Weekly News 01-27-2021

weekly news

(This is a news letter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox.)

Atelier News

I hope you are all doing well!

This week, I’m basking in cozyness, and it’s great. I’ve slowed down a bit and gave myself permission to be unproductive, tired, moody, and overlall imperfect. Well, surprise, surprise, I’m in a better mood, I’m more productive, and I feel so much less pressure. I’m not sure if it’s reverse psychology or just the great relief of letting go of perfectionism, but it’s been great!

I’m working hard on some Valentine’s day cards. I’m done with one of the cards I want to make, and I think it will appeal to all the enamoured witches and wizards out there. It was very interesting to dive in the wonderful world of flower symbolism and secret language once more. It’s always fun to infuse mundane life with a sprinkle of magic! 

I’m also preparing myself mentally to tackle this year’s book project. I’m not going to lie, it’s been very intimidating on a whole lot of different levels: it’s new, it’s personal, and it’s vulnerable, and I’m just having a hard time mustering my courage. So, I’ve been practising sketching people and scenes. It’s a whole new world from flowers, but it’s been interesting to draw people again and to have long sketching sessions. It feels like a treat!

One thing that really helps me come closer and closer to working on this project has been joining Fran on her Patreon. It’s crazy how this has been motivating: it feels like she is my artist friend. Listening to her podcast newsletters and watching her behind-the-scenes videos, I realized that she, an established illustrator, is going through the same creative difficulties as me. This has given me so much hope and encouragements. There is truly power in finding peers and sharing not only wins but also difficulties with others. So, stay tuned for more on this new book very, very soon!

Alright, dearests, that’s long enough for this week!

New at the boutique

I’ve put on my plastic surgeon hat this week and performed a small rhinoplasty on my water buffalo girl after my parents told me that it looked more like a moustache and less like a nose… that’s a tad embarrassing! But she’s all better now, so take a look!

The first Valentine’s day card is also up and ready!

Inspiration

What is January if not the perfect opportunity for some self-help?

Head over to the blog for a full review!

A small treat

Here’s my cozy January vlog! I hope you’ll enjoy it!

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Weekly News 01-20-2021

weekly news

(This is a news letter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox.)

Atelier News

I hope you are all doing well!

This week as been a roller coaster of  emotions! Self-doubt, my old friend, has been playing the usual tape in my head making me second guess my every decisions, criticizing my work and making me want to generally just run away, far, far away.

Of course this is not an option! So I tried to listen very hard to that little voice completely hidden by Self-Doubt, but who is also always there: Confidence. It’s not easy, but if you are going through something similar, hang in there and try to move forward, even if it’s with the speed of a geriatric tortoise. It’s also so important to take the time to acknowledge the good things that are being done instead of focusing on what is not so successful or yet to be done. Finally, I find that going back to the basics is always a good idea when in doubt. In my case, that means, practising, drawing and painting.

And if everything fails, there are always flowers!

New at the boutique

This week, I bring you a bit of my heritage with this cute Vietnamese scene featuring this year’s Lunar New Year zodiac sign: the Ox!

I also made some round bookmarks with the last mushroom paintings I painted. I really like this format: it’s adorable!

And I put some items on sale, so go take a look at the store!

Inspiration

Get ready for some DIY with this week’s book!

Head over to the blog for a full review!

A small treat

Grab your magnifying glasses and inspector trench coasts, this mystery needs to be solved!

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Weekly News 01-13-2021

weekly news

(This is a news letter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox.)

Atelier News

I hope you are all doing well!

This week, I’m deep in admin work with inventory! It’s not the most exciting part of my job, but it is kind of nice to see how far I’ve come when seeing items from 2019. I’m not going to tell you that I’m super keyed up to count envelopes, but there is something calming in repetitive tasks… when they have a clear and limited space in time.

Still, I wanted to get ready for Imbolc, and prepared you something new!

New at the boutique

Imbolc is the ancient Gaelic celebration of Spring and dates to Neolithic times (about 12,000 years ago, very impressive!). It is February 1st, which is not exactly the beginning of Spring in Canada, but one thing we can start to observe is the lengthening of days. In any case, all occasions are good to celebrate!

I hope you’ll enjoy this grimoire page card I just added to the store!

Inspiration

Get inspired with a nicely illustrated biography!

Head over to the blog for a full review!

A small treat

The “Inscape” album by Alexandra Stréliski has been keeping me company all this week. It’s an easy listen and it is so pretty! Enjoy this live version by the composer herself!

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Weekly News 01-06-2021

weekly news

(This is a news letter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox.)

Atelier News

Happy New Year 2021!

I hope you are all doing well!

For 2021, I’m wishing you all some peaceful and happy moments with good books and chocolates. I also hope that you will take the time to do nothing, to get bored, and to explore what makes you feel crazy happy and giddy with joy.


