Ah, you're here! Internet is such a fantastic tool don't you think? Be aware that, right now, people from the US, Canada, Brazil, Spain, Japan and Hyrule are reading this article at the same time as you are. Yes, the Internet is just fantastic; Julien and I aren't going to say otherwise. Last week we welcomed a kinky French artist; today we're exploring a brand new art style that we've never published before. The artist of the day is called La Nonette, well kind of, and she's a rising star of illustration. Her art is as touching as it is contemporary. In other words? We ♥ her.
-What are your name, surname and nickname? -My full name is Manon Nanette Bijkerk. I work under the name La Nonette.
-Why did you choose this nickname? -I came up with it when my father ate these cookies that were called 'Nonettes' (I think they were traditional French cookies). I found the name funny because it sounded like my two first names combined, so it stuck with me. After a while I decided to make it my nickname. It took some time to get used to, but now it truly fits me.
-How old are you?
-I turned 24 on March 26th!
-Where do you live?
-I live in Zwolle, the Netherlands. It's a small city in the center of the Netherlands where I used to study. I would really like to move to a bigger city like Utrecht, but living here is cheap and I can afford to rent a shared studio this way.
-What's your job?
-Officially I'm an illustrator. But what I do balances more between art and illustration. I make a lot of my illustrations for myself and not for clients, but I wouldn't call myself just an artist. So it's somewhere in between; I think you could call it 'conceptual illustration'. I also make my own merchandise (like silk-screened bags) and I like to make little comics about my daily life. Sometimes I feel more like a brand than a person. I also make bagels and coffee at a lunchroom on a part time basis, just to make sure I can pay my rent each month.
-What's your journey?
-My journey started in 2006 at ArtEZ Zwolle, where I went to study illustration. In my 3rd year in did an Erasmus (student exchange program) in Barcelona, Spain at Escolla Massana. This is where I found out more about what I wanted as an illustrator and it made me more comfortable with my own style. After graduating in 2011 I struggled a bit because it was really hard to find clients and it made me doubt myself, but I never gave up. I just decided to keep drawing, and if not for clients then for myself. Turned out I was looking in the wrong places and I slowly found my audience. I got my first exposition in the summer of 2012 and thing have been going up ever since. At the moment I'm really busy with lots of different projects. But I haven't started that long ago so I feel that I still have a lot to learn.
-What are your inspirations ?
-My inspiration can come from everything: overheard conversations, pictures in a magazine, exhibitions, life in general mostly. Images just keep popping up in my head. I mostly try to draw a feeling, make it visible and let other people re-feel it. A lot of my work is about things that go on in my own my own life and I hope people can relate. People who meet me after they've seen my work always tell me I look a lot like my characters, I don't do that on purpose most of the time, it just happens.
-Do you read webcomics? If so, which ones?
-I prefer comicbooks over webcomics so I can snuggle up with a blanket, tea and my cat and read them in the highest comfort possible, but I'm probably missing out. I love Pusheen the cat, does he count?
-Pusheen the cat ALWAYS counts. Tell us more about your blog!
-My website runs on cargo because I suck at webdesign, I had to make a website for school, and I decided to stuck with it after graduation. It's simple and nothing fancy but it works for me. I update it regularly and the look changes sometimes.
-How do you work? -I work in layers, like you would if you make a silk-screen. I first draw the characters, then on a different paper color the clothes using a lightbox and so on. All the those layers are combined again in the computer. I try to do as much by hand as possible. I like to use my hands, and computers tend to make me dull so I also like to make actual screenprints and paintings.
-Why did you choose this FML story ? -I didn't want to make a literal drawing of the FML so after reading them all I chose one that made me see something different; it just made me see someone who is being followed around by elves all the time, so people would be surprised.
If you want to be the next published artist, send an email to alice [at] fmylife.com including a link to your website/blog/DeviantArt. But DON'T send your illustration right away! You need first to get in touch with me, and I'll tell you what you have to do!
Everybody's talking about Ebola at the moment. I have trouble keeping up with the latest trends. I'm going to wait until Christmas and see what special offers turn up in the shops, under funky new names…