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Pictured above – Title “fuck you, pay me.” There is no explanation with this painting. I paint what I’m feeling & express myself through my art. Is it cryptic? maybe. You be the judge of that.

 

As a self-taught Artist, looking back at my younger years, I often kick myself for allowing outside sources to dictate the path I chose in life and in college. I see so many young talented people so far ahead of the game, where myself, being 30 am only now becoming more comfortable in my creative ways & with little to no connections in the industry.

I love social media outlets, like Instagram because of how raw & unapologetic some artists are. But there is one sentiment among most of them that I can relate with the most. The sense that you have to “sell-out” as a creative & only stick to one theme, one niche & create content that is “perfect” in order to not only attract your followers but KEEP your followers. No longer is it enough to just be a good artist, you have to hustle your way through social media in order to just be seen. Do you create good art? Take good pictures? have you chosen your target audience? Do you have the perfect line-up of hashtags? Are you posting at the right times in order to actually be seen by your target audience? Are you giving your shit away to attract followers? Do you post enough, or too little? do all of the above & more to crack the algorithm of IG…Exhausting, its it…

Is it worth the effort? Yes & no. My emotions get the better of me when I don’t get exactly what I want in the short time frame that I expect it to happen. But, will I give up because of this? Hell no. Nothin about the choice to be an Artist has been easy. Too many don’t take what I have been doing seriously. As if a professional dog shit scooper would be a more respectible carrier choice…maybe for them, but definitely not for me. I will never sell-out, bow-out, or throw my hands up because “someone” doesn’t appreciate what I do. I don’t do it for anyone but, myself.

Does it feel good to feed your ego & hear that people love what you do? YES it does! but don’t let that be the reason why you’re doing it because it won’t fuel you. You need to fulfill that all on your own.

Go out & do what you love, unapologetically & never under any circumstances sell yourself short.

-Noël Marie

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Pictured here is a trio from a series I painted last year titled, “Odyssey.” This series depicts “space like” backgrounds against solid black color. The gold metallic adds a perfect pop to the abyss that I wanted to create with the contrasting black.

The series represents how I became a tattoo Artist. The depiction of space represents me in the world and the black representing time; the time I’ve spent as an “Artist” since I was young, from the countless hours spent drawing to creating my own company. The ups, the downs, and everything in between. Many of the images I chose are popular design styles inspired by other tattoo Artists and tattoo aficionados.

More interesting than the Art, I think, is the thought, “how does someone like you go about being a tattoo artist?” I don’t quite fit the stereotype. Well, it’s not too complicated. When I met my husband, he introduced me to the tattoo scene, through a friend of his who owned a shop. My husband is quite the tattoo aficionado, and he thought, what could be better than having my wife as my tattoo Artist!

Im so grateful for that moment, because he believed in me and encouraged me to not only try it out, but to stick with it despite much criticism and lack of support.

There’s nothing easy about being an Artist, let alone a tattoo Artist. You want so much to create beautiful things for the world to enjoy, as well as gain respect and appreciation for your talent in an industry (which is saturated with low- quality, mid-grade, self-proclaimed artists) which makes it much more difficult for people who know nothing about Art to appreciate not only the Artists, but the craft itself.

I find it devastating that so often the ones you hoped would support you are often your biggest critics, if not “dream-killers” and “shit-talkers”. But on the other hand, I’ve never heard kinder things about my Artwork than I have from complete strangers. It’s refreshing and truly, is appreciated much more than they know because its what keeps me creating.

You grow a pretty thick skin over the years in this industry & if anyone needs to hear this, I was at a point in my life where I honestly thought, why do I try so hard to please others through my work when it makes me feel completely miserable. There has to be a perfect balance, because at the end of the day it doesn’t matter who does, or doesn’t support you or appreciate your talent, it’s your health and happiness that are much more important than anyones opinion.

Always do what makes your heart happy. Only then, will you see yourself flourish and bloom as a human being and as an Artist. ❤

Me, about to tattoo for the very first time. I tattooed an anchor on another apprentice in the shop. Second and third pictures are on my husband’s wrist. My third and fourth tattoos ever; a tribute to our first born son.

Below, just a few of my personal favorites over the years. The last one is a baby pin tribute I tattooed on my husband recently for our fourth child.

 

 

IMG_3786Nothing beats a cup of Turkish coffee.

It has been a while since I’ve sat down and really looked at this painting. Its inspiration brings back a lot of emotions that I tend to suppress. This coffee cup is one, from a set of twelve that belonged to my late grandmother. The story behind this cup is one of much sadness and sorrow. The set was purchased after the tragic loss of my grandmothers nephew. It is Lebanese tradition that we open our homes for people to come and pay their respects to the family, where we serve them Turkish coffee.

About 5 years ago I was doing some spring cleaning with my Grandmother and we found these cups stored away. That was when she told me the story behind them. The sight of them brought on a mixture of joy and sadness. The memory of ones she loved, deeply. Not only the loss of her nephew but the untimely death of her only Daughter. A loss that I wasn’t able to fully comprehend until I became a mother myself.

When I decided to make this painting I dedicated it to my Grandmother. She was my biggest fan. The look of pride beaming on her face when I presented it to her. I miss sharing cups of coffee and the stories that she shared with me. But most of all I miss her presence. The woman who shaped me. The woman who supported me. The woman who was the greatest example of strength and resilience. Never will a day pass that she is not with me, on my mind and in my heart.

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