This will be my second year as an illustrator, and although it is scary at times, it is also a path filled with wonderful moments of joy and just plain fun. I’m excited to start this new year and to bring about more projects, more illustrations, more books!


Welcome 2021!

New at the boutique

This week, I worked on my mushrooms! I actually painted the illustrations in December and focused on the calligraphy and editing these last few days. I’m so glad that this project is complete! I really hope you will enjoy these items as much as I do and that they will bring you a touch of forest beauty!  

Inspiration

To help you be kind to yourself as you are powering through your new year’s resolutions, here’s a soft book on body love.

Head over to the blog for a full review!

Youtube

Here’s my December!

A small treat

Because I know you’ve all been dying to know how flamingos feed themselves, here you go!

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Weekly News 12-16-2020

weekly news

(This is a news letter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox.)

Atelier News

I hope you are all doing well!

What a week! I’m happy to introduce you to this little energy ball: Stella!

We went to pick her up at our local shelter, and she’s adorable! It’s our first time having a kitten because our older cat was 9 when we adopted her from another shelter. At the moment, they have not met yet but have explored each other’s spaces on their own. I cannot wait for them to share the same space, but we’re taking things slow to ensure a safe a calm transition for everyone.


Despite wanting to spend every moments with the cats, I’ve finished my edible mushroom series! I’ll be working on the final products in the next few days so that they’re ready for 2021!

New at the boutique

This week is the last week of 2020 I’ll be sending out orders! After that, I’ll be taking a break for the holidays and come back strong and ready for 2021!

Once again, thank you for your support in 2020. Here’s what we’ve accomplished together this year.

Inspiration

A little heart candy, The Pink Umbrella by Amelie Callot and Genevieve Godbout is yours to discover over on the blog!


Head over to the blog for a full review!

Small treat

More animal friendship!

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Weekly News 12-09-2020

weekly news

(This is a news letter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox.)

Atelier News

I hope you are all doing well!

We’ve been decorating our home for Christmas this past week. It’s a weird celebration this year as we are trying to wrap our minds and hearts around the fact that we won’t be allowed to see our family. It’s a tough pill to swallow, I won’t deny it, particularly when it feels like every person we talk to is telling us that they will be seeing their families despite the interdiction.

Still, it feels good to put fairy lights everywhere. After all, Yule is such an important time in the year and an occasion to celebrate! I spent an entire week-end making paper stars and star lanterns. It was strangely soothing to fold paper over and over again.

If you want to make your own, this is the video I used for the paper stars and for the star lanterns.

I’m also keeping up with my mushroom paintings. It’s so much fun, and I feel like I’m learning a lot with each mushroom I complete. I’ll be sharing a new project with you very soon with all these little ‘shrooms!

New at the boutique

I wanted to take a quick moment to thank you all for all your Christmas orders! It really makes all the difference as it motivates me to think of new products and paintings to share with you, while also supporting my small atelier!

Thank you a thousand times!

Inspiration

This week, I share with you this beautiful book on the amazing Beatrix Potter: The Art of Beatrix Potter by Emily Zach.

Head over to the blog for a full review!

Small treat

This week, I’m sharing an incredible link where you can visit three exhibits from the Montreal Fine Arts Museum for free in the comfort of your own home. I had a lot of fun exploring the post-impressionist exhibit, and I hope you’ll make a date out of this! It feels so good to be able to see these beautiful exhibits and to be immersed in the works of masters.

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Weekly News 12-02-2020

weekly news

(This is a news letter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox.)

Atelier News

I hope you are all doing well!

Well, what can I say. When I’m not painting pine cones, I’m painting mushrooms, and when I’m not painting mushrooms, I’m painting pine cones. This week is a mushroom week! 

I’m learning a lot with these little subjects and mushrooms are really incredibly fascinating, so I’m having a lot of fun while I’m learning.

Incidentally, I wanted to try painting from a real mushroom instead of always using pictures. At my favorite organic grocery store, I selected the most beautiful shiitake I bought (under the amused eye of the cashier who must not sell a lot of mushrooms in packs of one…), brought it home and carefully put it in the fridge waiting for my next painting session… I must have waited too long because my beautiful mushroom was all shrivelled after 2 days in the fridge! I still tried to paint it, but I will have to repeat the experience with a real fresh mushroom!

Inspiration

This week, I present my favourite fairy tale book : An Illustrated Treasury of Swedish Folk and Fairy Tales, by John Bauer

Head over to the blog for a full review!

Youtube

Happy December! I’m inviting you to visit my November!

Small treat

They sound like pirates and love potatoes: these are my people!

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Book review: Cozy Days, The Art of Iraville, by Ira Sluyterman van Langeweyde

Book Reviews

(En Français ici!)

