Why I’m opting out of the 2019 YEG Artwalk

Events, illustrations, Redbubble Shop, Uncategorized

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 🙂

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Buffalo Dreams

illustrations, Redbubble Shop, Skulls

I made an abstract post a while back called Playing with Pastels that had close ups of this piece as a work in progress…though the piece was finished quite a while ago I did not post the final outcome because I wanted to have it professionally framed – fun fact, this is the first piece I have ever gotten professionally framed!

This started off as a quick pencil sketch I did at the end of inktober 2015 (this was the first inktober that I participated in, more about that here).

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Inspired by a piece I did about 2 years ago, where I wanted to experiment with a couple of black canvases I picked up from Michael’s and my tinted charcoals (more about this piece here) where I took my #31 inktober 2015 piece as inspiration to build upon.

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Inktober 31

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Using my small sketch for reference, I penciled an outline on a black 18″x24″ canvas, then applied layers and layers of pastel, pencil crayons & charcoal; constantly switching between the three mediums until I was sure the piece was complete.

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Due to the dusty nature of chalk pastels, I started at the centre of the subject and worked my way out, saving the background for last; not wanting to risk smudging any loose pigment onto the black surface.

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This sat around in my studio for months, I was afraid to transport it anywhere!

Now I know what you are thinking “isn’t there a protective spray you can use to prevent smudging?” believe me, I tried it! The drawback of the protective spray was that it was not 100% protected – chalk pastels being more loose than graphite there is also risk of some loose pigment being scattered among the work – plus it dulled the colours, so I needed to go over the piece again with the pastels to revive this lost vibrance.

When it came time for framing I carefully wrapped the piece in brown packing paper. I am very proud of this piece and due to the risk of smudging I was pretty leery to leave it in the hands of strangers. Not sure if there were any good framers in the area, I decided to go to our local Michael’s, where they made a special note to be vary careful with the piece as it is prone to smudging; needless to say the staff there did a fantastic job and were very gentle with the piece 🙂

I couldn’t believe how many different combinations and choices there are for frames & matting; in fact, we probably spent about an hour looking at different matting choices!

For me the frame was simple, I wanted something a bit more modern and black – fortunately they had a 40% deal when I went in (framing this 18″x24″ beast was just under $500 CND and would of been over $700 CND without the deal…highway robbery if you ask me lol but they need to run their business too lol). The matting on the other hand is what took the most time, is was very interesting to see how different combinations looked with the piece and how it could go from a strong masculine piece to a dainty feminine piece in a flash! Personally, I prefer a more masculine, modern look (makes sense with what I have learned about my work during my first Artwalk haha). So I chose a black frame with charcoal grey, pomegranate red wine and black matting – I really wanted to have the red wine accent colours pop – some of the other matting was either just not the right colour combinations or were too much like the dominant colours that the piece felt pale and blended with the matting.

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I also asked if I could write the name of the piece & sign the matting – since this was my first original being framed I thought it would be a nice touch – and the staff were more than happy to oblige. When the matting arrived, they called me and I went in (bought a couple of jelly roll white pens) and decided upon the name “Buffalo Dreams” and signed the matting.

Buffalo Dreams seemed like a perfect fit for the piece, making it whimsical and spiritual. Growing up my mother had a huge dreamcatcher – made of red wood with purple crystals, black leather ties and feathers – when we had nightmares my mom would either put the dreamcatcher in our rooms for the night or longer if need be (probably to keep us in our own beds to get some proper rest, smart lady!). That was until she got us our own small dreamcatchers. She would tell us that they are made special to protect us in our sleep; if you have a nightmare it cannot hurt you as the dream catcher acts like a spider web, catching all the negative dreams, spirits and thoughts to purify or trap them in the crystals so you can sleep safe and sound.

If you have a piece that is special to you or are very proud of go ahead and spoil yourself a bit and get it framed! I find frames (even cheaper ones from department stores) really make a piece look polished and complete.

Prints and other swag available in my Redbubble shop of this piece (more about my shop can be found in an earlier post here Redbubble shop). If you are interested in purchasing the original please contact me and I can let you know the price and we can work out shipping/pick up arrangements.

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Remember to follow me on Instagram & Twitter @noelle_fontainec to see what kind of creative mischief I have gotten myself into.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Bear Watercolour Illustration

illustrations, Redbubble Shop

This illustration came about while on a family camping trip, near crows nest pass. I was sitting at our picnic table with my watercolour pencils & paper (more on materials here), when I noticed one of my watercolour illustrations was tucked between some of the blank pages; my geometric buffalo illustration.

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The combination of finding this lost illustration with being surrounded by beautiful trees & mountains inspired me to create a similar piece with a woodland creature – bears in particular – these beautiful, gentle, yet fierce animals who rule the mountain side.

Wanting to make the new illustration more powerful in colour & shapes, I planned the geometric designs/patterns out in pencil before outlining in ink (instead of inking on the fly like the buffalo), which made the inking process quicker & colour choices a bit easier; allowing me to play with different shades of colour opposed to the inking to give the piece more dimension.

Overall, this illustration is much more solid & put together compared to the buffalo. I am very pleased with the final outcome & have received a lot of positive feedback at artwalk & online.

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Bear Watercolour Illustration

This illustration is also available in my Redbubble shop as prints, appareal, gifts & more! Check it out here: Noelle Fontaine’s Redbubble Shop

Please let me know what you think of this piece & which you prefer – the Bear or the Buffalo.

And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram or Twitter for the most up to date info on new creations & promotions!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Jolly Rancher Skull Studio Pouch

My Redbubble Shop

illustrations, Redbubble Shop

It has been a while since I made my account on redbubble.com, just never really could make the time to create or post illustrations; However, I find myself with some more time on my hands, which allows me to create and post to my shop!

I will have many of my illustrations up on the site as t-shirts, tank tops, laptop cases & skins, phone cases, bags & so much more!

You can check it out here: Noelle Fontaine’s Redbubble Shop

Take a sneak peak at my wares:

Here is some information: About Redbubble

Also, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram or Twitter for the most up to date info on new creations & promotions!

Thanks for reading 🙂