Volt Café: Where do you get your inspiration? Maisie Noble: I’m glad to be able to say that my inspiration sources are very varied. One of my favourite pass times is visual research. I find inspiration in stories that people tell me. Places that I have visited. Music. Classical and contemporary art; particularly sculptural and installation such as works by Berlinde de Bruyckere and Angelica Teuta. The psychological works of Sigmund Freud and Julia Kristeva. Fashion Photography; Wolfgang Tillmans and Jurgen Teller (to name only two). And everyday experiences, like watching the water run off your leg in the bath or the pasta boiling. I love the jarring and emotional paintings of Marlene Dumas, the delicate and monochromatic work of Vija Celmins. The brain testing performance art of Marina Abramovic and the body-sculptural works of Bart Hess and Lucy Mcrae,
VC: How would you describe your work? MN: A combination of organic line work, graphical digital colour, and impulsive energy.
VC: What would you like to tell to the world with your work? MN: That visual creativity is so multi-dimensional and personal, that nothing really falls into categories of good or bad. And instead its reception is based upon what people think is current and popular. Fashion is about people; individuals and their natures, and how and why they choose to represent themselves the way they do. I have always been fascinated by the idea of the individual and would like my work to remind people that every piece of artwork in the world is influenced by a million factors, the factors that infiltrate into the artists mind as they grow.
VC: What are your biggest achievements so far? MN: I suppose moving to London was a pretty big step for me, I come from a very green, very peaceful town in Wales that I still miss a lot, I’d say my head lies in London and my heart in the countryside. I’ve always managed to balance a successful university experience with other activities; personal creative projects and life and soul enriching experiences and internships.
VC: In your work is fashion illustration an art form or purely as means to document? MN: I think it depends on the method of how each piece was produced and where the ideas for it are routed from. If a drawing lives to serve a purpose, represent or sell another’s or my own creativity, I believe it is a design and not an artwork. If a drawing is the product of sentiment and passion or the reaction to a stimulus it is more of an artwork.
VC: What do you think is the future for fashion illustrators? MN: We are starting to see a re-emergence in fashion illustration; it is becoming more recognised as a field of its own. It differs from illustration in a few ways but I think that a significant factor in its success will be the fashion illustrator’s ability to draw the human form fluidly from life using analogue means.
VC: Are there/should there be any boundaries to break in fashion illustration? MN: I think that with the introduction of new media and hand held visual devices we will start to see a combination between fashion illustration and moving image, in the same manner that fashion photography has evolved into fashion film. I would personally love to see a return to the historical elegance of advertising, which relied almost exclusively on fashion illustration as oppose to todays ad market, which relies heavily on a very glossy celebrity culture (compare Vogue 1913 to Vogue 2013).
VC: Are you encouraged, when you’re developing your style for your drawings, that there has to be in a specific appearance? MN: Personally I am currently working with a few different styles; on a much more personal level I like to create textural and painterly works, these are abstract or impulsive and stem from emotions, experiences and imagination. But for more design or brief orientated projects I tend to use a style that is much more graphic and figurative.
VC: What is your goal as a professional? MN: At present I am working to build as many new opportunities and experiences for myself as possible, so that I can continue to grow both as an individual and creatively.
VC: Who would you have a creative pow-wow with for half an hour? MN: Visually I am very expressional and work fast but I admire and feel inspired by those who transpose ideas of time and consideration onto their work, Such as Adeline de Monseignat and Lucian Freud. These pieces demonstrate a patience that I cannot conceive on a personal level. I would also loved to have had the opportunity to be in a room with Egon Schiele, a minute would be enough!
VC: Are there any fashion houses particularly that inspire you? MN: My idea of a fashion world doesn’t really centre itself around brands, it centres itself around individuals, around strokes of genius and imagination. There are fashion pieces that endlessly inspire me; Ana Rajcevic’s sculptural works of art, Lauran Kalman’s body pieces and Schiaparelli’s original floral headpieces. Though as far as brand identities go I adore brands based on sculptural and ethical concepts, such as the grungy use of raw materials by Marquis Almeida, cow nipple gowns by Rachel Freire, and a multi-cultural appraisal in work by Fyodor Golan.
VC: What do you think of London’s fashion scene? Are you inspired by the people on the street? MN: I am very proud to be British and love the idea of the historical Londoner; both beautiful and a little rough around the edges. I also love the diversity and culture that London proudly exhibits, both on a creative and cultural basis.
VC: In one word describe London, Milan, Parisian, New York, Stockholm, Berlin, Guadalupe and Tokyo fashion? MN: London: eccentric Paris: silky New York: filmic Stockholm: industrial Guadalupe: skimpy Tokyo: juvenile