We fell in love with Amelia Noyes’ art the minute we laid eyes on it. Her unique approach and unmistakable style offers a breath of fresh air, so welcome in our turbulent times. We spoke with the Barrington native who now lives in Los Angeles.
What are some fond memories of growing up in Barrington?
My parents enrolled me in a lot of art classes when I was growing up. I remember doing classes at Kaleidoscope.
What schools did you go to in the Barrington school district?
I attended Countryside Elementary and then went to a private middle school called Chicago Jr. Middle School. I attended Barrington High School.
Where did you go to school after BHS?
I attended Regis University in Denver, Colorado for my undergraduate degree where I received a BFA with an emphasis in Communication and minor in Fine Arts. In 2009, I went to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago attending one semester to get a degree in Graphic Design, but realized it was not the right fit for me. I later attended DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois to get a Masters in New Media.
You mentioned a defining moment while in a painting class. How did that affect your schooling and you personally?
In 2009, I was attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to obtain a degree in Graphic Design. Due to working full-time at the CME Group in Chicago as a Television Production Intern, I found myself in a weekly painting class. I’ll never forget this moment because it has always stuck with me: I was in a critique of my artwork and my teacher stated, “You need to work on developing faces, and create better looking hands on your art. This is the only way to be accepted in the future if you continue to go down this path creating artwork.”
I left the critique thinking to myself, I don’t need to change my perspective. My goal has always been to think outside of the box. As a society we often define people by facial features to be accepted. What if I could develop my artwork so people could see what they want to see?
Did that moment end up working out for the best for you?
So yes, the moment did end up working out for me. The next day I called my Dad and told him I was going to drop out. I explained what my vision was and how the school was not fitting my needs. I decided instead to change my path and register for graduate school where I received a degree in New Media from DePaul University. Little did I know at that time, my life in six years would return me back to art.
When you finished college, what were your thoughts about embarking on a career?
My degree emphasis was to work in social media management. So, when I moved out to LA shortly after I graduated, I started working in the industry as a freelancer. I jumped careers to dapple as an assistant for a short time before I landed a job as a social media manager for an award-winning actor/musician. This then led me to run my own small business where I was a social media manager for small businesses across Los Angeles.
What do you like about living in LA?
Is it too cliché to say the weather? The city is filled with opportunities. Part of the journey is finding them.
You mentioned needing multiple streams of revenue coming in as an artist living in a large city. What kind of jobs have you had to support yourself?
When I started illustrating, I was just putting it out on Instagram to see what happened. During that time period I also was a social media manager, personal assistant, babysitter, and a graphic designer.
Are there any lessons learned from working with celebrities?
You know how they say knowledge is power? What I learned from these individuals gave me the skillset to launch and run my own art brand.
What advice would you give to people starting their careers regarding their social media?
If you’re not seeing growth, make sure you focus on strategy. If you don’t have strategy, you’re not going to see growth on your accounts. People often focus on the wrong things. You need to plan things out.