Interview with Juliane Noll

In support of our latest batch for Subbacultcha Collectibles Meet Me Halfway, This Is Antwerp specially designed a flyer for us, where Julianne Noll highlights her favourite spaces and places in Antwerp. Venues, studios, art spaces, bars and the like. In other words: this is Antwerp, by illustrator Julianne Noll. All Subbacultcha members can find the flyer below + IRL in batch #5. Subbacultcha Belgium asked Juliane Noll some lockdown advice, which might come in perfect use right now:

What do we & our readers need to remember about you?

I have every vowel in my name, yet I’m one vowel short from being royalty.

What is the (near) future bringing you?

I think I’m gonna take a nap later. Apart from that, I’m mind-travelling, mind-window-shopping, mind-dancing and mind-making-memories. Workwise: mostly editorial illustration work, a logo for a DJ, some Riso-focused publications, corona-collabs and I am secretly drawing a personal comic that nobody can see ever.

What are you up to these days?

Much and nothing at the same time – mostly drawing, eating, and organising badminton tournaments with the roomies. Walking near large water surfaces or going to the forest I grew up with (Peerdsbos). And loads of scrolling – feeds kill creative flow, but the internet can form a community for those who most need it.

What artists are you listening to?

Wilson Tanner’s II, Vegyn’s Text While Driving If You Want To Meet God, Antena, Donald Byrd, Takashi Kokubo, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Oneohtrix Point Never, Tirzah… & the new Thundercat is nice. Check out his D.O.T.S.-episode, it’s hilarious.

Which records are you playing most right now?

Valentyne Suite by Colosseum is on the decks right now. Also relistened The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio show LP, quarantine is good for long stories.

What makes your heart go faster these days?

Accidentally scaring the police by sticking SOS post-it notes to windows. (True story: they will break into your house without a warrant, it’s not fun at all).

What are you doing daily at 9pm/9am?
I always do my dishes in the morning – starting the day by tidying up makes me feel very zen – because I like to relax with a glass of wine and good food at night.

How do you bring some routine into your days?

Eight hours of sleep, even when working crazy late, because I can now. Also regular snacking is obligated throughout the day.

What does your face mask look like?

Rosewater laced with sagefuzz, a cooling damp river breeze and smooth honey. Imaginary kisses of mermaids.

What’s your personal utopia?

Living on a rainforest planet with three moons, habitable oxygen layers and purple skies, where I would watch species rise & fall and invent some kind of kinetic interstellar communication technology. That or being able to play music.

What brings you satisfaction?

The meditation of simple pencil strokes on paper is the sweetest sound in the world. Also overhearing people practising their instrument while I’m walking in the street.

“The meditation of simple pencil strokes on paper is the sweetest sound in the world”

What’s your favourite lockdown Instagram account?

I will have seen the complete internet by the end of the quarantine, I’m kind of done with digital, live-streams and crappy pixel quality, although it humanises virtual images somehow. (Why do we need flashy talk show set designs anyway?) The series of videos 2 Lizards by Meriem Bennani & Orian Barki (@clearing_new_york_brussels) highlights the absurdity of these times. And @luca.printmaking is sharing very good corona art tips.

What’s your favourite lockdown book?

I’m reading Robert Bellah and Kurt Vonnegut (Timequake) at the moment.

What’s your favourite lockdown film?

I have seen a crazy cheap 80s horror film, The Toxic Avenger, and the sensual yet thoughtfully disturbing B-filmesque carsaga Crash. Also, a Japanese meta-meta-zombie movie that everybody should see: One Cut of the Dead. And yes, also Tiger King.

How do you keep healthy?

I eat only deep mauve-coloured vegetables and drink magical purified rainwater. I have danced around with crystals under the moonlight and breath twice as much as normal people. Did I mention badminton tournaments?

What’s one of your sources of inspiration that may surprise people?

My grandma!

What would you like to be doing in 10 years time?

Filling huge canvases and rooms with sculptures.

How does the current crisis make you feel?

After a few weeks, quite okay. My working conditions haven’t changed that much, being an illustrator is a lonely job anyway. In the first week, I experienced a panic attack and crippling anxiety though.

How important are fellow companions now? How do you reach out?

I love my friends – but they wouldn’t be my friends if we couldn’t instantly get the giggles one minute after picking up the phone. I miss petting their cute little heads, but I know everything will be the same.

What is the latest/future project you are working on?

A Riso exhibition I was kindly invited to by SARA in Mexico with four Belgian and four Mexican artists who each will design one 4-coloured print that will be sent around the world for a simultaneous exhibition in post-corona times. Also a mini lockdown edition of SPOON-zine that will be screen-printed with coffee ink.

Did you have an exhibition/concert/show on your agenda these days? Which one?
I wanted to see JPEGMAFIA but it got cancelled. Also, our SPOON-zine release party got cancelled (SPOON is a publication about vegan food feat. beautiful print work), and Boslabs Expo! :-,,,{

Who is the person that most influenced you throughout your development in life?

My grandma, drawing to Schönberg on her ironing table. My grandfather, telling us bedtime stories composed of made-up words. I love them! They were the first to take me to museums.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned lately?

I don’t recognise the person I was one year ago – it took some effort to feel gratitude.

Is there anyone in your scene who needs more attention? 

My ex-roommate Mathias Mu’s post-aesthetic anime drawings and tattoos are a marvel to look at.

Comfort food/speciality dish now?

The kitchen is becoming more of a playground than my blank paper – I have made some mean shit.

Lockdown hobby?

I started to paint again and I’m making physical postal games to be sent into the world and hopefully return to me with lots of interesting additions by strangers/loved ones.

What will the second part of 2020 bring you?

I’d like to have a sense of roaming in big spaces again (preferably across the border and somewhere near the sea) and teach my beloved art students face-to-face. If not: more isolation but with better takeaway coffee?