Noah Kocher has had quite the artistic journey. I last interviewed him in 2017 when he was still living in Nashville. A couple years ago, Kocher moved to New York City where he has been making a name for himself as an artist. He started to create more digital works that have proven to be very popular on social media. Kocher continues to stick to his roots and create physical work as well, telling me that physically and digital projects play different roles for him. Kocher’s career has begun to take off, and he’s just amazed by it all. Read my full interview with Noah below.
I haven’t done a solo interview with you in four years which is wild, because we’ve worked on a handful of projects together since then. Back then, you were still living in Nashville. You’ve been in NYC for a while now – how has the new environment played a part in your creative process and affected you artistically?
My art has definitely changed drastically since moving to the city. I spent the first few months living here not knowing what the hell I was doing after coming from the south to the big city. I eventually found a job working at an art gallery, I knew I didn’t want to continue working there, but I needed the money at the time. Then Covid happened and everything shut down. I had no choice but to turn to art in hopes that it would provide for me. Not only did it provide for me, but it made me capable of purchasing my first MacBook strictly from the money I made from art sales. This was a huge moment for me – I knew I was heading in the right direction. Eventually I started experimenting with making digital collages and then I started playing with the liquify tool. This was a game changer – it showed me an entirely new style of work that I could dive into. Since then it’s been very prominent in my practice and almost second nature to me. Moving to NYC was definitely one of the best moves I could’ve made as an artist. It was terrifying for a while, but once I found my place it only felt right. I’ve also been able to make friends with other like-minded creatives while being here and that also changed everything for me. Being in a space and collaborating with another artist I admire is a feeling that can’t be described. I’m so thankful to be in the position that I’m in, where I’m at.
Your digital manipulation seems to have become a large part of your recent works, which I feel compliments your style very well. Have you found yourself making more digital works lately? Do physical works still play a large part in your artistry?
Truthfully yes, because of convenience I’ve been finding myself creating a lot more digital work as of late. But I still have a very strong desire to make physical work as well. I think they both play different roles for me. My paintings are very emotional, and I can spend weeks and sometimes months looking at them before I can finally call it finished. Digital work is usually straight to the point – I see an image or multiple images that would work well together and I know exactly what needs to happen to it. Sometimes the digital and physical coexist as well. I add a physical touch to a preexisting image, then scan it in and manipulate it digitally after the fact. It’s all important to me, and it’s all teaching me something.
A lot of your digital works will get thousands of likes on Twitter nowadays. How does it feel getting that much love from people? I know you’ve been on social media for a while now and you must feel like you’ve come a long way.[I’m] not gonna lie, it is pretty surreal. I’ve been sharing my work on social media now for around six years, and it feels like I’m finally starting to get some recognition. At the end of the day, all I want is for my art to resonate with people, so in my mind the more eyes on it the better.
Do you have a recent piece that you’re most proud of?
“Now More Than Ever” [shown above] because it happened completely on a whim. I was painting something and I had some ripped out magazine pages underneath the canvas so the paint dripped on top of it without me knowing. It sat there for a day or so and then I came back to it and realized it looked really cool, so I scanned it in and turned it into a piece. Pieces like that are always my favorite, the ones that just happen effortlessly. Almost like they were meant to happen, and I was just the middle man that brought it to life.
Has there been a specific moment for you that has made you realize just how far you’ve come as an artist?
I’d say the moment I realized that I was surviving off my art, which is something that I dreamed of for years and truthfully at a point in time didn’t think would be attainable. I’ve always had love for the things I create, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t doubt myself on many occasions. Once I proved to myself that I could really make this my living, I gained a confidence in myself and my work that I didn’t know I could ever have.
What advice would you give to artists who are doubting themselves or are close to calling it quits?
Remind yourself that any endeavor takes time. Overnight success is very rare. Learn how to fall in love with the process every step of the way. You are working at the pace you need to be working at. Lastly, taking breaks is a part of the process, so don’t be afraid when you need to step away from it all for a little while.
I know that this is an exciting point in your artistic career as you have just recently started making a living off of your work – what are you looking forward to next? What hopes do you have for the future?
Truthfully I have absolutely no idea what the future holds, the opportunities that have presented themself to me simply from making art for years and not stopping never cease to surprise me. I have trust that if I just continue creating art like I am everything will align. I just want to continue to live my life happy and fulfilled.