At a glance

Haley Bell – Featured Artist

by James Bridges

Every month I continue to be amazed by great Oklahoma artists and creators.  That alone gives me joy enough to say that my job is pretty awesome.  This month I had the opportunity to glance at some art by Haley Bell.  With that glance something caught my eye.  I dug deeper.  I found someone that many of you need to keep a close eye on.  This work is wonderful and Haley is just getting started.

So if this amazing talent, which you own well I might add, were not an option what would Haley Bell see in her stars?

I’ve been drawing since I was a toddler so I truly do not know what I would be doing with myself if it didn’t involve art, I don’t really see myself ever working in a non creative field… but if I had to answer I’d probably be investing myself into ecology/ entomology and studying bugs or just pushing myself into the science field somehow, I think I just prefer studying and drawing them though

Preference to work with….black and white or lots of color?  Why?

I usually prefer to work in black and white as a lot of my work since I was in high school in mainly inspired by black work tattoos. I think I’m mostly drawn to the detail and technical aspect of it and  adding fine details like that into a lot of my work such as stippling and fine lines or just your basic shading. I do also work with color typically with acrylic or digital but recently I have been working with colored pencils to kinda try out some monochromatic shading that’s not in black but I don’t think anything can replace working in just black ink for me.

Do you like to chip away at your work or are you the type that has to finish what you started and can’t take days to do pieces?

Ironically with my work ethic I usually work about 8-11 hours a day on my art so smaller pieces I can typically finish in a day or two but bigger drawings take me longer, planning typically takes up the most time for me because I’ll have to come up with an idea research it and then start planning out how I want to execute that idea onto paper or canvas.. I would say I’m pretty impatient though and have hundreds of unfinished projects laying around that I should probably go back to.

Favorite movie?

Scott pilgrim vs. the world hands down, I read it in middle school and Bryan lee O’Malley just has a very unique style with his characters and Edgar Wright executed that film wonderfully even though the last book in the series wasn’t out yet. 

Your work is so intricate.  It’s like looking at the anatomy of the insect.  On purpose?

I think the intricacies come from that tattoo inspiration I mentioned earlier but also looking at bugs is just crazy to me because they all have different wing patterns or just different patterns on their exoskeletons which just leaves more room for me to add those details even though they’re such small creatures.

Okay….So I have to ask it…. Why moths?

I don’t think I actually have a solid answer as to why I draw moths so often but spiritually they have a good meaning to them and have always kinda been used as a sign of luck for me whenever I see them.

Does cannabis help you?  How so?

So I don’t regularly smoke cannabis but it’s definitely helped me in some ways with my anxiety and depression when I get in really bad spots and has also helped almost everyone that I know of which I’m happy for them. But as someone who has been prescribed multiple pharmaceuticals for those issues I can say I feel much more comfortable using cannabis than I do struggling with the withdrawals from those medications.

What is playing on your music playlist right now?  No cheating…

Oh boy, uh I listen to a lot of local music artists but currently what’s playing is a mix between emo and hardcore with the occasional indie thrown into that.

Your work obviously translates to ink work.  Is that happening?

I’m working on building up my portfolio but my ultimate goal is to get my apprenticeship when I’m ready for it and start the process of becoming a tattoo artist. I went back and forth on it when I was younger because I also wanted to be an art teacher because of my family but now I don’t really see myself doing that because I’d rather be involved in the industry that inspires my work.

What mediums do you prefer working with and why?

I prefer working with graphite or ink usually but I also really like using procreate and doing digital work because digital allows me to make mistakes and go back but that also takes out the fun and frustration of having to coverup a mistake in my traditional work.

Haley Bell and some of her work can be found on instagrm @lazydogarts

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