Welcome

Blog Post

Welcome to my site, take a look around! You can learn about me or jump right in and check out my portfolio.

Interested in purchasing prints, custom tees or other products? Check out my Etsy shop & RedBubble page

Thanks for taking the time to visit!

Let’s get social – follow me on Instagram

Inktober 2019

Blog Post, Creative Challenges, illustrations, Skulls

This year I had such aspirations for Inktober, with crazy thoughts of being able to complete these mini ink sketches in much more detail and dedicated time…buuuuuut life had other plans and let’s just say it’s been a busy October: a couple bdays to make cakes for and throw parties, make Halloween costumes with the kids, school work, work work, training/courses, orange theory, soccer, other life things, not to mention getting a PUPPY!! 😀

It’s been a fun and interesting month that I am grateful for the experiences and this challenge!

Hope you enjoy my rushed attempt at finishing this year, clearly some pieces have been given a bit more love and attention than others haha but sometimes you just gotta let go and practice the mantra of “finished, not perfect” — @jakeparker

Overall it was still a fun challenge and I am happy I was able to complete this year (unlike last year lol). It’s a fun refresh and the kick in the pants I needed to get me into drawing again! Something I love to do, but do not prioritize enough!

Inktober 2019 ✅

Be sure to follow me on Instagram @noelle_fontaine to stay up-to-date on my latest projects!

Thanks for reading 🙂

View Inktober 2018

Why I’m opting out of the 2019 YEG Artwalk

Blog Post, Events

This would have been my third consecutive year participating in the YEG Artwalk as an artist. It is a terrifying, interesting and rewarding experience to display your work to the world…in PEOPLE!

Like many anti-social/socially awkward creatives, myself included, events like this can be very daunting and difficult. You are literally putting your creative expression out there for people to see, judge, purchase, compliment or straight up trash talk – except this time it’s in person and not so easy to block trolls – but hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…right? I see situations like this worth all the horrible anxiety ridden feelings it gives me, only because I know it’s all apart of my personal growth and learning experiences…at least thats what I keep telling myself in hopes those feelings will eventually disappear.

Now don’t get me wrong, these jittery feelings of anxiety and judgment are not the reason I have chosen to opt our of the 2019 YEG Artwalk.

A lot has happened over the last little while, if you follow my instagram you would have seen a glimpse of all the things; though lately, I’ve been a little MIA there as well – life’s been busy, but in a good way.

I guess the short of it is *takes deep breath*:

  1. I started a new, full time job in communications (late January of 2018) that allowed me to submit for the IABC Capital Awards two years in a row – am now two for two on awards of excellence, which is something I never considered in my professional career, so its pree neat!
  2. With this new position is a new career path. I do get to design a fair amount still, so thats happy, there is/was lot of new things to learn. With that said, I am grateful this job gives me the opportunity to take courses for professional development. So far, I have completed a Communications 101 course and recently started a course on Interpersonal Communications.
  3. I rebranded my business, which required some updating on various online platforms, etc.
  4. Re-opened/trying to managing my Etsy and Redbubble shops.
  5. Still working freelance on the side, which fills up the time slots.
  6. Bought a house last summer and moved in early in the fall, and did minor “renos” (painting mostly), but are still not fully set up, and there is other work to be done. Not to mention, we still have boxes upon boxes to go through/organize in the garage, as well as in the basement 😛
  7. Can’t forget about all the other, personal things (growing families, weddings, friends visiting, etc.) happening, and all the crazy things life offers in general.
  8. I decided to not burn myself out this year – though it may not seem that way, but I am planning on taking 2 weeks off work in the summer, so theres that! *cough – i’m a workaholic – cough* – baby steps 🙂

With all this going on, it feels like there is not enough time to experiment with painting and other creative outlets. Not being able to create, let alone prepare for Artwalk, has left me a bit tired and unmotivated. Plus, it wouldn’t be fair to potential patrons (or myself) to try and slap a booth together – I aint about that half-assery!

For now I shall push on, re-evaluate how/if I will be able to continue to do all things and prioritize what is important to me and where to invest my time…once the summer is over…or once we have our house in order…whatever comes first, that’s when I’ll do the thing – I swear!

