Simone Noronha: Scorpio Rising

It’s Illustration Month at the ADC and we’re featuring some delicious work from our ADC Members. Illustration Month is our chance to highlight ADC Member illustrators, whether professionals, students or just really keen amateurs. Simone Noronha is an illustrator based in New York who probably would never had become one “for real” if not for some important people in her life who pushed her to figure that out. It’s people like friends that she considers her best source of inspo, quote “they say the damnedest things”.  And sometimes they say profound things, like Sean McClintock (p.s. read his story here) who told Simone  quote “just be good, make good work, all else will follow.” That’s some pretty sound advice we can all use. Simone’s work has been described as “noise-y” and has been featured in AIGA Eye on DesignBadass Lady CreativesYou Are Beautiful and Ape on the Moon.


Simone Noronha
Illustrator & Designer
New York



When did you discover your talent and then turn it into a viable working gig?

I’ve always been drawing, pretty much as all kids start off. It just sort of consistently stuck around with me through the years when I had a passing interest in playing the piano and drums, playing with code, mathematics. Luckily, I’ve had a few people push me to see illustration as more of a career. Otherwise, I think it would have taken me much longer to come to that conclusion.

How long have you been an illustrator?

For about 3 or 4 years, roughly.

Self taught? School?

It’s definitely a mix of both. I went to Columbus College of Art and Design and School of Visual Arts but I’ve spent a lot of time (hours, days, years!) teaching myself and experimenting, which has helped me a lot.

Was a career in the arts encouraged from a young age?

No, not exactly. My parents are lovely and very supportive by a career in the arts was unheard-of in my family. Initially they wanted me to pursue medicine, but I slowly and gently coaxed them on giving up that dream.

Take us through your creative process.

It’s a pretty standard process. It’s a mix between brainstorming, writing out the most concise brief and sketching out thumbnails until it feels right, then fleshing it out on the computer.

In illustrating, what are the tools you can’t live without?

Pencil and paper and lots of it. Also, my tablet and Adobe Suite.

What is one of the most exciting projects or a favorite one you’ve worked on?

Last year, Kay Blegvad asked me to draw some smut for Horizontal Press, her small photographic press. It’s not every day I get asked to make something naughty or subversive. It was really fun to work on.

How do you describe your aesthetic?

I have a couples of different aesthetics but I’m always described as very “noise-y”.

What is the biggest challenge about being an illustrator?

For me, initially getting started as an illustrator was pretty challenging. I can to it after a couple of years just working at small design studios, not really knowing how to begin, who to reach out to and all that. That sort of flailing and fumbling was frustrating.

What do you love most about it?

Drawing every day is pretty sweet. And being able to pay my bills while doing this is quite nice too.

Where is your favorite place to go or thing to do for inspiration?

Most of the time, hanging out with friends is a deep source of inspiration. They say the damnedest things.

Any contemporary artists on your radar?

Oh yeah, there are quite a few. Kaye Blegvad, Pete Gamlen, Sean McClintock, Charles Huettner, Jasu Hu, Malika Favre, Matt Chase, Ping Zhu, Loup Blaster, Milk McQuade, Jed McGowan, Sophia Foster-Dimino, Tiffany Ford, Jen Adrion, Omar Noory, Kevin Dart, Nicolas Ménard,  Josh Parker and Jillian Tamaki.

For anyone considering illustration as a career or just something to try for curiosity, do you have any advice? 

I once asked Sean McClintock for advice and he told me to “just be good, make good work, all else will follow.” I think that’s pretty solid.