Today we’d like to introduce you to Isabella Hurlbut.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I had a pretty rough time during college. I struggled heavily with depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder that I refused to acknowledge for a long time. I didn’t really feel connected to myself or good about myself in any way – except when I was creating. I was constantly painting and drawing whenever I could to cope/express how I was feeling. People started to relate to what I was doing and it opened up a lot of helpful conversations regarding mental health and body image. Although I didn’t go to college for art, it’s really one of my passions that has helped me through very tough times. I create so I can hopefully help others through those painful moments as well.
Please tell us about your art.
My art stems from my struggles, so a lot of it really focuses on body image and emotions. Whatever I’m feeling that day – good or bad – will translate into my art. I also take a lot of inspiration from women’s bodies and body positivity. That whole movement really helped me in my recovery, so I strive to spread that message. I spent a lot of my life trying to shrink. I also spent a lot of my life feeling like I was alone in my pain. I never want anyone else to go through that or think they’re alone in that experience. If someone can look at my art and say, “Okay, I feel more understood now,” then I’m happy.
I mostly use acrylic paint with a simple sharpie and go wild. When you view my art, it actually comes off as pretty “messy” looking. I like it that way though – it’s my “style” I guess. There was a point in time where I became very frustrated with creating because I wanted everything to look perfect. Once I let go, I finally enjoyed what I was making. I want people to know that art doesn’t have to be perfect as long as it makes you feel something. We’re all messy and imperfect anyway, so who cares.
As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
If you enjoy what you’re making and it makes you smile – then you’re a successful artist, simple as that! If people are able to connect to your art, even better! Sometimes I get stressed out trying to make art I think other people will like or share. This is important and I want people to resonate, but there are days I lose myself a little bit because of this pressure. Just keep true to what you’re feeling – and you’ll always be a great artist.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I have an Instagram page (@bekindbella) and a new e-commerce website (www.bekindbella.com) that I created this past December! You can support me by following, sharing my posts, or buying my prints! I also have apparel with my designs on them. I’d probably faint if I ever saw someone wearing a t-shirt with my artwork on it, haha. I came up with the name “bekindbella” because my art serves a reminder for me to be kinder to myself. I’m my own worst critique, and I think this is true for almost everyone. We often forget we deserve our own kindness more than anyone else.
- Website: www.bekindbella.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @bekindbella
- Other: @supbellz (main IG account)
all images were taken by me – Isabella Hurlbut