So there you have it, I am officially opting out of the yeg artwalk this year – life is just too busy at the moment. That said, ideas have been marinating in my brain meat for a while now, and I am excited to create a “plan of attack” for next year! *is determined*

Thanks for reading 🙂

Best Birthday Present: FB Fundraiser

Blog Post

Did you know you can connect your birthday with a fundraiser on Facebook?!

This year I have set up a Facebook fundraiser for my birthday to raise $200 for the Canadian Mental Health Association (Edmonton Region), you can visit/donate on the fundraiser page today or at anytime during the month of April!

The first time I saw this was about a month or so ago on Facebook and was amazed that this was a thing! As someone who does not prefer attention (I am a shut-in, introverted individual that is comfy and cozy under her rock, and when the light of the outside world peeks in I dig deeper into the earth to hide) this was an awesome opportunity to turn awkward attention into a supporting and raising funds for a good cause!

Mental health is something that is personal to me and also affects so many people in various ways. I look forward to see if we can meet or even beat this goal!

Get informed, read more about the Canadian Mental Health Association.

About from the CMHA websiteScreenshot from the CMHA website

Thanks for reading 🙂

Random Brain Dump: I have to write an essay

Blog Post, Random Brain Dump

I have to write an essay, I am sooooooooo not feeling it right now. Maybe if I type more about how I am not feeling it I will be able to continue to write down some essay things; who knows, maybe I wont.

Do you ever struggle with writing things? If you do, you are not alone because I do, I struggle with it alllll the time. Organizing words in my brain to try to get them unjumbled onto paper is just blerg…I think my brain missed an update somewhere, a glitch that cannot be fixed without some maintenance and IT wizardry. If only it were that simple, to download a newer, faster version of thinking – instead there is a lot more involved than just a download. We are the programmers of our brains, capable of upgrading our own software through practice, patience and discipline. Sometimes the process is much more time-consuming, others it is like we were pre-programmed to know what/how to do the things. The quest of learing all the things will never end, there is a plethora of knowledge around, just waiting to be “downloaded into the mainframe”.

I am hoping this random stream of consciousness and writing will assist me in getting my essay started…well its kind of started but needs to be organized and more questions to be answered, questions I do not remember the answers to; my brain needs a new memory card. My memory keeps overwriting itself, making searching for information in the dusty files in my brain very difficult.

Sometimes just emptying the random jammerings of my brain can help – like doing mind maps to dump all the info out of the brain to then be organized.

I don’t know…

What do you do to get back on track with writing?

 

 

Photo credit: nick-morrison-325805-unsplash

Etsy Shop Now Open!

Blog Post, illustrations, shop

I am happy to say that my Etsy shop is finally open!

Opening up an Etsy shop has been a goal of mine since working in the creative industry, and after a couple of years of hard work creating inventory, finding manufacturers and rebranding my company I can proudly say my shop is open for business!

Visit my shop: NoelleFontaineDesign.etsy.com

Below is a sneak peek at my shop, let me know what you think and what sort of products you would like to see!

Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 12.41.15 PM

Thanks for reading 🙂

*Please note: Prices posted are subject to change.

Inspiring Designs Re-Branded: Noelle Fontaine Design & Illustration

Blog Post

That’s right! after five and a half years of wanting to rebrand, trying to make the time to sneak in this personal project, it has finally happened – all thanks to the Edmonton Artwalk! Read more about the artwalk.

If it were not for the Artwalk, this project may of been sitting on the shelf for a few more years as other priorities in life and business took over, it was the kick in the ass I needed to make this project a priority. This will be my second year participating in the YEG Artwalk and I wanted to be able to launch the new brand early on in this process to build brand recognition, while shifting my client base from being solely graphic design into a more illustration and fine art base. The reason for this shift is that I want to practice my illustration skills and be more in tune with creating on physical level versus digital; I love to work with my hands and experiment with different mediums, subject matters and dabble in creative challenges. I am able to do a lot of digital graphic design at my full time job and changing the focus of my freelance business to be more illustration based will allow me to continue to be creative in different ways.

My new logo is my “artistic signature” a.k.a. the “F” of my last name – I sign/work my insignia into all of my illustrations.

