I am excited to share with today’s interview with artist Belette Le Pink. In this interview, you will be inspired by Belette’s art journey and passion for wildlife.
Be sure to visit Belette’s art galleries and follower her on social media via the link at the end of the interview.
Featured Artist Belette Le Pink
Dave – Hello Belette and thank you for joining me today. I first discovered you on Twitter and have recently visited your artist website Belette Le Pink and I have learned that you started creating art at a very young age and you also are involved with music.
This sounds very similar to my life’s journey. I started drawing once I could hold a pencil and I started playing guitar at the age of 17 and performed in local clubs for 15 plus years and I still am a guitar instructor which I started over 25 years ago.
I am interested to learn more about your art journey and your musical path.
How have you grown over the years as an artist and a musician?
Belette – Hello, Dave!! First of all, thank you for your insterest on my works and artistic life, I´m happy to hear that you and I have much in common!!
I don´t come from a family of artists, and being an “artist” was not well considered unless you were rich or famous…
I taught myself to play by ear flute and keyboards until I began my not official musical studies at the age of twenty when I was working and I could pay for them. Although I´m not particularly shy, I have problems with stage panic, which has not allowed me to develop as much as I would have liked.
I spent about 8 years studying in my spare time harmony, solfege, piano, and singing, and I love composing songs or melodies. I have many songs recorded but I have not published anything yet.
However, studying music added another dimension to my vision of the world and the way of painting. I think you can understand me as a musician when I say you can paint the sounds, it seems like if you could see the colors and shapes on your mind. It´s very evocative and inspirational. Music really opens your mind!!
Dave – I could not agree with you more Belette. I also have noticed that you have a passion for animals, could you tell us a little more about that?
Belette – Yes, animals are my passion.
Wild animals, especially because they represent the idea of the wild side that we have lost and that does make us unhappy.
I like to represent the “Animality” that I feel through them.
It allows me to reconnect with Nature, as they were some kind of Totem.
I have had many pets, but I prefer wild animals. Pets are loyal friends and companions, but the real animals are the wild ones.
I don’t know why but I need to draw animals, it simply makes me happy.
Dave – Your passion for animals shows in your artwork, have you always drawn and painted animals or has this passion evolved throughout the years?
Belette – Yes, I have always felt very close to animals since I can remember.
It´s easier for me to express myself through them, through their beauty. Humans are also animals, but I can´t see their beauty in the same way.
The first humans, also drew animals in the caves, why not me? I think painting animals it’s a human’s need, which helps us reconnect with Nature.
Many times I´ve been judged because I only wanted to draw animals, and many people think they are children’s things.
At this point, I don´t care what they think, (hahaha) it makes me happy to draw animals and this the important thing for me.
Dave – There will always be people who feel the need to judge a person’s artistic style. I have learned throughout the years that if you stay true to what you believe in, people who have similar views will find you.
Belette – We need animals and Nature to be present now more than ever, in such a technological world, so that we don´t lose our heads, into our minds …
I also draw other things. I would love to be a good landscape painter or an stoaryboard artist – it is a pending issue …
Dave – You have a very loose technique that creates a lot of character in your subjects. Could you tell us how you learned that technique?
Belette – Happy you like it, Dave!
Dave – I really do and I wish I could do that.
Belette – To get fluency, I like to draw animals from memory, several times until I get the result I want. It is a laborious and unpredictable technique, but that it is the “Belette” touch.
I started to draw when I was as a child (4-5 years) and thanks to that, I learned to recognize shapes and to read some words early.
During my childhood, I used to draw the animated cartoons that were broadcasted on tv in the ’80s (Hanna Barbera, Anime, Disney) and love the wild animal’s documentaries.
But I start to paint “seriously” using adult techniques (oil, watercolors, graphite or charcoal) when I was 12 or 14. A neighbor who had been a painter gave me a suitcase full of used oils paintings and brushes, and she made one of the best gifts ever.
I start to draw on a hyperrealistic way – something that would now be very complicated for me. Isn´t it amazing how our way of drawing changes as our mind does too?
Dave – It is amazing and I always found it interesting to watch a musician and artist grow through their journey.
Belette – I was very inspired by the unfinished and fluid technique of a Dutch illustrator named Rien Poortvliet (famous wildlife artist author of the book of “Gnomes”, and whom I admire in his mixed technique and how he paints the animals).
I was also very influenced by the classic animated films (Disney, Warner Bros) I spent years trying to make animation and storyboards, and is why I start to study in the Art School.
