A New Look, Courtesy of Noelle Stevenson

by sarahenni on February 21, 2012

Welcome to the new, prettified Sarahenni.com! (For those of you reading on an RSS feed, you might want to click through for full effect.) Since The Great Blog Disaster of 2011, I’ve been working on redesigning my blog to make it more pleasant-looking and comprehensive. I’ve added FAQ and lexicon guide pages, as well as a Listening To page where I’ll track my most-enjoyed albums.

Self-Portrait by the Artist

But! Most evident and most exciting, a new, gorgeous blog banner drawn by local Washington, D.C. artist Noelle Stevenson!

I’ve been following Noelle’s art on her Tumblr (better known as Gingerhaze) for a while, and I’m so glad she agreed to lend some of her style to my blog. She’s a student at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and does freelance art and fanart in her spare time. I asked her for an interview so my readers could get to know her better.

 

When did you start drawing?

I’ve pretty much always been drawing! I was one of those kids who tried to one-up the other kids at crayon time and always got art kits for Christmas. I very clearly displayed a inclination towards it at a very young age.

What made you decide to pursue art school?

I started planning for it as soon as I discovered it was possible to go to school for art. I knew that there was nothing else I’d rather be doing, and so it wasn’t a hard choice to make.

I discovered your Tumblr when my friend linked to the Broship of the Ring. What made you decide to draw the Broship?

My family has a tradition of watching Lord of the Rings every time we’re all together, so I grabbed my tablet and was doodling while watching it. I can’t say where the actual idea came from, but I drew outdoorsy Aragorn, preppy Legolas, and trucker Gimli first and posted them on my Tumblr. It blew up really quickly. Of course I had to keep going!

Were you surprised by how the Broship blew up? You and your drawings became internet famous!

It was super exciting! I found myself with a fairly large following pretty quickly and was seeing my art on big websites like io9. It was kind of surreal.

What is it about a certain book/tv show/movie/comic book that inspires you to draw its characters? For example, you’ve mentioned enjoying Game of Thrones, but you haven’t featured many drawings inspired by it.

You know, I can’t really say! Just that there are certain things that provide me more readily with material. Lord of the Rings, for example, is full of inspiration, because while it’s epic and beautiful, it’s also very easy to make fun of. I can’t say I felt very funny after finishing Game of Thrones. I also haven’t seen very much of the show yet, and it’s easier to draw fanart when the imagery is provided to you.

I write young adult books, and blog about a lot of YA books/movies/TV shows. So I love that you have drawings inspired by The Hunger Games! How did you first hear about THG? What made you want to draw those characters?

My friend recommended them to me and I was hooked instantly. No matter what anyone says about the writing style (and despite the fact that Suzanne Collins apparently decided that she hated all of her readers by the third book), they are undeniably engaging and addictive. I really found the character of Katniss refreshing, especially in the wake of Bella Swan. So when I found out that they were making a movie, I wanted to record my impression of the book before they were altered by the imagery of the movie.

Are you excited for the movie? Any concerns?

I’m very excited! From what I could see in the trailer, it looks like they really captured the spirit of the book. I’m still nervous about a few things, mainly that they’ll play to the pre-teen Twilight crowd too much, but from what I can see so far they’ve done a good job of avoiding that trap. The casting is unusual but I think they could all do a really good job.

Have you read other YA books, or do you seek out anything YA?

I haven’t found much YA to read lately seeing as it’s mostly undead teenagers in love, but I really do like the genre. I prefer action/adventure themed stories though, and sometimes those get placed in the children’s section even if they have more mature themes.

What are you reading right now?

I’m working my way through A Song of Ice and Fire by G.R.R. Martin, but I think I may give up after A Storm of Swords. It’s a bit too much for me.

What do you hope to work on once you’re done with art school?

Any kind of narrative illustration, hopefully! I came to school interested in book illustration, but my sights have shifted towards comics, especially since I’m more interested in telling my own stories. But I’d love to write and illustrate my own book at some point!

Thank you so much, Noelle! And thank you for the gorgeous artwork :) You can find more of Noelle Stevenson’s art on her blog, Tumblr, and Twitter, and buy prints at her shop!

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Kitty February 21, 2012 at 5:24 am

I love the new look! Great job, Noelle! And clicking over to your tumblr site… now!

