FAQ

This page is still a work in progress and will be updated continuously, if you can’t find an answer to your question yet, feel free to ask.

Personal

I came up with my nickname a long time ago, back in 2001. I remember watching “The Lion King 2” where there’s a lion character called “Nuka”. I really liked how it sounded so I started using it. Added a personal twist and spelled it “Noukah”, been using this nickname online ever since.

I have my own little studio at home, and I work mostly from here.

My tools for work: Self-assembled PC & Wacom Cintiq 13HD

Software: Photoshop

For loose sketches and doodles: iPad & 2nd gen Apple Pencil

App: Procreate

Photoshop

For drawing and painting I mostly use one custom brush. It’s called “Gouache A Go Go Tilt” (by Kyle T Webster). I really love the texture and feel of it! For example, I used this brush for the sketch above. Otherwise I’m sticking to the most basic brushes(Soft Round & Soft hard).

Procreate

I rarely work on the iPad but when I do, my favorite sets are from Dina NorlundMax Ulichney and Lotusbubble. I also import some of my favorite Photoshop brushes to Procreate, I think they perform quite well there too.

I don’t have any degree and I’m self-taught when it comes to art. I have studied 3D graphics in the past though, which has given me a good understanding of what is expected of me whenever I get to create art for 3D purposes(such as character turnarounds or concept art) . 

 

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, art has always been my number one interest that I never seem to grow tired of doing or learning more about.

I was fortunate to get lots of praise for my drawings early on and I think that all that encouragement fueled my interest for drawing even more. I used to be a bit shy and started to use drawing as a shortcut to connect with people.

Pursuing art as a career didn’t resonate with me until my teenage years, I always saw myself working with animals on some way as an adult.

I’m completely self taught and don’t have any actual degree in art. I started out with traditional media and experimented with all kinds of them, colored pencils and watercolours became some of my favorites.

Then at 14 I came across Photoshop for the first time and it blew my mind. Using only a mouse at the time I learned everything from scratch through trial and error. My english was terrible back then so I could barely understand anything, I had no idea what words like ”layers” meant but it didn’t stop me. I thought that the burn tool(hehe..), smudge tool and airbrush were the coolest things ever. I’ve never experienced anything like it and I just had to figure out how to use them to make art!

Here are some of my first digital paintings back in 2001. I was really into horses back then, and I remember being so proud of these!

I continued working digitally and purchased my first drawing tablet at 17, a Wacom Intuos 2. It was a true gamechanger even though I have to confess something: I actually worked on it without any driver installed. For years. Embarassing, I know. Got to admit that I didn’t get the point with drivers at first but I learned eventually. Better late than never, they say.

Back in the early 2000’s during my teen years I also started gaining more access to the internet and discovered online art communities like DeviantArt where other young artists like myself hung out. I started posting my own art online and learned so much just by following other artists. Despite having my fragile ego crushed and developing imposter syndrome, this is where I slowly started to realize that I actually wanted to make art for a living, but didn’t know how to do that exactly.

Then I found a course that taught 3D and other digital graphics at Nackademin in Stockholm, studied there for 2 years and managed to get an internship in 2008. I’m forever grateful that I got into those courses, my best advice for any aspiring artist out there would be to take a course that requires internships! They help you with your first essential connections and to get a foot into the industry.

My first internship eventually led to a fulltime job as a concept artist at the same company, which is how I eventually got a foot into the industry myself. It was not easy though, I struggled a lot in the beginning. There was a steap learning curve since producing art and graphics on queue is definitely a skill on it’s own, way more demanding than casually drawing just for fun. I had several setbacks but they taught me a lot, eventually all the hard work paid off and I slowly started to catch up, hopefully I’ll never stop learning and improving my skills.

I started my freelancing business on the side in 2010 to build a client base, in 2020 I finally took the leap into fulltime freelancing.

I’ve done illustrations for all kinds of projects, recently years I’ve been leaning more towards stories and books. I’ve grown very fond of drawing expressive characters and I’m currently illustrating several book series and hoping to publish my own stories in the future. 

My work in heavily influenced by animation art and cartoons with a nostalgic vibe, I’m also very inspired by nature, nice lightings, interesting song lyrics and stories.

I’m also becoming more and more inspired by graphic novels and have really fallen in love with that format lately, hope I can explore that more in the future!

My website noukah.com

I’ve been running my own website since 2007, it’s designed by me and have had several remakes through out the years. I also create all the content for my blog.

Social media presence

I’ve been posting my art online since 2003 and have probably joined most common platforms at some point. Beside my own website, I’m currently most active on:

Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Deviantart and Behance.

Commercial use

I won’t allow any altering, copying or using my artwork for commercial use without my permission.

I may be open for discussion if you are interested in licensing any of my artwork, feel free to contact me at contact@noukah.com

Personal use

You may copy or take inspiration from my art for personal use and learning. Just make sure to give proper credit with a link to my website if you post it online.

Online features

I’m always grateful if my art gets featured on blogs and websites. Just make sure to link back to my website and give proper credit everywhere.

