Learning to draw is a journey and everyone was a beginner once. Noah Nolywaika is a young professional artist inspired by the magnificent wilderness of the landscape, flora and fauna in Nenana Alaska. He was just 17 years of age when he first came to study the ‘Complete Online Drawing Course’ at DrawPj. Since his early beginnings, along with his mentor’s guidance Noah has rapidly developed and refined his natural ability for drawing taking his skills to a whole new level. In just three short years Noah has gone on to become an outstanding award-winning and selling professional artist.
He began his studies in the mentored level 1 course at Drawpj.com where he formed a foundation in the basic fundamentals of drawing, under the guidance of Brigitte Back (an alumni of the same course and since retired.) After Noah completed the mentored level 1 course, he then moved into mentored level two where I became his mentor. During his level he brought together all of his skills from the beginner course to create spectacular artworks such as the ones you see here titled: Inconspicuous, Snowbound and Encounter.
In this interview you will learn more about the interesting journey that Noah has been on, to fulfil his lifelong passion of learning to draw. I am sure you will agree that Noah is a dedicated, hard-working and committed young man with a huge future in the wonderful world of art.
Interview with Noah Nolywaika by Cindy Wider
Q: Noah where were you born and where do you live now?
A: My name is Noah Nolywaika, I am from Nenana, Alaska, but I was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, which is approximately fifty miles north of Nenana. My Dad was born in Germany and my Mom in New York, so our family’s English is rather colorful. I have two brothers and one sister; the four of us kids grew up in the same little log house on a lovely ten acres where my family has been located for over thirty years. We love to hunt, fish, garden, raise goats and chickens, enjoy the outdoors, and train our beautiful German Shepard, Ilsa.
Q: How did you get started with art and drawing?
A: As a child, I enjoyed drawing pictures of things I was familiar with and admired, such as trees, houses, homestead scenes and steam locomotives which I found (and still find) very impressive. I was usually overly critical of my work, but the encouragement of my family, and my admiration for artists I esteemed, and the prospect of creating something better kept me pressing on in my artistic journey.
Q: How did you find us here at DrawPj?
A: Toward the end of high school, I decided to study art, partly out of curiosity to see how my drawing ability would develop under professional guidance. I began browsing the web, looking for an online mentored art course that would give me a firm basis from which to build my skills. I was so excited when I found Drawpj, I could see right away that it was exactly what I wanted.
Q: When students start to study with me I ask them to create a pre-instruction drawing as a record of their ability before they start the course. What do you think when you look at the pre-instruction drawing you created way back then?
A: I am so thrilled to have come as far as I have. Never did I think I could achieve the standard of drawing that I am now at.
Q: What was it like studying with mentored support?
A: I appreciated the mentored support immensely. It was extremely beneficial, having a professional to turn to who really believed in my work even when I did not. Brigitte was so enlightening and helpful; her instruction completely redefined my entire approach to art.
Q: What’s happening with your drawing journey right now?
A: I am presently working in charcoal and graphite, two of my favourite mediums, creating a series of drawings that portray the Alaskan wilderness in winter.
Q: Do you have any favourite drawings that you’ve created since studying at DrawPj?
A: My favourite drawing to date is “Inconspicuous”, my latest artwork.
Q: Have you won any awards, or held exhibitions, sold your art since you studied at DrawPj?
A: I was awarded a special recognition in the Light Space and Time Art Gallery 10th Annual “Landscapes” online art competition and an honourable mention in the J. Mane Gallery 3rd Annual “Seasons” International Online Juried Art Exhibition. And I have sold open and limited edition prints of my three latest artworks.
Q: What are your favourite art materials and why?
A: I am largely still experimenting with various materials to find what works best for me, but so far my favourite paper is Saunders Waterford 140lb watercolour paper; it can handle heavy layering and fine detail and yields to erasers very well. I love to draw almost exclusively with the medium Derwent charcoal pencil. It is so versatile it seems almost universal.
Q: Do you have any words of helpful advice for beginner artists?
A: My first thought would be to never place unreasonable demands on yourself. Just let your ability develop and mature from artwork to artwork at a steady pace so you can fully experience and enjoy your artist journey.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: My immediate plans are to complete a series of artworks and present them in an exhibition. I want to develop my style, continue studying with you as my mentor, market prints of my work, and enter more competitions.
For more images and information about Noah Nolywaika: