Technique and an everlasting love for form have always underlain the artwork of Tiluna Nocito ’18. Nocito has been making art ever since she could hold a pencil. “It’s just always been my favorite thing to do,” she said. Starting from a young age, Nocito took classes in Queens, N.Y., and at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, continuously improving while focusing mostly on technical skill. Only recently has she started to expand her conceptual capabilities, she explained.
Nocito has the most classical training in pencil and charcoal drawing, but she has recently gained interest in painting and wants to take classes in the near future on oil painting. “I’ve experimented in [painting],” she said, “but I’m a firm believer in technical skill as a basis.” Her firm beliefs also extend to include the importance of instruction and the idea that everyone should take an art history class.
Nocito draws her inspiration from a myriad of different sources. She’s always been into a type of girliness and a girly desire for love or a man, but also draws inspiration from Sailor Moon and what’s around her as she walks around at home in New York City. In her eyes, people can’t ignore their deepest desires, and the more they can turn tragic events into memories, the more their lives turn in to art forms themselves. All of this, combined with a deep interest in copying things from nature the way they are, has led her to perceive that all art should be aesthetically pleasing and engaging. To her, today’s conceptual art relies on the conceptual meaning and the art itself kind of disappears.
Nocito’s art doesn’t just involve sketches and experiments in paintings. Nocito has been commissioned to design multiple album covers. This poses a challenge for her, as she feels like she hasn’t gotten to the point where she can curate others’ needs within the realm of her own. She explained that sometimes she feels like she’s doing the musicians a favor, and that can be challenging when you’re trying to create something. To counteract these feelings, Nocito creates the covers in colored pencil and semi-realistically, sort of skewed from reality but so that the subject is still clear. Just like we judge a book by its cover, so too do we judge albums by their covers, and this inspires Nocito to create and continue to accept commissions.
Another of Nocito’s talents is her ability to do makeup. At the mention of it, she brightened and smiled and explained how she started watching makeup tutorials on YouTube and reading the magazine Seventeen when she was only 11 or 12 years old, not even old enough to start wearing makeup. She loves the idea of the “American girl” and what it means to be feminine, as well as the aesthetic side of makeup and the art involved in actually doing makeup. To her, it is “just drawing,” and she loves to do it for other people.
She may just be a sophomore, but Nocito knows that she “absolutely” wants to continue with art after college, or with anything that involves her creative side. As for her art while here at the College, the combination of studio art and art history classes has made her see art differently. “Williams has opened my mind to all of the possibilities in the world,” she said, and when it comes to art, for her there isn’t any sort of limit. Her “Drawing I” class during her first-year fall really helped her learn how to technically draw, and she’s considering a double major in studio art and history.
Nocito hopes to continue doing art forever, and is open to using any medium in the future, as long as she has a substantial amount of training. She wants to know facts before she can express herself freely. “Even Picasso could draw like Michelangelo,” she pointed out. It was just a matter of having the technical training and then expanding from there.
With regards to what she thinks the College community should know about her and her art, Nocito said: “Watch out! You don’t even know what’s coming.”