Here is the new logo, business card design, and some other hand out pieces I made for the Edmonton Artwalk:

  1. Business Cards – Double Sided (left 1 & 2)
  2. Artwork Label – Single Sided (left 3)
  3. Artist Info/Etsy Handout – Double Sided (right & bottom)

Please let me know your thoughts on the new branding. Fell free to visit my NEW Facebook page and Etsy Shop to view the branding in full effect!

Thank you for reading 🙂

Pikachu Cake – Nephew’s 9th B-day

baking, Blog Post

I am very late on posting my Nephew’s B-day Cake (his birthday was in June) lol and will probably be late posting my Niece’s cake as well (her Bday is on October) due to Inktober 2017 & working/helping promote Night Of Fear Festival…Anyway!

Due to some time restraints and strange planning, I decided not to make his cake from scratch so I used boxed cake and icing – I know, I know don’t judge me! its great in a pinch! Because this was going to be a pickachu cake I choose a yellow, Lemon cake (which worked out perfect as it does not contain soy, flax or tree nuts great for those with allergies in the family), the box had enough batter for two 9″ round cakes.

The shape of Pikachu’s head is not a perfect circle with his slightly chubby cheeks and pointy ears, so I needed to cut both cakes to create the right shape of the face and ears. This resulted in quite a bit left over, so I decided to try my hand at making cake balls to later ice like poke balls. Basically you take your extra cake, chop it up into finer pieces then add a fair bit of icing, start mashing them together with your hands to bind the cake together, roll it into a ball and vuala – cake balls!

img_3117-1

Now I did not have any small cake ball sticks, making these were not apart of my original plan, but I did have an abundant amount of popsicle sticks so I used those instead; though the cake ball sticks would of probably worked better, I added some icing to act as a “glue” to better secure the cake in place. Once “sticked” I placed the cake balls in the freezer to harden while icing/decorating the cake and prepping some melted chocolate to dip the cake balls in. If you decide to melt white chocolate, be sure to buy candy melts and not chocolate chips (the white ones do not work as well as the dark chocolate chips – not really what they are for either lol candy melts however work best). Not having a self warming bowl that melts chocolate and not wanting to use the microwave (did not want to keep having to remelt the chocolate) I created my own double broiler using a small sauce pan, colander & bowl. Just add some water to the pot (not too much, you do not want the water to touch the colander or bowl, let the steam do its magic) and place the colander into the pot with the bowl inside. Once this starts to heat up, add your chocolate melts and mix with a rubber spatula until they are evenly melted.

Once this was ready, I removed the cake balls from the freezer and began to dip them into the melted chocolate, sticking the sticks into cardboard (be sure to make pre cut slots, a styrofoam block would if been best) to allow them to dry. I later added red food colouring to the white chocolate (would recommend using red candy melts as the extra liquid from the food colouring slightly altered the chocolate’s consistency) and dipped the top half of the cooled white chocolate cake balls. Once cooled, I coloured some of the leftover yellow icing (used for the main cake) black, placed it into a sandwich bag as a make-shift piping bag and decorated the seam around the poke balls, finishing them off with a white chocolate chip button.

img_3123-1

Once the poke balls were complete, I added my final touches to the cake with fondant. Starting from the lightest colour, working my way to the darker colours; colouring the white to red for the cheeks, then the leftover red to black for the tips of the ears, base of the eyes, nose and mouth. I like to use americolour food colouring for icing & fondant, find it has the best results.

Finally, using some water I “glued” the white eye details to the black fondant circles. If you have ever worked with fondant you know the key is to use confectioners sugar like flower to roll out, colour and shape the fondant to prevent sticking, making a light white dust appear on your fondant, but no need to worry as this can be removed with lightly brushing water over your fondant pieces to give them that nice, clean shine.

img_3116-1

Let me know what you think and don’t forget to follow me on instagram or twitter for realtime posting.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Inktober Logo: Inktober.com

*POW* Inktober 2017 *SMACK*

Blog Post, Creative Challenges, illustrations

Soooo stoked to start Inktober for my 3rd year in a row!!

Last year I decided to do a horror theme, this made planning and illustrating much easier! This year’s theme is going to be *insert drum roll here* Super Heros!!

