my illustration thrives under these conditions and the result becomes something surprisingly refreshing compared to my laboured exhibition artwork.

'The Bite' by Simon Noynay

Web or print illustration – do you have a preference?

I love web graphics and animation but my work is usually created for print, so I have to say I prefer that certain thrill of seeing my pieces printed and sometimes wearing them.

What advice would you give to young illustrators looking to work for commercial clients like Rolling Stone?

Show your work to clients you wouldn’t normally approach, talk to art directors and get as much feedback as possible. Also don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques and points of views.

View more of Simon’s work at huskworks.com. He can be contacted via email.

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