Noise Intercepted Collaborators

Alex Kostiw - Independent Illustrator


Chicago, USA

Why do I want to participate?

I've drawn from noise before. In high school, I made a series of work based on a dozen songs, trying to represent not necessarily their lyrics, but the sounds and the feel of them. The idea of finding pictures in music permanently marked my approach to art and probably started me off in the direction of illustration. Illustration is a way to understand a story and describe the experience of it, but a story doesn't always come as a text or a person speaking. I'm here to see what happens when the story is noise. I freelance in editorial, book, poster/ad, and web illustration. I also design for print and apparel. Here, have these links: Illustration folio | Sketchblog |

Twitter: @grawwlix



MitafhorikaNoise Challenge #5: The Senses

I’m posting late because I thought I’d be able to work on these a little more. As is, they’re just linework.

These are experiences on Friday, April 26.

I knew immediately that comics would be the medium for this challenge. Years ago, a friend quoted Grant Morrison to me.

The essentially magical qualities of inert words and ink pictures working together with reader consciousness to create a holographic Sensurround emotional experience. What else?

Morrison was asked in an interview, What about comics appeals to him as a storyteller? And I think that about sums it up.

I’ve got four or five more strips I plan to put together. The series is called Mitafhorika.

The house beside my houseNoise Challenge #3: The Empty

Beside my house was a house. I think a small family that smoked pot fairly often used to live in it. It was already For Sale when my roommates and I moved in the summer before last, and it stayed For Sale until someone bought it and knocked it down. Here is the Google Street View picture of the house.

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The rustling of blanketsNoise Challenge #2: The Little Things

The rustle of a comforter is easily one of my favorite little sounds. I listened to it carefully this week, trying to visualize it: like leaves, ruffling feathers, the ocean through a seashell, tiny tectonic shifts, small thunder. Keeping you safe and warm in the world.


A beast breathingNoise Challenge #1: The Pulse

I commute from one end of the city to the other and back, five days a week. In the winter, I feel like most of the time I spend outdoors in Chicago is confined to a bus or train. So, when I thought about what the sound of the city’s pulse was, the sound of the CTA was what I was listening to.

There’s a rhythm in the rumble and roaring of the trains, punctuated by metal-on-metal screeching like sirens. Sometimes the sound puts a little terror in me if the tracks are high over my head–loud, crushing, world-filling, could kill. But it’s an easy-paced city. People aren’t in much of a rush to get from one place to another. Often the El seems to take its time, too, as it makes its turns and pulls into stations. And why not? Chicago’s pulse is a beast that has it together, steady and sure, rarely stampeding, mostly galloping. It’s got the pretty legs of a horse, but it lumbers like a bison, with a bison’s kind face.