Tallulah Fontaine is a freelance illustrator currently based in between Toronto and LA. Tallulah’s style reflects on home, using watercolours and traditional printing techniques for art shows, collaborations and Zines.
– Where did the nickname Tallulah come from?
Tallulah: It’s a nickname from Junior High that I got from my friend Emma. We made up some band member names for a rockabilly band called The Johnny Fontaines that we never ended up forming.
I’ve always used it for social media and it just eventually became my name by accident.
– What did you get up to on your recent travels?
It’s been a while since i did a proper vacation. The last one was to LA which I recently just moved back to.
Last spring I went on a road trip from Toronto and Texas, making stops in Detroit, Flint, Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans. Lots of great food and cemetery visits. Also we went to a boxing tournament.
– We appreciate artists that use a more traditional approach for their artwork. Do you think using watercolours and traditional materials are the reason your illustrations feel personal and delicate? What do you think of digital art?
I’m not opposed to working digitally and that’s how I colour and do some of my edits. I just haven’t gotten around to learning how to draw well with a tablet and I do really like the feel of watercolours and pencil. Its nice to take a break from looking at a screen sometimes.
I’m glad to hear that my work feels personal.
– You didn’t go to art school but you’ve achieved a lot without it. How do you feel about art schools, generally? What path have you taken instead and would you recommend it?
I didn’t go to art school because I’ve always had a hard time with structured learning and thought it would be a waste of money since I knew I would eventually get bored and drop out. School seems good for those who want to do it and I’ve been a little jealous of some of the resources students get access to. I think it really depends on how you want to learn. Sometimes being self taught is messy and limiting but I also appreciate the freedom. I never planned on becoming an illustrator. After high school I worked odd jobs and thought I would end up managing a restaurant or doing something in customer service. Friends really encouraged me to pursue the art that I did just for fun as I career. I’m glad that they pushed me to do it.
– Do you have any stories about the people you’ve been inspired to draw from? Do your friends mind being illustrated?
I draw my friend Megan all the time. She’s a really important part of my life and I don’t think she minds.
– Ever had an embarrassing moment when you’ve been observing someone in public?
I don’t really like drawing in public too much because I’m self conscious. I embarrass myself all the time basically as soon as I leave the house.
– Having creative friends, do you ever compare techniques, style & their presence on social media (even without meaning to)?
Probably. The internet is just a huge bank and all of it influences you in some way. I met one of my best friends Maddy Young because someone told me my art reminded me of hers. When I looked her up I saw we drew a lot of similar themes at the time and I felt so connected to her. We started chatting and eventually met and I think she might be my soul mate. Thanks INTERNET.;
– Do you have a particular question for any of the other featured artists?
Tallulah: Maddy What’s your favourite lipstick colour?
Maddy: Deep burgundy red, or bright tangerine orange – red for winter, orange for summer.