Belinda aka Bellenna Elm Studio enjoys creating a whimsical world around me through my art and doodles.
‘I am in the process of becoming a freelancing surface pattern designer, but for now it is easier to view myself as a mixed media artist that tinkers with illustration. Multi-media art plays a key role in my style and process, and recently I’ve been enjoying adding more texture in my work through different mediums.’
‘Simply, the work I do is purely subjective by what makes me happy. It is important to me to sketch things that portray fun, whimsy, and joy; and, to create work that motivates me to take those sketches further into pattern whether it’s a repeat, placement design, or digital illustration. I enjoy creating designs that I would ultimately be interested in if I were a consumer. I have two little girls that highly influence my style and I love taking little tidbits of that world and inserting them into my work. Much joy comes from seeing the things I create and adding my own spin to life. At heart, I’m just a little girl who loves to dance and paint. And I hope that when others see my work, it also gives them that same sense of childlike freedom.’
‘My journey as a self-proclaimed artist took many turns before I allowed myself to assume that role. It’s easy to feel like an “intruder” in this world when you have no formal art education or experience. I simply like to mess around with paint and ink, I love to sew, and have a tendency to hoard fabric. I started creating as a child out of the need to cope with the challenges of having a schizophrenic sister, and eventually my passion for creating moved beyond that scenario and started to define who I was. I do have a formal education that reflects an administrative degree in Secretarial Science, but my art education came from taking a variety of classes locally and online.’
‘I took my first official art class at the age of 28 from a lady by the name of Dianne Roberts who stills owns a small art studio in the quaint town of Benton, Arkansas. My military husband was stationed at Little Rock at the time, was currently deployed, and I had recently had our first child. I hired a babysitter once a week so I could attend classes. Dianne was the first one who told me I had potential.
A few years later I discovered mixed media art through Artists such as Suzi Blu and Tamara LaPorte, and through their influences I fell in love with character design. Because of my love of fabric, I would dream about how I could interpret my own art into pattern. Then this past winter through doing a google search, I happened across Rachael Taylor’s e-course, The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design. I discovered a community of like-minded artist and was thrilled that my journey had led me to them. I finished ABSPD Module 1 this past spring followed by Make It In Design Summer School. I will begin Module 2 shortly, and then Module 3 in January. Besides Surface Pattern, I am also currently continuing my online art education in e-courses by Flora Bowley and Jane Davenport. I still consider myself a student and although my style has started to define itself over time, I am eager to continue to learn and develop techniques to take my abilities even further.’
‘I imagine that there may be busier days ahead of me. Right now I am enjoying not having a demanding schedule, and continue to work towards creating a volume of work that I am proud of. I have interests in industries such as textiles, stationary, and children products and am working toward developing work that could conceivably be used within those markets. I’ve recently opened a Spoonflower shop after one of my designs was featured in the top 10 of a design competition; and in the future I would love to open an Etsy shop, as well, to sell my illustrations. Although I’m not for sure how my journey will unfold, I do have a goal map and try to do small things every day toward my objectives. For now I believe in possibilities, I believe that taking one action will lead you to the next, I believe in the power of doing what you love, and through this I am learning to believe more in myself.’