My focus this inktober is to work on figure drawing with these dynamic characters. This is also the first time I am using the inktober prompt list.

I am super (no pun intended) excited and will be posting them here and to all my social media pages, so be sure to follow me on instagram or twitter for live updates!

More about this awesome challenge can be found here: Inktober – Where it began

Click here to view my Inktober 2017 results.

Don’t forget to Check out my Inktober 2016 and Inktober 2015 and let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Graduating To “Official” Watercolours

Blog Post, illustrations

Taking what watercolour pencils taught me (previous post) not only made me more comfortable but gave me the trial and error I needed without as much frustration to go back to using official watercolour paints.

The first time I used watercolour paints (excluding those sets you get when your a kid) was in university for an illustration course, where we were assigned 1 landscape watercolour project – it felt like the hardest project I have ever had to do – landscapes are a bit challenging on their own, but throwing watercolours into the mix made it exponentially more difficult. My professor was a bit surprised as I really enjoyed doing washes with ink, acrylic and gouache but found watercolours a completely different beast to tame! So after all the practice with the watercolour pencils I have decided to “graduate” myself to using “official” watercolour paints and the first piece done using the medium in almost 5 years!

The subject chosen for my first “official” watercolour illustration/painting was inspired by a blogger/photographer I follow on Instagram: @bumblebria (check her out!)

screen-shot-2017-09-02-at-1-12-19-am.png

The lighting, composition and colours of this lemon lavender loaf caught my eye, encouraging me to recreate a version in “official” watercolours. I took a screenshot for reference, and to note the photographer’s handle so I could tag them when posting my WIP (work in progress) and final outcome online.

I started with a light pencil outline, using a mechanical pencil and Fabriano Studio Watercolour Paper.

img_3705

The sketch actually sat in my sketchbook for a little while, I decided to watch a couple watercolour tutorials online for different techniques and tricks before painting; really enjoying the image I did not want to mess this piece up, even though it is more for practice to grow my skillset; that said, I am a perfectionist and am trying to embrace the imperfections of art as it makes things more organic and interesting…not to mention a lot less stressful and more fun!

A couple of days before starting he painting process of this piece, my boyfriend actually bought me some new watercolours (not knowing I have a little stash as he has never seen me use “official” watercolours before lol) and some water-brushes for us to try out. I bought a water-brush a couples years back but was not a hundred percent sure how to use it and was afraid to wreck it; a silly thought as this is what they are made for, but again the perfectionist and fear of messing up took over so I never actually used it (more to come on this topic in a later post). These water brushes are a but of a game changer!

img_4223

I was excited to try “official” watercolours again already and the new brushes made me even more enthusiastic to “graduate” myself to the next level of watercolours lol

WIP_img_4154-1

The level of control with the water-brush made my experience more relaxing and fun – I was not worried about using too much water or accidentally dripping water or pigment somewhere else on the page when filling the brush with more paint. I would highly recommend getting one of these and trying them out, they are pretty inexpensive (depending on where you go).

I thought I was done the piece when I recorded this video removing the tape, but something just wasn’t right and I HATED the dark background – I wanted it to feel more like a marble finish but was not able to create the perfect cream colours, so I tried to use some blue tones – clearly I had a brain fart – there is already blue in the cloth that the background then blended them together; so in a dire attempt to fix the background, I attempted to make it look more like the cracked concrete in the original photo…I was not happy with this and even debated on making a new background and just cutting the old one out and pasting a new one in.

Looking at the piece a couple days later, it began to grow on me, but something still was missing. Taking a black studio gel pen, I outlined the edge of the cloth that meets the background – looked like I was onto something – then went over this with some black watercolour to make a shadow that created more contrast. Later, I used the same gel pen to add some subtle outlines to other areas to really pull it all together as a finished piece.

img_4225-1

Not going to lie, I am still not 100% happy with the final outcome but am glad it turned out much better than expected using “official” watercolours. I am trying to not be so hard on myself and embracing imperfections, especially on pieces like this where my intention is to better learn the medium and just have fun experimenting.

Please let me know what you think and about your watercolour experiences/preferences.

Don’t forget to follow my on Instagram and/or Twitter for live updates.

Thanks for reading 🙂