Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Art Talk with Isabella Baudelaire

 For several months I have been racking my brain trying to come up with a feature that I would enjoy writing weekly. It's really not as easy at it sounds.  I didn't want to do something that everyone else is doing, and I also wanted it to be something I'm excited about.  Well, that's how this feature interview was born.  I'm super excited that my first feature is with the lovely lady of Isabella's Art. Her whimsical shadow puppets are absolutely stunning and something to be treasured forever. So, without further adieu...meet Isabella :)

Name, age, hometown, blog/website
Name: Isabella Baudelaire
Age: 25 years old
Hometown: Currently Gouda, Holland
Blog/ Website: www.isabellasart.etsy.com and www.isabellasart.blogspot.com

When did you first discover your creative talents?

I don't think I discovered it at a certain point in my life, it was just always there, constantly transforming until I found my own way.
It was a long process and I think I am actually still in that process of discovering my talents, learning new things every day. My work is changing constantly.

What inspires you and keeps you motivated to create?

From the very first start my inspiration has come from folklore, myths, legends and fairy tales. Reading a book of fairy tales was generally enough for me to invoke enough images for the next hundred years to come. I don't feel like inspiration has ever been a problem for me, because I get triggered very easily. When it comes to motivation I guess I continue doing what I do because I still see my work improving and it makes me curious to see how far I can go.

How would you describe your style?

Well I think that through time it has become a combination of opposites. It is dark but yet it gives a romantic feel. I work with stark lines but they are feminine at the same time. I have tried for a while to make my style go into one direction but I came to the realization that these huge contrasts are my style. And that is probably why my work is mainly composed of black and white silhouettes.

Other people often tell me my work reminds them of illustrations they have seen in old fairytale books or the shadow puppet films made by Lotte Reiniger. Of course this is a big compliment to me, as those are times I admire most when it comes to style.

Who are some people that have inspired your work?

My list of people who inspire me has become very long and is constantly changing as well. At the moment I am very much inspired by the illustration of children's books in the 1920's and 1930's, which was also the time that Art Deco became very popular. Often these illustrators are no big names and I noticed that sometimes the name of the illustrator is not even mentioned at all.
But to give you one name, I would say Rie Cramer. Strangely enough her work never seemed really appealing to me but recently that point of view has changed. I really like the stark lines in her work and the innocence of her characters and their sincere expressions of emotions. I am working a lot on that aspect of my characters right now.

What is something funny that's happened to you recently?

Oh dear, I have a bad memory when it comes to these things. Does it have to be work related? Because if not, I could tell you tons of funny stories about my cats. I know it sounds ridiculous and before I became the owner of two cats I would have laughed too when people started talking about their cats, as if they had nothing better to do with their lives. But now I completely understand, because cats are simply the most hilarious beings in the world, as any cat-lover will agree. One of my cats for example has discovered my bookcase recently. He constantly climbs in and out but last time his head went stuck between two shelves. I had been looking all over for him throughout the day, before I finally found him. While my other cat likes to sit on my head when I am asleep and has an obsession for food. When he eats and I come close, he starts growling at me. Which is kind of funny because he is incredibly small and fluffy, so it is not a very convincing growl, I can assure you.
7. How do you bridge the gap between creating and running a business?
I am afraid I am the wrong person for answering this question, because I don't. I find it almost impossible to combine these two things in my life and am after 5 years still struggling with it. I often find that running a business is holding me back from creating and that creating is holding me back from running a proper business. Since a year I have found a solution that seems to work more or less, to simply ignore the other side when creating or running a business.  When I create, I pretend I don't have to sell it so I can create things which come straight from my heart and when I am doing business related things I pretend it is not my own work I am selling so I can be more objective and critical.

Describe yourself in 5 words.

Hard-working, positive, restless, romantic and passionate.

Any advice for aspiring artists/designers?

 Don't try to become someone just be who you are and it will lead to marvelous things.

 Thank you for sharing some insight into your creative process, Isabella! It was a joy getting to know you a through this interview.

*If you are interested in being interviewed for this feature, please email me dawntrest(at)gmail.com. :)



  1. Wow! Such a cool idea Dawn...and Isabella's creations are awesome. We're learning fairy tales in my classroom this week. I will have to share this with them.

  2. i found these on etsy before when we searched for silhouette wall murals. we were looking for a tree or something and these blew me away. You are killing me with how nice & easy life through your blog looks, thanks for the break