Creators, Makers, and Doers: Noble Hardesty

Posted on 12/3/15 by Arts & History


Noble Hardesty is known for his bold and graphic illustration style. While trying to keep up with commissions and a non-stop exhibition schedule this summer, Hardesty has also been instrumental in pioneering the new artist collective space, Swell. He now works full time at his craft, and credits a strong work ethic and a robust social media presence as critical components for  finding success as an artist in Boise.


What medium do you work in?

Acrylic, solely. It’s fast and that’s what I like about it. I can move and get a lot done.


What are you working on right now?

I had six commissions at the beginning of this month so I’m knocking them all out before I start on Jaialdi and then I’ve got Hyde Park Street Fair then I’ve got an opening in October and then another opening in September/October and then another opening in December so it’s just go,go,go,go. I think that I won’t be doing anything like that next year. So far I’ve got nothing on the books for next year and I’m kind of going to keep it that way.


How much time per week do you spend in your studio and what kind of relationship do you have with your work space?

My studio is in the house, which this is the first time I’ve had it function so well in my house. Usually everything was outside of the house. But I’m at it 60-plus hours a week. I’m my own boss so I’m just trying to make sure everything gets done. Then I’m trying to do some new stuff and keep up with the commission work; plus the dedicated work to shows and whatever comes down the pipe. I’m juggling all of that so it’s a lot of time. It kind of feels like I’m never not working. I’m always thinking about it. I’m always kind of working which is something I’ve got to figure out to kind of mellow out on and have some time where I’m down and not doing something. Living in the same space with it is good for me, it’s nice to have it here but I never stop working.


Are you a full time artist?

 I am. This is it; I just quit a job last September. Before it had been about ten years since I’d been full time, and this time is working out much better. I’m older; I know how to manage my money a little bit better. The work ethic is there, too. I mean it’s been pretty crazy as far as that goes. That’s been the thing that really kind of made it work. The video games are here I’m just not playing them.


Where do you find inspiration now for your work?

You know I’ve been going back and studying a lot of classic styles. I’ve been looking at a lot of Nouveau stuff. Alphonse Mucha has kind of become a big influence and that is showing up in my stuff quite a bit. Right now, I’m just kind of hitting some styles that I really like and some certain art periods that I can bring into what I do and just put my own twist on it. They all work together, too, so that’s what I really like about it. I’m making these bodies of work that can mix and match and I am using them however I want to use them.


What sort of resources do you need to further your art career? Is there something missing that would help facilitate a larger career?

If an artist where to just live off work in Boise, it’s about being able to educate your community, to be able to get people to galleries, and create a vibrant art scene. I think there were times when it was like that, but I don’t think it has been for a while. In 2007, 2008 when the crash happened all that stuff went away and it just hasn’t come back. It hasn’t recovered from it and I think until something like that happens I’m of the opinion that you make that stuff for yourself. I’m fending for myself, I’m just doing what I got to do and if something like that can happen later I would be totally down with doing it. I’ve just got too much on my plate to even think about that stuff. I think it’s kind of a younger person’s game with somebody who’s older and established behind them, helping, coaxing, and pulling strings whatever to make stuff happen.


Do you have any tips or inspiring words for other artists?

Social media, establish it. It’s all going to change again but it’s about keeping up with that, getting a fan base going, getting a following. I would say that is one of the most important things to establish because nobody’s going to do that stuff for you and you’ve got to get yourself out in front of people. It’s work. It’s another job. Social media, I would say, is the most important thing. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing without it and I know that. We are in that era that this is when you do it. I’ve watched people kind of fall off because they haven’t, and especially as a younger person or somebody starting out, you’ve got to be pumping that stuff all the time, every day.  It is an uphill battle but it pays off in the end. I would definitely say that and just a work ethic. Just work as much as you can. I don’t know if that works for everybody but it’s what works for me. There are people who just put out four paintings a year and that’s all they put out. I don’t know if they’re living off of it? To me, you just have to be working all the time and if you’re not working you’re not getting better, you’re not getting out there enough. You just have to be producing all the time and making sure that people see it. With the internet, there is no excuse for people to not be working or getting inspired, there’s just a lot of cool stuff going on there.

Creators, Makers, & Doers highlights the lives and work of Boise artists and creative individuals. Selected profiles focus on individuals whose work has been supported by the Boise City Dept. of Arts & History.



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