Show and tell: Noma Bar, illustrator, artist, designer

Noma Bar is a versatile creative who combines the skills of artist, illustrator and designer in his work. Unafraid to touch on the big issues, he illustrates subjects like nuclear warfare, corporate greed and national identity with a subtle twist of humour. His two stunning and highly acclaimed books, ‘The Many Faces of Noma Bar’ and ‘Negative Space’ have become a must have for design school libraries and tutors. We caught up with Noma to talk about his inspirations (as well as drones, pantomime and why ideas are like bunnies).


Could you describe your visual style for those that might not be familiar with your work?

I’m a graphic artist so I love to tell visual stories. I use simple graphic forms to create witty, double-take images that make people look once, twice. I really like to turn negative space into positive space.


What are your favourite projects/collaborations worked on to date?

‘Cut It Out’ my canine creation, it’s an art-making machine, which visitors are invited to operate by pressing joysticks that control a hole-puncher hidden within the dog’s head. They can feed the dog with paper, press the buttons and the dog’s jaws will clamp down with 20 tons of pressure to cut out their own bespoke, negative-space artwork.


Who would you love to work with?

Probably with University of Minnesota researchers, who just managed to fly a drone by orders from a person’s thoughts.

Who or what has influenced your work most?

Charlie Chaplin, speechless and timeless storytelling.

mags 2

What does illustration bring to a campaign that other methods do not?

Illustration is a wide thing, for me it’s important to bring the concept, imagination & freedom of expression. Illustration can express things that photography doesn’t…

What makes or breaks a brief?

Simplicity… for me, less is more. A good brief can work well with only a few words.


If you could learn how to do one new thing what would it be?


What would you be doing if you were not an illustrator?

I’d probably be a composer.

Any wise words to leave us with?

Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. – John Steinbeck

Thanks Noma!

Where next?
More posts from Johanna Pearson
More posts in Show and tell
See more of our design projects
View our portfolio on Behance
Noma’s site

Author: johannapearson

Junior designer at Speak Media

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