In conversation with Connie Noble, a spirited illustrator based in Brighton
With a dynamic illustrative style, Brighton-based animator Connie Noble creates playful, contemporary artworks that celebrate everyday wonders and bring a wide range of stories to life.
Why did you decide to take up illustration?
I felt a little lost after school and wasn’t sure what to do. I loved photography but also wanted to make ceramics, draw and paint! I ended up taking an art foundation course at my local city college and fell in love with the Illustration pathway. I went on to study Illustration Animation at Kingston University and have been pursuing being an illustrator ever since! I’m happy to say this year marks 3 years of full-time freelance illustration – something I thought I’d never say!
How do you get past creative blocks?
A bit like a runner, where you just stretch it out or try and run through it, I like to just keep drawing! I find the more I draw, the more I move past whatever was blocking me! However, when I really just can’t seem to get the drawings out onto a page, or I just feel stuck creatively, I like to spend the day with my partner just exploring where we live. We like to grab a coffee and talk about something completely different! It usually puts things in perspective and I stop worrying about work so much.
What is your creative process?
I start by drawing really scrappy thumbnail illustrations on my iPad before forcing my lovely and patient partner to tell me which one they like best. I then start working up sketches and colour palettes. I work mostly on Procreate but I also like to create ink textures and collage them together to create something in-between organic and digital – di-ganic you could call it, maybe?
Where do you look for inspiration?
Pinterest is my go-to spot for inspiration! I find it’s so helpful for getting ideas of where you want a project to be heading, or even just an idea for an outfit… I admit, I have taken advice from the TikTok girlies and now use Pinterest to plan my house, outfits, and life. I also find my studio a huge inspiration – I share with 7 other illustrators and animators and everything they do is so amazing, I can’t help but be inspired every day! I love seeing their work and it feels so special to get the first look or give feedback on a mega-cool project.
What are you reading or listening to right now?
I’m awful with reading but I finished Alison by Lizzy Stewart at the start of the year and that was a really beautiful read (it’s half a graphic novel, half a non-fiction book). In terms of music, I recently went to see the band Florist and I’ve really got into them again! I love the song ‘Today I’ll have you around’. Someone I know said the one piece of advice they would give their friends before turning 30 (which I’m getting scarily close to…) would be to see ALL the bands you can and I’ve tried to do just that!
What does your typical day involve?
I wish I was an early riser but sadly I usually get out of bed around 9 am. I get ready and walk through the dog park by my house on the way to my studio, which is based in central Brighton. I grab a coffee on the way and usually get into the studio around 10-11 am! I start my working day by answering some emails and doing some boring admin (usually sorting out my desk or writing down my to-do list for the day). I work on creative projects between 1-4.30 pm and stop for lunch at some point in between. I’m lucky that I share the studio with my partner too so we usually catch up on the day over lunch and show each other what we’ve been working on. He is also an illustrator so it’s really fun to see how he approaches a brief completely differently to me. Thankfully we haven’t formed a hive mind just yet… I head home at 5 pm-ish and continue replying to emails or posting on social media until around 8 pm when I have some dinner and switch off! I like to watch Bob’s Burgers before bed with a cup of sleep tea – I’m a big creature of habit.
A big thank you to Connie Noble for contributing to our series of creative conversations with industry experts.