I am very excited to share this week’s book with you: Cozy Days, The Art of Iraville, by Ira Sluyterman van Langeweyde. Iraville is an illustrator from Germany. Her book Cozy Days is the perfect invitation to grab a warm beverage and cuddle up to flip through her beautiful work.

First of all, this is a great book for that fancy coffee table you keep in your fancy apartment (remember it now?). The format is great and the book design work is of really high quality. It’s a real treat to flip through the many, many pages. Yes, this is a big book. After all, it is an overview of the artist’s full body of work. It’s so nice having a book like this. It almost acts as a reference book for Iraville’s work. One thing that is really striking in this artist’s work to me is her colour palette: warm browns and yellows are featured in almost all her pictures and create a nostalgic atmosphere.

It’s also very inspiring to see the many different watercolour techniques Iraville uses to create landscapes, scenery, and characters. It’s nice to see how she uses watercolours to create different effects and render various moods and feelings. I’m always really impressed by her landscapes and how she manages to create stories through each of her illustrations. Her cityscapes are also very fun: the way she plays with perspective is magic. But, I have to say that I particularly love her characters. They are always so dynamic and full of personality. They also have her signature pointy eyes and are always recognizable as hers. The way she incorporates patterns with her characters’ clothes is also very clever and makes them even more interesting.

I also really enjoyed that this book not only presents her work but also how Iraville works. In one part of the book, she explains how she makes her own watercolour paints by using pigments. It’s very interesting and made me want to learn to do that too! I have yet to try, but I know that if I do, I’ll be sure to come back to this book for some tips! Iraville also shares different tips on how she creates some interesting negative space framing or how she prepares her watercolour paper before painting. All in all, I was not only inspired by her work, but also learned a lot with this book!

Through the book, Iraville also shares how she came to be an illustrator. It’s always very interesting to see how different artists came to their work. She shares her struggles and victories very candidly, which makes this book a great companion for lonely days.

Finally, this book is perfect for anyone interested in watercolours and modern illustration. Iraville shares so much of her work, experience and story. This is a book you’ll want to keep around and flip through on days when you feel uninspired. Each page is filled to the brim with lovely pictures, and it is sure to inspire you to start doodling, drawing or painting!

Cozy Days, The Art of Iraville, by Ira Sluyterman van Langeweyde, 3D Total Publishing


Book review: Cozy Days, The Art of Iraville, de Ira Sluyterman van Langeweyde

Je suis très contente de partager le livre de cette semaine avec vous : Cozy Days, The Art of Iraville, par Ira Sluyterman van Langeweyde. Iraville est une illustratrice allemande. Son livre Cozy Days est l’invitation parfaite à prendre une boisson chaude et à se détendre pour feuilleter son magnifique ouvrage.

Tout d’abord, c’est un excellent livre pour la table basse chic que vous gardez dans votre appartement chic (vous vous en souvenez?). Le format est génial et le travail de conception du livre est de très grande qualité. C’est un vrai plaisir de feuilleter les nombreuses pages. Oui, c’est un gros livre. Après tout, c’est un aperçu de l’ensemble du travail de l’artiste. C’est tellement agréable d’avoir un livre comme celui-ci. Il fait presque office de livre de référence pour l’œuvre d’Iraville. Une chose qui me frappe vraiment dans le travail de cette artiste, c’est sa palette de couleurs : des bruns et des jaunes chauds sont présents dans presque toutes ses illustrations et créent une atmosphère nostalgique.

Il est également très inspirant de voir les nombreuses techniques d’aquarelle qu’Iraville utilise pour créer des paysages, des panoramas et des personnages. C’est agréable de voir comment elle utilise l’aquarelle pour créer différents effets et rendre diverses atmosphères et sentiments. Je suis toujours très impressionnée par ses paysages et par la façon dont elle parvient à créer des histoires à travers chacune de ses illustrations. Ses paysages urbains sont également très amusants : la façon dont elle joue avec la perspective est magique. Mais je dois dire que j’aime particulièrement ses personnages. Ils sont toujours si dynamiques et pleins de personnalité. Ils ont aussi ses yeux pointus caractéristiques et sont toujours reconnaissables comme étant les siens. La façon dont elle intègre des motifs aux vêtements de ses personnages est également très habile et les rend encore plus intéressants.

J’ai aussi beaucoup apprécié que ce livre présente non seulement son travail mais aussi la façon dont Iraville travaille. Dans une des sections du livre, elle explique comment elle fait ses propres peintures en utilisant des pigments. C’est très intéressant et cela m’a donné envie d’apprendre à le faire aussi ! Je n’ai pas encore essayé, mais je sais que si je le fais, je ne manquerai pas de revenir dans ce livre pour obtenir des conseils ! Iraville partage également différents conseils sur la façon dont elle crée des cadrages avec des espaces négatifs intéressants ou sur la façon dont elle prépare son papier pour aquarelle avant de peindre. Dans l’ensemble, je n’ai pas seulement été inspirée par son travail, mais j’ai aussi beaucoup appris avec ce livre !

