KATE: You spent time at both Brown and RISD. Do you feel that either prepared you for your post-college life as an artist and creative person? If what what has?
NOÉMIE: Brown and RISD are great places to learn how to value, follow and theoretically carry out your ideas. But they didn’t do too much to prepare me for all the practical aspects of post-college life (I think maybe RISD does a little bit more of that, but I can’t speak to it as I was technically full-time at Brown and just took some classes at RISD on the side). All of that practical knowledge I gained afterward, often from people in totally different industries. I worked office jobs, then transitioned into self-employment, and from there finally feel like I have the right tools to transition into creative self-employment. But I’m not there yet and I still have a lot to learn.
KATE: A few years ago your drawings were restrained, organic and calming. Today your work seems quite different- bold, charged. The thin lines have been replaced by much heavier marks. Is there a link between these periods of work that viewers might not recognize?
NOÉMIE: I have so many paintings in my head right now that layer organic marks with bolder, more graphic marks, and I feel like both those strains of work are languages I want to learn in their own right before bringing them together.
KATE: What role do the grids play in these works? How much is the process part of the final product?
NOÉMIE: Process is hugely important to me and it’s very transparent in these works. I can trace these back to their beginning pretty easily—they start and end with the grid (first in pencil, then in ink). So it’s a guide through the process, and then gets layered on top of everything else. I like how grids and patterns can go in and out of focus, how they both show things and hide them.
KATE: What does it mean to you to be an artist?
NOÉMIE: Well…I think I could probably find a different way to answer that question at any given moment of the day! So I’ll go with what feels right as I’m writing this: it means that I get to spend several hours today thinking other than in words.
Art Transformer Project in Providence, Rhode Island.
KATE: Can you tell us a bit about the Art Transformer Project?
NOÉMIE: Sure! I was living back in Providence for a few months when the city’s call for proposals went out. It was a while before I heard back (we are talking about city government here!) and I was eventually selected, as one of twelve artists, to paint electrical transformer boxes across the city. I painted my three boxes in over 90-degree heat in the summer of 2013, adapting paintings from my “Indexed” series to the 3D object. It was a step out of my comfort zone to work outside, as I’m usually very private when I’m working, but eventually I found interactions with passersby fun and rewarding. I would definitely do it again.