Meet the Artist. The place where I introduce YOU to an artist through a virtual interview. Our featured artist is Belette Le Pink. *Note The images in this post link to Belette's product shops.
Belette Le Pink
Who are you and what is your background?
Hi, this is Leticia, the person behind Belette Le Pink. Based in Madrid, Spain, I´m 43.
I come from a humble family with no relation to the arts or cultural aspirations, but from them, I learned to face life´s adversities through hard work and I don´t give up.
I studied Art and Illustration in Art School but I am mostly a self-taught artist inspired by wildlife and daily life.
I started doodling when I was 4 just before I started writing, and I used to copy cartoons I watched on TV (Hanna Barbera, Anime, Disney…) because I will always be fascinated by animation.
Due to the fact that I grew up in a small city my contact with nature was truly wildlife documentaries and the small parks and forests on the edge of town. For some reason, I always feel connected with animals since my childhood, and I enjoyed illustrating hunting scenes of eagles, wolves, lions… and reading Jack London´s novels. I wrote some books I illustrated by myself about doggy adventures and this kind. I was a lucky girl living in the wonderful '80s: a really creative and positive era.
My dream was to be a wildlife filmmaker and visit faraway places with my camera and sketchbook, or a Disney animator, creating wonderful characters more than a famous “artist”.
It is because of this I planned to study Biology until my 14th birthday when a neighbor of mine, who has been a painter in her youth, gave to me an oil painting set and I started to paint more seriously.
I was inspired by the art of the Dutch artist Rien Poorvliet, famous for his illustrated books of wildlife and the Gnomes. I also liked classics Dutch like Vermeer (love the wet on wet oil painting) Goya, Renoir, Pre-Raphaelites, Klimt, or avant-garde artists like Franz Marc,
Chagall, and whatever artist or illustrator, good or bad who has a personal identity.
I started my illustration studies preparing to become a cartoonist or animator, and in the '90s there were many Animation Studios available in Spain, but due to personal circumstances, I needed a regular job and I had to pause my artistic career for many years, leaving apart the art for free times and occasional commissions.
Meanwhile, I participated in many Local and National Exhibitions, Shows and interviews, and contests.
I have never been a portraits-or-painting artist only, because I love to catch the movement, and maybe it is because of this that my sketches are always unfinished, leaving the imagination close to the lines. I feel more identified with the audiovisual media. Besides, I have also studied music for many years, and music broadened my understanding of life, feelings, and arts.
And it was in 2017 when I decided to leave my regular jobs to try an artist career once again, and this is how Belette was born.
What is your favorite medium?
Although now I use mainly digital painting, my favourite medium is wet on wet oil painting and crayons, collage, and mix media. Love the fresh watercolor style and ink sketches, and all the techniques with the expontaneous look.
My intention is to introduce the traditional art concept and effects into my digital art to make them warmer and more organic.
Has your practice changed over time?
This question is related to what we have talked about previously. I started drawing with what I had available: crayons, markers, gouaches, pens, and color pencils when I was a child, and with watercolors, inks, and oils when I was a teenager.
In the earlier 2000s, I discovered the art of Annette Messager and her installations and I was fascinated by exhibition art and the tridimensional possibilities. I realized that 2 dimensions were not enough for me. In addition, I discovered digital art possibilities and learned to use motion graphic tools and animation. I don´t believe the different types of art do compete but they are complementary; each media has a kind of magic, utility, and expression. It's experimenting with them; our creativity does the rest.
What do you most enjoy painting?
Well, this is obvious (laughs) animals and wildlife.
What is the strongest memory of your childhood?
I have many memories of my childhood but all of them seem so far away as if they weren't really mine. Nothing in particular, but mm, maybe one of them is my tonsil operation when I was 3-4 years old, I remember everything went dark and then I was eating ice cream.
What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
Like many of us, I have had many jobs not related to art. I have been a shopping assistant in a printer shop, in a food store, and as a store restocker. Also as a manufacturer in factories and warehouses, and mostly telephone assistant in a call center in many areas like help desk or searching people with debts... I learned so much about people and met many different people from different nationalities there and I made many friends, no matter the kind of job, many of whom have had similar situations in life or worse. No matter what you studied or what you wanted to be, we all are in the same boat.
What has been your favorite response to your work?
I am most pleased when someone tells me that they feel motivated to create art and they are inspired by my art, my animals, or my words.
Professionally, what is your goal? What´s your best piece of advice for someone who wants to get started as an artist?
I would like that my illustration-art could somehow impact people's consciousness to spread the love for animals, wildlife, nature, and the environment. Humans are part of nature too, even when it seems that we refuse to accept that we are just one more species on this planet. I am so happy when somebody writes a comment about they enjoy discovering new animals and being able to contribute in some way to reflect on respect for nature, the environment, and humanity itself, through my small actions. Small steps matter, baby steps are the beginning of big changes. I know it's a very hackneyed saying, but it works: I am a small artist at moment, but I am willing of walking the needed. This is my recommendation for those who want to be an artist or whatever they want: success never is guaranteed, but I do believe that is better to accept the frustration of not being a big artist or have too high expectations than to regret not having even tried. Just do it, only time will tell.
Thank you so much, Belette!
Readers, you can find Belette at lots of shops and you can check them from this site:
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