Elisabeth Bell is an Arizona-based children’s illustrator and stamp designer. Her creations are colored with Copic markers by stampers worldwide, and she incorporates Copic and other traditional & digital media in her own creations. Read on to learn more about this talented artist!
Tell us about yourself!
Being an Aussie girl at heart, raised in Australia and blessed with Indonesian roots, I have been drawing for as long as I remember. With a strong affinity for the pencil and paper since I was very young, my Dad believed in me and helped me to follow my dream to become an artist. With his help, I took extracurricular art classes after school each week when I was in year 12. Because of this, I was accepted into the only animation program offering a Bachelor’s degree in the entire Southern Hemisphere at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University straight after I graduated from high school. Each year this university only accepted 20-25 applicants out of hundreds, so it was a very big deal for me.
What is your earliest memory of drawing or making art?
Oh man! When I was in preschool, I remember making a booklet filled with “things about me,” which included my hand prints, brief details about my favorite foods, etc., and a drawing (please read, “scribble”) of my family and myself. Unfortunately, I don’t have that booklet with me as it’s back home in Oz somewhere. I had wanted to throw the book away when I was ten years old, thinking it was simple rubbish, but my Mum was pedantic to keep it. And I’m SO glad she did. Treasures like this only come once in a lifetime!
My earliest memory of drawing stems back to Disney’s, 1950 Giant Golden Book, Cinderella, in the early 80s. You know, the very large, hard cover publication with illustrations by Retta Scott Worcester, inspired by Mary Blair, that is no longer in print. When I was in preschool, I would borrow this particular book from the school library. Every. Week. In fact, no one else had the chance to borrow it, because it was always out in my name! I would stare at the beautiful pictures by Worcester and copy them in my own childish, five-year-old hand. Of course, the dresses never looked quite the same. Or the faces. But the large hooped skirts that swept when you walked (yup, I played princesses too), the dainty slippers and bright colors, reflected in my starry five-year-old eyes whenever I drew. Disney was my ultimate creative genius idol when I was five years old.
What are your biggest sources of inspiration?
Without a doubt, my children. I have three young ones, the youngest being 4-years-old, plus a 5-year-old and a wonderful 10-year-old. As my absolute fave subjects to draw are young children, my little ones end up becoming the models surreptitiously. They each keep me on my toes and epicly busy as a mom and a creative. Always in that order!
Other artists also inspire my work, such as Holly Hobbie, Mary Blair, Preston Blair, Glen Keane and, of course, Disney. If you love fairy tales and the works of the artists named here, you’ll most likely find an affinity with my style.
How do you describe your work?
Whimsical. Sweet. Lovely, fun and dreamy. Soft. Light-hearted. For the young and the young at heart. Fantastically family-friendly. Images that are prone to make you smile. I’d like to think that they make you want to pick up some fresh flowers, along with a cup of warm fuzzies, on your way home from work to bring to your family.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Having the honor of being one of the artists with each company that I currently work with, and have had the privilege to work with, is a large highlight of what I do. Seeing how our collaborative efforts to bring my designs into the world has affected so many people in wonderful ways is amazing. Without all the fantastic people who I work with, none of it would be possible.
What are some of your favorite quotes?
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Master Yoda
“Every obstacle is an opportunity.” – Happy Feet 2
“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” – Walt Disney
Many stampers use Copic markers to color your designs. Can you tell us a bit about your experience with Copics?
Since I first began creating designs for rubber stamps and craft-related products, Copic markers have been the medium of choice for many of the crafters and stamp addicts who use my designs on their gorgeous creations.
This gorgeous cookie tray is colored in Copic markers and crafted together by the supremely creative Lynda Nielsen using my “Cookie Girl” rubber stamp design:
Another absolutely stunning portrayal of crafting expertise using Copic markers is by the exquisitely talented, Janiel Corley. Janiel used my “Janiel’s Harvest” digital stamp design:
Our third stunning example of Copic coloring and crafting finesse is by Lilian Tan. Her creations always blow my mind away, especially with how expertly she applies Copic markers in each of her designs. The painterly effect she captures is incredible! Lilian used one of my “Watering” rubber stamp designs:
For any creative who loves to use colour in their work, an extensive colour palette is essential. Copic has this down to an art, with a symphony of colour selection! My favourite is the Copic Sketch marker. The soft brush tip glides onto the surface of any media, distributing colour with a smoothness that I can only liken to silk! Needless to say, I am in love with the remarkable markers that are only defined by Copic. I join in the chorus by many crafters around the world in heralding that Copics are the marker of choice!
Any words of advice for new artists?
Remember that as an artist, no one else creates like you. As a creative, you are infinitely unique. In the way you draw, in the very depth of your line work, the clarity of your perceptions and how you go about perceiving the world through your art, the way you translate ideas into imagery and apply your techniques onto your media. So you must share your creative voice. Keep drawing. Keep creating. And enjoy the journey. The successes you’re looking for pertaining to your work WILL come to you.
More of Elisabeth’s designs can be found on the following sites:
Elisabeth Bell’s Little Cottage Cuties Collection through Whimsy Stamps
Elisabeth Bell for Susana’s Custom Art and Card Design
Sweet Pea Stamps
Belles ‘n Whistles
Whiff of Joy