Dans ce livre, Iraville raconte également comment elle est devenue illustratrice. Il est toujours très intéressant de voir comment différents artistes en sont venus à leur travail. Elle partage ses difficultés et ses victoires avec beaucoup de franchise, ce qui fait de ce livre un excellent compagnon pour les jours de solitude.

Enfin, ce livre est parfait pour tous ceux qui s’intéressent à l’aquarelle et à l’illustration moderne. Iraville partage une grande partie de son travail, de son expérience et de son histoire. C’est un livre que vous voudrez garder à portée et feuilleter les jours où vous ne vous sentez pas inspiré. Chaque page est remplie à ras bord de belles images, et ce livre vous donnera certainement envie de commencer à griffonner, à dessiner ou à peindre !

Cozy Days, The Art of Iraville, de Ira Sluyterman van Langeweyde, 3D Total Publishing

Book review: Slow Down, by Rachel Williams and Freya Hartas

Book Reviews

I’ve been so excited about this book for so long! I love Freya Hartas’ illustration style, and it is through her that I learned about this book. Here’s my review for Slow Down, written by Rachel Williams and illustrated by Freya Hartas.

This book is a collection of 50 natural phenomena to observe and enjoy. It is meant as a book to help children explore nature and mindfulness.

First, what a great idea! This would have been the perfect book for me as a child, but it is frankly the perfect book for me as an adult. If you love learning, love nature and want to observe and understand the world, this is the perfect book for you too! Rachel Williams did a wonderful job at picking out phenomena that are both easy to observe but interesting to understand. Plus, you’ll learn about animals, plants and weather! Even as an adult, there were some things in the book that I didn’t know and was impressed to learn about.

Now, the illustrations are what got me hooked on the book. As I mentioned, I learned about the book through Freya Hartas, the illustrator. What I love most about her illustrations is that whatever subject she is drawing, they’ll have a personality. This makes every single page fun to explore and get lost into. Her colouring is also so bright and alive. It was a pleasure to see her detailed illustrations page after page.

Also, this book is a very beautiful book that makes an incredible gift. It is big and hardcover which makes it perfect for little hands dragging it to the park or the garden. Every page is filled with details both in the illustrations and in the text. I loved this kind of books when I was a kid: you could jump into any page and find a little detail to notice and appreciate. More over, as each phenomena takes two pages of the book, this could make a great book for a reluctant reader. I could imagine myself reading just the two pages and sending off kids to explore nature. It’s a great resource for the young naturalists in your life. A strong point of the book is also that it presents both rural and urban natural scenes so everyone will be able to find something to observe.

Finally, I would put this book on every to-read list there is because it is such a great invitation to observe and appreciate the wonder and excitement of nature. For this reason, I think it is an incredible tool to help children and their parents understand how fascinating the natural world is. This for me is primordial if we want to preserve nature in any significant way. It is much more easier to protect something you love and know after all.

Slow Down, by Rachel Williams, Illustrated by Freya Hartas, Magic Cat Publishing

Book review: Kodi by Jared Cullum

Book Reviews

Another rainy day find: the beautifully sweet and woderfully illustrated graphic novel, Kodi by Jared Cullum.

I promise that I don’t only buy books on rainy days, but this one is another great rainy day find. I couldn’t resist this album all drawn in watercolours AND about a bear.

First and foremost, the illustrations are beautiful. Jared Cullum strikes again with wonderful watercolours where light, textures and colours create a soft and descriptive world. I’m particularly impressed by how effectively he renders light and shadows. It is such a big difficulty for me; it’s mesmerizing to see a master at work.

Another thing that I really enjoyed was the rhythm of the story. Some pages are almost cinematographic, and you find yourself racing along with the characters. With often little words, Cullum creates whole scenes and emotions, touching and sometimes comical.

I also really enjoyed his character design. His bear is everything a child would love: big and strong, yet also vulnerable and gentle. The little girl is strong and willful and so relatable. The grandmother is also quite extraordinary with her tiny hands and big body that seems to me made for hugging. I also loved how the townspeople are depicted. Frankly, all the characters have something unique and special. I found myself wondering about each one of them. The possibilities for spinoffs are endless!

Finally, if nothing else will do it for you, the story of friendship between a bear and a little girl will warm the coldest of hearts. Filled with unlikely companions, this story is soft and beautiful, while still appealing to children and adults alike. Themes of friendship, trust and loyalty are explored in a story where camaraderie and love conquer all. I cannot wait for the other books to come out! In the meantime, I strongly suggest adding this title to your to-read list! (psst, you can even grab a signed copy!)

Kodi, by Jared Cullum, Top Shelf Production Publishing