• UO Studio Visits: Tallulah Fontaine

    We take a trip to Toronto to visit UO Print Shop artist Tallulah Fontaine, who chats with us about inspiration, her favorite art pieces and what she loves most about her job.
    Photos by Arden Wray

    Hi Tallulah! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself – where you’re from, what you do?
    Hi! I'm a freelance illustrator currently based between Toronto and Los Angeles. I'm originally from a small town called Beaumont outside of Edmonton, Alberta.

    Did you go to school for illustration or are you self-taught?
    I didn't go to school. I worked as a server or a barista for a few years after high school and would draw whenever I had the time. Friends really encouraged me to eventually pursue it as a career.

    When did you first decide to do illustration full time? Any advice for other freelancers or artists out there?
    I switched to full time when I moved to Toronto almost a year ago. I really wasn't sure how it would go and if I could afford rent every month but eventually I built up a steady client list things evolved from there.

    I'm still learning myself but my advice to anyone looking to switch to full-time is to really treat it as a business. You have to be willing to dive in and sometimes give up all your free time but in the end it feels really rewarding to work for yourself and to get to do what you love.

    Tell us a little bit about your artistic style and process. How do you like to work?
    I usually spend the mornings catching up on e-mails and then go for a walk or out for coffee to think over some ideas for the project I'm working on. After I come home I work on a sketch that I'll trace and watercolour. Most of the final elements and colouring I do digitally with my Wacom tablet.

    What about the prints you’re selling at UO? Are there any stories behind them?
    Both of them were originally editorial illustrations for magazines. The Beach Gal drawing was for a french magazine called Paulette who did a feature on Miami exercise culture. The Sisters print was from a series of illustrations I made as the guest artist for an issue of oh comely magazine. I based the drawing on my friendship with artist Maddy Young.

    We love your studio – can you tell us the story behind one or two of your favorite art/illustration pieces you’ve collected over the years?
    Thank you! My friend Daniel Zender recently sent me his new book of gorgeous screen prints he made with The Half and Half. I have it on display at the top of my bookshelf. The other print in my studio is of some Greek bathers by the glorious Kaye Blegvad.

    What do you hope people take away from your work?
    I'm really open to whatever people want to take away from my work!

    Lately, what’s been bringing you joy?
    Watching holiday movies with my roommate, eating lots of cookies and my new pillow.

    What do you hope comes from 2017?
    More time to travel, see good friends and work on some personal projects.

    Finally, tell us one thing you’re looking forward to.
    Going back to LA for the rest of the winter!

    To see more from Tallulah, follow her on Instagram
    Shop Tallulah Fontaine's Prints