360° Storyteller- Between illustration and opera | Noura Badran

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Some are blessed to have been endowed with just one talent, what if nature has graced you to be an all around artist ?

Noura Badran, combines the art of taming brushes while striking gold with her vocal cords. She spells out Artist with her dreamy dégaine, the way sentences flow out of her mouth -almost in a poetic cadency and her fingers have the crispation of a person in constant need of expression.

After graduating from ALBA, Lebanon (Académie Libanaise de Beaux Arts) in Illustration/Comics, Noura published her first comic entitled Mamnésie (ALBA) in 2008 and has since worked as a freelancer illustrator in different genres and styles. She is a part-time instructor in AUB and ALBA and has participated in numerous art fairs for book signings and launchings. She also published two editions of the comic book series: The History of Lebanon launched by Arcane Publishing. Moreover, Badran has been a trained soprano since the age of 17, hosting Solo concerts and participating in the most established Choirs in Beirut. Follow this gal’s tales in shapes and notes…


Words/Ghina Maalouf


What is Illustration for you?

Creative, fun, colorful, exciting. I studied illustration and comics because it is a very wide field. It is not limited to illustrating books, magazines or creating comic books. I use my drawing and painting skills for various mediums such as posters for events, branding for restaurants etc. As an illustrator, I am old school; I still prefer drawing by hand and not digitally. And given that I consider myself to be more of a watercolor painter, I just refuse to draw with a tablet!


How did you get to where you are today?

I haven’t chosen the artistic field randomly. I grew up surrounded by arts since my mom is a painter (Zeina Kamaredine Badran) and my sister, a writer about contemporary arts and sound theory. Today the three of us teach in the field.


What is your most cherished achievement?

My first comic book “Mamnésie” published by ALBA, about a little girl and her grandma suffering from Alzheimer.



Do you feel the recognition as an Illustrator in Lebanon?

Luckily the market is tiny in Lebanon, so word of mouth runs fast. As a result, after publishing the comic strips series History of Lebanon, I was recognized as a watercolor artist and a comic book artist much more than an Illustrator.


Is the Illustrator’s status in Lebanon and the Middle East the same as the fate’s of other categories of artists?

A freelance illustrator can’t sustain a living with illustration alone. Unfortunately feeding off your bank account from illustration is almost impossible, not only in Lebanon but everywhere else in the world. That’s why most illustrators go towards graphic design jobs or work in advertising, illustrate storyboards etc…in order to survive since it has a wider market and more job opportunities. But on a more positive note, the market is growing for illustrators.





What lacks in order to encourage Art in the region?

We definitely need more art fairs!


What would you ask from your government? 

To support us by raising more funds for grants and subsidies that would help execute art projects and initiatives.


What is your best-commissioned project so far?

Watercolor Paintings. I think the Beirut watercolors are my best work so far.



We know that you also happen to be an excellent Soprano singer? Which art form comes easier for you in terms of expression? 

Definitely music, singing has always been a very big part of me


If you had to reconsider, would you rather be a professional opera singer or still opt for illustration?

Hands down to be a professional opera singer. I’m still considering it!


What do you love most about illustration and signing?

The power of creativity and interpretation. Plus, both are very therapeutic. I am very lucky to be able to do both!




Your influences?

In music: Maria Callas! In painting, definitely my mom.


What advice would you give for people who would like to become illustrators?

For those who are talented and passionate, there is a famous saying that says: “Death isn’t the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside of us while we live.”- Norman Cousins. However talent is not enough… Hard work, patience and perseverance are the best virtues!


Facebook/Instagram: Noura Badran

And on Flickr

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