Only place I won’t allow is reposting my art on social media. You may however share my original posts through stories, retweet or reblog my own art posts. It’s one of the kindest things one could do for artists and I truly appreciate every time my art gets shared!

miscellaneous

Sometimes I get asked about how to deal self-doubt, I think it’s really hard to give a short answer but I can try.

I think that everybody doubts themselves no matter where they are in their artistic journey and I get it may not feel very uplifting to hear. I believe that self-doubt can be a good thing though, as I choose to interpet it as proof that I’m still growing and improving. Having it all figured out will instead stagnate further progress. 

If I would give any advice, I’d say try shifting your mindset and welcome these negative feelings whenever they stir up. Remember that even your art heroes are doubting their own abilities from time to time.

I bet that you’ve also heard others talk about how we shouldn’t compare ourselves to anyone else but ourselves, that you are unique, enjoy the journey etc. I agree that it’s super cliché. I think that comparing ourselves to others is inevitable, however, I agree that everyone can bring something unique through their art and that there’s room for everyone. 

Art can be super personal but know that you are not your art. It’s something that you do, and sometimes what you create doesn’t match your personal taste, and that’s ok! Your art won’t define you even if it may feel like it. I struggled with crippling self-doubt myself for a long time, especially during my teenage years. I started developing a healthier relationship to my art only after I turned 30.

I still doubt myself from time to time but have found ways to snap myself out of it faster. Nowadays, instead of thinking that I suck as an artist I try to shift my mindset into thinking objectively, kind of like:

“My art isn’t exactly where I want it to be right now, I’m going to figure out how to get there”.

It’s definitely easier said than done, but I believe it’s doable if you practice shifting your mindset over time.

This sometimes go hand in hand with self-doubt, but I think art block looks differently for everyone and it can stem from other things too. Such as burnouts, stress and other things affecting mental health overall. I think that trying to identify what triggers the art block and see if it can get worked on may help a lot.

A common tip is to try taking short breaks and do something else for a while, try a new media or start a brand new hobby. Focus on nurturing other interests beside art.

If that doesn’thelp, one last resort could be to wait it out completely by taking a much longer break from art.

To bring up a personal example, many years ago a major depression caused an art block that lasted for years. My joy for art and ability to create was heavily affected and I could barely draw anything at all. The quality of my art suffered a lot, which felt extremely stressful and scary as I’ve always been very a driven person. I tried fighting it and kept beating myself up for not being able to create the way I used to, but it only got worse. My brain just went “Nope!”. I honestly thought that was the end. I did get through it eventually, but it took years to get back on track.

Luckily not all art blocks are this extreme. What I’m trying to say is that even longer art blocks can be temporary. The only thing that worked for me was to simply wait it out and to find other things that felt joyful. Eventually when I started to feel better, my urge to create slowly started to come back.

I don’t believe in forcing yourself during an art block. Giving your mind some rest can be way more helpful long term, that’s what’s been working for me at least. 

Hope this was helpful ♡

Sometimes I get asked about how I stay motivated and consistent creating art. 

For me, allowing myself to always have fun has been really helpful, even if it’s just about drawing the same things over and over again(in my case, it’s foxes and horses). 

Since I do art for a living, my motivation to create fluctuates quite a bit. Throwing in some doodles of foxes and horses as a warmup or during my coffee breaks helps me spark new inspiration that will help me carry on with my work tasks. 

Oh, and one more tip: Draw ugly on purpose, ignore the technical aspect (that gets in the way ever too often). I think it’s super liberating!

I’ve also recently learned that waiting for motivation may be pointless, because motivation only hits once you actually start doing the things you’ve been putting off. The moment you get going, chances are that you’ll start feeling relief.

Give it a try next time! Take as much pressure off as you can, get a really cheap paper or sketchbook( I like post-its too!), draw ugly on purpose and draw your favorite subjects. You may feel reluctant at first but once you get started, you may find relief and start enjoying the creative process again.

I’ve been quite succesful with social media in the past but have also experienced the opposite. Some times you get lots of exposure and suddenly all that can stagnate or drop completely. That can be quite difficult to experience(it was for me at first) but there may be some ways around it.

First of all: Your social media stats won’t necessarily mirror your artistic success. My own engagement on social media is way lower nowadays compared 10 years ago, and for example, I’m still able to connect with people or find work.

It helps to ask yourself why you want a large following and also, what you can give back to your followers.

My own strategy has always been to join as many platforms as possible, but also have my own website as my main homepage that I can link back to. Then I try to post as often as I can (the frequency may look different for everyone and that’s ok). Currently I’m mainly focusing on showcasing my art to find freelance work by posting the kind of art that I’d like to do for clients. I’m also super grateful for everyone who appreciates my art and I try to give back by inspiring and sharing tips.

Try viewing social media as a marketing tool instead of tying your worth to the numbers. It should act like a billboard showcasing bits and pieces of your creations or what you’re up to. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of doing the opposite, creating stuff just for the sake of “content”.

I know that all this is easier said than done and it’s a constant struggle for most artists, but I hope that these tips can help a bit.