I think the loose technique is an attempt to give that movement that I feel in my head when I’m drawing. I don´t like to copy an photo, it’s boring and I have not interterest for me being able to do something new and unique. It maybe sounds so pretentious, but I mean, if you have the opportunity to do something new, why not?
When you paint an animal not only paint the physical characteristics, you need to feel the animal, and this feeling could be a simple line or splash, for example. I like to leave the drawing open or even disproportionate to represent the 3rd dimension, distinguish it from a photograph.
That imperfection makes it more beautiful. It’s like saying, it’s badly drawn, but it’s nice.
I don´t consider myself good in terms of technique, but in terms of expression.
Dave – You created your first illustration album at the age of 14, could you tell us about that and if it is still available for people to purchase?
Belette .- My career has been discontinuous because until maturity I have not had a real chance to focus on it. There were always other priority needs (job, survival, money) which were displacing my artistic side to a second plane.
I´ve always liked to write and illustrate my own stories. I wrote my first story (about dogs, wolves, and foxes) when I was 6, and I´m sure that if we had have Amazon Books in the 80s, I would have published it. I have created several personal projects and illustrated albums throughout my life, but for now, I have only published one – written by a friend and illustrated by me at 20 and published a couple of years ago.
I publish a limited edition in Spanish and a digital edition in English, French, and German, available on Amazon. One, two, three… Cloudream!
I ´m currently working on an illustrated book for an environmental society, which will be published this summer, but I plan to edit my old stories and put them on sale through Amazon throughout this year when they are translated into English.
Dave – Are you still creating illustrations?
Belettte – Yes, I always create illustrations for both my books and for online POD stores. Now I’m very focused on digital art, but I try to improve my painting skills on watercolor and traditional drawing whenever I have the chance.
Dave – What platforms are you using to sell your art and promote your listings?
Belette – I opened my Society6, in the summer of 2017 and a professional Facebook account.
Although POD stores don´t have important sales at the beginning, I always sold something from the first month until now, which is really an achievement for these types of sites, so competitive and full of many talented people.
Throughout the second year, I could see how sales increase and I would like to believe that sales will increase over the years. It would be great if I could live with the income of these POD stores someday.
I also have Redbubble, Teepublic, Curioos, Fineartamerica, LiveHeroes, DBH, Zazzle and Displate stores, being Redbubble the most popular and Zazzle the least.
I use to promote the products so I can show the best display of every design. For example, a poster for watercolor, a t-shirt for digital art, or fabric for patterns.
For now, Instagram has been the best promoter for me, but I start to use Twitter last summer and I’ve noticed an increase in my sales. I also have a Pinterest account -but I have no helpers, haha, so now I focus my promotions on IG and Twitter at the moment.
Dave – It does take time to build an online presence and it sounds like you are doing everything right. What advise would you give artists just starting to sell their art online?
Belette.- Do what you like. So simple. Sales are capricious, and there are no guarantees that you are going to sell something only because is fashionable.
Obviously, it is a business, I recommend to use common sense and make your best.
Take it easy and breath: this is a long-term investment. It´s very important to be patient. There can be very good months and very bad ones, sales are very fluctuating but with time and effort, you get regular sales. The biggest effort is made at the beginning but it’s worth it. A small income is always better than none. It depends on the time you want to dedicate. You are your boss.
Your store is the only place where you put the rules. Be free
Dave – Would you share with us a couple of your favorite paintings and share the story behind them?
Belette – I´d like to show two of the most popular painting on my stores, one watercolor and one digital art.
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This is one of my otter paintings, “Neotropical otter, Lontra longicaudis” made on watercolor and ink in 2002. This painting is very popular in all my stores. Is a good example of my loose technique.
Belette – And this another popular digital illustration about wolves made in 2018, a puzzle with different wolf subspecies. It is called “Wolves o´clock (Time to Wolf)”. I continue searching for documentation to complete my personal project of painting all types of wolves. Along the year I´m going to update the stores with more wolves.
Dave – Where can people learn more about you and purchase your artwork?
Belette – You can check all my sites by clicking HERE
Dave – I would like to thank you one more time for sharing your artistic and musical journey with us and I look forward to seeing your new creations on Twitter.
Belette – Thanks, Dave for this opportunity. I´m very grateful for the warm support you give to all the artists through your page and the social networks. I hope someday I can do the same for you!!
Thank you again.
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