NOELLE NO



Milena, 2020. Photograph with digital Illustration. 19.5 × 13 in.
The Park Adventures, 2020. Book. 11 × 8.5 in.
Gamsung Duluth, 2019. Print. 17 × 11 in.
Isolating oneself from the presence of people and technology is the first step to becoming a more self-aware person. Philosophers such as Batchelor, Odell, and Montaigne have their own opinions on the benefits of solitude. Montaigne claims you have to be alone to develop self-sufficiency, Batchelor claims you have to be alone to communicate authentically with others, and Odell claims you have to be alone in order to give back to the world.

After a rough period of being lost in the shadows of others, I was frustrated at my lack of self-awareness and struggled to accept myself. My lack of solitude has affected how I carried myself, how I communicated with others, and how I generated work––all directly affecting me as an individual, artist, and designer.

During my time in solitude, I found myself in awe of my single silhouette in the shadow during sunset. I noticed that shadow and solitude both require two elements: space and time. By capturing physical space and time through video and other design media, I want to marry the concepts of shadow and solitude to visualize the story of someone who finds herself throughout the process.

I know I will never fully understand all of myself, but just as the sun sets and comes back the next day, I know I have another chance, another day to see my shadow and experience the journey of learning a little more of myself every day.

I’ve learned through this process that growth is not linear, and some milestones I have experienced are self-reflection, independence, self-love, passion, authentic expression, and productivity. My thesis reflects my journey in solitude as a designer who is learning to translate these experiences through visual systems and storytelling. I want to create a space that invites my viewer to spend time experiencing a simulation of my personal time alone, encouraging other creatives who may struggle with communicating and creating in solitude.—it is a means to express unique stories.