I've been wanting to do a member spotlight on Nora Thompson since the fall of 2016 when I first came across her series of spooky uploads on the participate section. Unfortunately, Halloween had already passed at that point and it was too late! I'm pleased to announce that she has continued the spirit of the season into 2017 with her illustrated characters, aka "The Rots", that are awesomely creepy and cute at the same time. Read on to learn a bit more about Nora, her inspiration, and her process:
Tell us a little more about youself.
I’m an all-around artist, partly out of necessity and partly out of the need to explore new things. I’m an illustrator, graphic designer and fine artist, and I also write. I love playing with new mediums, and for some reason have amassed enough sketchbooks to last me the rest of my life. Each one has a theme, and I love finding new ways to fill them.
Most of my art for most of my life never ventured very far outside the lines, but something sparked in 2006, and I started drawing these crazy little characters that were just for me. They were pretty raw, but eventually they developed into what became The Rots. When I draw a Rot, I usually start with something spontaneous and see where it takes me, and almost all Rots start with the eyes.
What are your sources of inspiration?
Although I could point to any number of influences, a lot of other people have made their own connections and have compared my work to Edward Gorey, Charles Addams and even Tim Burton. Although I mostly agree with those, I would definitely need to add Ralph Steadman, Gris Grimly, Jim Kay and Shaun Tan as inspiration.
What's your process like?
Since the beginning I’ve been doodling new Rots on napkins at restaurants while we wait for our meals to arrive, and many of those doodles develop into paintings or drawings. I’ve gotten a lot of finished artwork out of those napkins, and I wanted to push that idea even further. So in 2013 I started drawing a new Rot every day during the month of October to post on my social media sites, and some of the better ideas continue on into an afterlife as a painting. I like playing with mediums I’ve never used or haven’t played with enough, and I’m always drawn to graphite in every form I can find. For this year’s Doodlers Anonymous posts I used ink and ink washes to draw, paint and splatter on mixed media paper. It’s kind of messy. I’ve got ink everywhere. I’ve put paper down.