BEL SHORT - BEL SHORT ART
14th August 2019
Bel Short is an artist who is not limited to one medium. She illustrates, sculpts, embroiders, photographs, screen prints, knits and makes jewellery, just to name a few skills.
Her illustrations of 'little things' are perhaps one of the most unique and intricate pieces of Bel's work. She draws everyday possessions and objects and joins them together to make beautiful comic - like artwork.
We asked Bel to share her favourite techniques, inspirations and experiences with us.
Have you studied art or design?
I’ve loved drawing and making since I was a kid and I studied art all through high school. After taking a couple of gap years, I began studying at the Adelaide College of the Arts through TAFE. Studying has really opened my mind to all sorts of creative possibilities and helped me to take my artistic practice more seriously.
What is your favourite technique to use?
Studying visual arts has allowed me to explore different mediums, including ceramics, jewellery, sculpture, printmaking, painting and photography. I never want to pigeonhole myself into one technique or medium, but I have some favourites. I’ve always loved using watercolour, and since discovering printmaking through my studies, I’ve fallen in love with it – I’m choosing to major in printmaking in my degree. I also love textiles: crochet, embroidery and knitting have been hobbies throughout my life, but now I’m starting to weave them into my artistic practice (excuse the pun!).
Where does the inspiration for your art come from?
Most of my inspiration comes from my life and how I experience the world. I’m constantly drawn to little details nature, certain colours or shapes that catch my eye, objects that hold meaning, the way my dogs curl up when they’re sleeping. I’m also influenced by artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Chiharu Shiota, and contemporary Australian artists such as Frances Cannon.
When did you think of becoming an artist as a career path?
In my last few years of high school I had my heart set on becoming a graphic designer (hence why my business started out as Bel Short Design). I started a degree in the field but soon realised my calling was more visual arts-based, so I dropped out and took a couple years off before beginning my visual arts study. Now I’m building towards having a career as an artist and hopefully working in the creative industry.
What is the best tip for artists block?
Luckily I usually have too many ideas rather than too little, but if I do get stuck, I have a conversation with someone, take a walk in nature, look through my sketchbook, or read magazines or zines.
What is the best lesson you learnt from your time at TAFE/UNI?
Comparison is the killer of creativity. Cherish and nurture your own creative voice rather than comparing your work to everyone around you.
Name another local creative that you draw inspiration from or who inspires you.
Marusja Kharitonova makes super lovely work! I also love Lilly Buttrose’s jewellery pieces.
When was a moment that you felt proud of yourself for the work you’ve done?
A recent moment was having my work in the student exhibition at AC Arts. I’ve exhibited my watercolour pieces before, but this was a hanging sculpture piece that I’d put a lot of work into and seeing it in a gallery space was a real giddy moment for me. Also, being given positive feedback always warms my heart and motivates me.
How does it feel to be able to take moments from your life and turn them into art?
I feel like translating an idea from my head into something physical is a kind of magical process. Taking a thought, a moment, or a feeling and creating something from it brings me so much satisfaction. Of course, the creative process is always challenging, but so rewarding as well. The insight I gain from creating is invaluable.