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sarahenni February 21, 2012 at 9:58 am

Thanks Kitty! And I predict you’ll love the Tumblr site! It’s given me hours of entertainment :)

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Meredith February 21, 2012 at 8:18 am

It’s absolutely gorgeous! Lovely, Noelle! :)

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sarahenni February 21, 2012 at 9:58 am

Yay! She is pretty awesome at what she does, right?

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Erin Bowman February 21, 2012 at 9:29 am

The new header is adorable!! I think it captures you perfectly, Sarah! Great work by Noelle :)

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sarahenni February 21, 2012 at 10:01 am

Thank you Erin!! I agree, Noelle totally hit it out of the park :)

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Danielle February 21, 2012 at 9:43 am

Love the new header!!!

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sarahenni February 21, 2012 at 10:10 am

:D Thanks Danielle!!

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Rebecca B February 21, 2012 at 9:58 am

Gorgeous header! I love it.

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sarahenni February 21, 2012 at 10:11 am

Thanks so much! I’m glad you like it!

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Stephanie Kuehn February 21, 2012 at 10:08 am

Beautiful artwork! And what a wonderful interview.

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sarahenni February 21, 2012 at 10:12 am

Thanks Steph! She’s pretty fun, huh?

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Sarah G. February 21, 2012 at 10:10 am

Love the new header! Do you own that yellow sweater? because I totally think it’s cute… I am now going to check out your Listening tab — love that idea, too!

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sarahenni February 21, 2012 at 10:19 am

I DID own that sweater… until it accidentally got washed and ended up looking like a novelty dog outfit. It was from Madewell and I want to replace it SO bad!

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Sarah G. February 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Oh dear! That is very sad. Also, now you’ve got me coveting pretty things.

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Krispy February 21, 2012 at 12:18 pm

I love the new header and all your new tabs!!! So cute! Am totally checking out Noelle’s tumblr now. Her art is adorable, and I loved the interview! :)

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sarahenni March 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Her art is SO fun. You’ll love it!

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Kristin Halbrook February 21, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Super cute new header!!! I’ve had new website design on my mind, too (granted, not because of the Great Crash of 2011). Loving this clean and fun look.

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sarahenni March 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Thank you Kris!! :D

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Hayley February 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm

pretty pretty!!!!

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sarahenni March 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm

TY!!!

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Meredith O February 21, 2012 at 2:21 pm

I love the new header. It’s simple but whimsical and it looks so peaceful. I really want to apparate onto that bench RIGHT NOW. Noelle’s work seems pretty cool and I’m especially fond of that awesome Hunger Games artwork.

-Meredith

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sarahenni March 11, 2012 at 4:27 pm

All her Hunger Games drawings are so great. Just like I pictured, actually! And YES I also want to apparate onto the bench! Next to cartoon me!

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Elodie February 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Very very nice and so so pretty! :D

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sarahenni March 11, 2012 at 4:27 pm

thank you Elodie!

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Alwyn February 21, 2012 at 6:16 pm

The art work and the new layout is gorgeous! Love the banner especially :)

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sarahenni March 11, 2012 at 4:28 pm

I’m so glad you like it! Thanks Alwyn!

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Jessica Love February 21, 2012 at 11:35 pm

Love, love, LOVE! That captures you so perfectly, Sarah! I love Noelle’s artwork!

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sarahenni March 11, 2012 at 4:28 pm

:D :D :D Thank you Jessica!

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Rebecca T February 22, 2012 at 8:17 am

Ooh! I love the banner. Very cute :)

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sarahenni March 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Thank you!!

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Erica O'Rourke February 22, 2012 at 10:37 am

Love it! Charming and pretty and perfect for spring. Fabulous job, Noelle and Sarah!

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sarahenni March 11, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Thanks Erica!!

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Emy Shin February 22, 2012 at 10:44 am

I absolutely adore the new look, Sarah. And Noelle, you’re so amazingly talented. I adore the self-portrait — and laughed out loud at the G.R.R.Martin’s comic strip.

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sarahenni March 11, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Isn’t that a perfect strip?! It’s exactly how I felt reading Storm of Swords, LOL.

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kay Seeberger February 23, 2012 at 11:38 am

I really like the new look, Sarah. It is so you. Good job.

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sarahenni March 11, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Aww, thanks Grandma! I love you! <3

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