We ask the world’s top designers and illustrators to answer 13 questions and create a visual response to one of their choice.
Polly Nor focuses her surreal eye on women and devils, creating a distinctive aesthetic that’s as satirical and hilarious as it is dark. She’s recently moved into creating sculptures and installation work that bring her pieces into gruesome 3D, continuing her explorations of “identity, female sexuality, and emotional turmoil.” Do yourself a favor and follow her on Instagram @pollynor.
Describe what you do in four words or less: Part artist part, internet freak.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist? Since I can remember. Drawing just came really naturally to me. It’s the only thing that I was ever good at as a kid, so I didn’t really have to make a choice.
If you weren’t an artist, you’d be: I’d really like to be an art therapist. Before my art stuff took off I was looking into it, but couldn’t afford the training. I think it would be a really interesting and rewarding job.
The typeface you love/hate/love to hate: I know nothing about typefaces, so I only ever use my normal handwriting or the most basic meme-looking fonts.
Your dream design (or redesign) project is: I really want to do a furniture collab. IKEA if you’re reading this, hit me up, please.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received (and who said it)? I’m sure I’ve been given lots of good advice, but I can only seem to remember the bad stuff I’ve been told over the years! Either way, I’ve never been very good at following advice. I have to do things my own way, even though my way is usually the most difficult way.
The quality in others you most admire is: I’ve always been really impressed by people that can get on a stage and discuss their ideas without crumbling. Public speaking is my biggest nightmare, so I really admire anyone who can do it.
You’re secretly really good at: Whistling.
The biggest design cliché right now is: Pink. For a while I got sick of seeing it everywhere, so I swapped the pastel tones that my work was originally known for to a darker, bolder palette. I’ve been bringing it back again recently, though, because avoiding things just because they are popular is also very cliché.
What keeps you awake at night? Twitter. It’s a problem.
What contribution will you make to design/the creative community in the next 10 years? I dunno, the last 10 years have been so hard to predict. Hopefully I’ll just keep evolving, making new artwork, putting on new shows. I’m trying to put less energy in to constantly pushing out online content and spending more time developing personal projects, researching, and experimenting with different art forms. Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of writing. I’m not sure what I want to do with it, but hopefully at some point it will end up becoming either a book or an animated series.
What question are you dying to answer that we haven’t asked? When is your next exhibition?
What’s the answer? My next solo exhibition, Airing My Dirty Laundry In Public, runs October 12-17 at Protein Studios in Shoreditch, London. I’ll be presenting a new 39-part illustrative series that I’ve been working on this year. I’ve also created a load of ceramic sculptures and designed a new and extra creepy immersive installation room. Come and check it out!