by Cristina Rodero Sales
November 4th, 2021
Noah Grigni (@noahgrigni) invites us to imagine a better and more inclusive world through art and advocacy. Noah is a Boston-based freelance artist whose work explores queer futurism, gender euphoria, and mental health. They have been an artist their whole life and use drawing as a way to express themself. Noah’s art has evolved from a way of processing trauma to a form of healing. Refocusing their work on joy rather than pain and euphoria instead of dysphoria has opened the space for growth and success. Noah illustrates children’s books, creates comics, does tattoos, and rants about gender, art, community care, and abolition.
Graduating from Lesley University in 2018 with a BFA in illustration, Noah pictured “It Feels Good To Be Yourself” by Theresa Thorn for their senior thesis project. Illustrated with colorful images and meaningful portraits, this work was the first time Noah was able to put their art in the world the way they wanted it to be seen. The picture book introduces concepts and language such as cisgender, transgender, and nonbinary to the youngest reader. It gives children a fuller understanding of themself and others by teaching them the vocabulary to talk about gender identity. Noah has received countless responses from children and parents saying the book helped them come out. The best advice they have gotten as a children’s book writer and illustrator is to tell the story you needed to hear as a child.
Noah’s upcoming exhibition, “Trans Dreams Portrait Project,” will open in 2022 at the Boston Children’s Museum. It is a series of portraits that celebrates trans kids and their visions for the future. The project developed from interviews of trans kids under the age of twelve around the New England area. Noah asks them: How would they describe themselves? What makes them feel the most euphoric and joyful? What does the perfect future look like for them? Using the questions to guide the portrayal, Noah paints them larger than life, the way they want to be seen. Trans kids will shape the future and their visions should be celebrated.
Noah is creating spaces for queer artists to thrive. Their Shirts 4 Change initiative is a sustainable way to support themself and redistribute wealth by donating 50% of all profits to trans mutual aid. They believe that “when we share a dream, we invite others to dream with us.” Together we can imagine and create a better world.
*Originally published in-print in Boston Compass Newspaper #139 September 2021