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 🙂

Best Birthday Present: FB Fundraiser

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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

Random Brain Dump, Uncategorized

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!

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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!

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Thanks for readying 🙂

Inspiring Designs Re-Branded: Noelle Fontaine Design & Illustration

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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 🙂

YEG ARTWALK 2018

Events, illustrations, Uncategorized

I will be participating in the YEG Artwalk for the second time this year, July 6 – 8th from 10am – 5pm, be sure to come out and say hi!

I am very excited to be participating for the second year in a row. You can find my bio, and many other talented participants, on the YEG Artwalk Webpage. I will be located in the tent area just off Whyte (82) Ave, down Calgary Trail (104 St) – between “D” and “F” on the below map.

Hope to see you there!

 

Pikachu Cake – Nephew’s 9th B-day

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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*

illustrations, Uncategorized

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 🙂

Faber-Castell Watercolour Pencils

What Watercolour Pencils Taught Me

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If you have read my previous posts, follow me on instagram or twitter, you are aware that I really enjoy using watercolour pencils, because they are kind of like watercolours for dummies lol in this I mean the user has much more control over the medium and can manipulate and blend the medium with a lower chance of getting a ‘muddy’ image. Now don’t get me wrong, they are not fool proof; trust me I have made some ‘happy little accidents’ and some not so ‘happy little accidents’ with these as well, but it is with these accidents that one learns how to correctly use medium.

Some of the mistakes & lessons I have learned from using the watercolour pencils that can transition to when using ‘official’ watercolour paints are as follows:

  1. Blocking in colour: I would start by illustrating a subject (usually lightly with a pen, occasionally pencil) and would then proceed to block in all my colours. Once the colours were all in place, using the brush that came with the set, I would add water to start blending the colours.
    Problem: If you block in all your colours then try to add water to blend, ALL the colours start to blend together. So if there is an orange fading to yellow section and blue fading to purple section side by side the water may start to bleed into each section (this can happen if either too much water is used or if for instance the yellow section is still wet and you start to blend the blue section that is beside it), resulting in a colour(s) you may of not wanted.
    Solution: Colour in 1 area, blend with water and allow this section to dry before adding colour to the next section; preventing 2 wet colours from becoming 1 unwanted colour or mud puddle.
  2. Adding Black: Be sure to do this last, once all the layers are dry.
    Problem: If you add black to the colours before blending the colours in with water, that section will become very dark and muddy.
    Solution: Allow all the layers to dry, add small amounts of black to areas you want to have shading (remember to build up, do not add too much at once). Another option is to use a scrap piece of paper: add black to the scrap paper, wet it with your brush (adding as much or as little water to it in order to get the desired transparency) and do a wash over the desired areas.
  3.  Substrate: Watercolour paper obviously works best when using watercolour, it is made to handle the medium; hence its name. But some sketchbooks claim they can handle wet mediums.
    Problem: When paper becomes wet it can begin to warp or tear and water just sits on top, flowing all over.
    Solution: Test the substrate to see if it actually handle wet mediums; if it tests are good, still be cautious not to use too much water, some of lower limitations than others. Use the appropriate substrate for the job, watercolour paper (thought not all created equally) is probably the best to use when using the medium…it’s all in the name after all.
  4.  Using too much water: This can really mess up your substrate, technique and final outcome you are trying to achieve (unless this is the outcome you are looking for).
    Problem: Tearing, pilling (paper starts to ball up on the surface and in paintbrush bristles) & warping that can cause pooling.
    Solution: Use a scrap piece of paper or paper towel to remove any excess water from your brush. Allow layers to dry completely to prevent pilling of the paper which can lead to tearing. Using good quality watercolour paper tends to prevent some warping, but if this is not in your budget or you want the paper to stay as flat as possible, just tape it down to a board with masking or painters tape (be sure to remove some of the tackiness of the tape by sticking it to your pants or shirt a couple of times before taping down the paper to prevent tearing your substrate when removing the tape); a flat, secure surface also prevents the water and pigments from pooling.
  5. Be Patient:  When working with watercolours it is very important to be patient, allowing for areas/layers to dry.
    Solution: Have another project you can work on or do something else like read a book/article, laundry, go for a walk, etc.
  6. Practice, Practice, Practice!  

you can tell which illustration had more experimentation and which is more polished in my Bear Watercolour Illustration post.

Happy 20th B-Day Big Little Brother!

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My big little brother turned 20 January 23rd…so crazy!!

He is a Halo MASTER!!  – more about this in next weeks post about his birthday present, you probably saw on my social media if you follow me on instagram, twitter, facebook or tumblr lol

Here is his Halo 20 Birthday cake!

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The recipe for this is similar to the one I did for my newphew’s 7th Birthday Take Typography Out Of the Box & Play A While except I used a chocolate pudding instead of vanilla or oreo; again using oreo cookie crumbs for the top decoration.
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Last year I made him a chocolate mindcraft cake, which was a lot of fun, one of the first cakes I really experimented with that was not for a school project lol a couple of years ago we made a cookbook and had to make the recipe & photograph the outcome, so I had some fun with this making my Red Velvet Raven Cake.

Thank you for reading 🙂