Wednesday, 14 December 2011


If you are my chum & this keen-owl-related fact had passed you by - you are either extremely unobservant (most of my jewelry, clothes, hats, scarves, bags, etc. are owl-related) or extremely deaf (most of my conversation is owl-related). People often ask me why I am quite so keen on the fluffy fellas & to be honest I'm not entirely sure, except that they are cute, wise & have very big eyes. I think that's enough fuel for an obsession..

During my foundation year at art school we had inductions to all sorts of arty processes & techniques - from screen printing to dress-making, photography to casting - & for each induction we had to do a little project. Following on from my clothing & conversation, these too were almost always owl-related in some manner. The project where we had to create a large construction out of wood, loo paper, string, etc. turned into a tree with a few owls perched here & there. The etching project which required us to design a template to print was again an owl. The screen-printing project - owl printed t-shirts. The glass cutting project - a owl encrusted mirror. And so on.

Durham university was the next phase in my life to discover Bella's owl-tastic tastes. Here it was expanded from clothing, conversation, arty bits & bobs - to therapy. I shall explain.
I had an absolutely tiny room in college in first year - it was practically non-existent. I was not too thrilled about this, particularly as the other rooms along my corridor were vast with large gothic window letting in lots of lovely light, while I was stuck in a dark box. Not ideal. It came to a point when I decided enough was enough & went to our college tutor to discuss my non-existent (yet unfortunately existent) room & she gave me a list of some empty rooms that I could potentially move into. I was thrilled & decided to test run the rooms, sneakily acquiring about five keys to various empty bedrooms around college. I finally settled on one with a big window, slanting ceiling & general good vibes. However, by this stage the term was almost at an end so I decided, against anyone's knowledge, to live in both rooms. SUCH a perfect situation.
How is this story owl-related, you ask? Well, I kept the box room for my clothes, work & general clutter, moving only my bedding, ablution equipment & a box with small squares of paper, a black pen & coloured ink - for my owl creating (all materials mentioned minus the bedding & ablution equipment) to the new room. Since no one new about my second room, I would have to sneak there in the dead of night, fleeing my essays to sit in my big windowed room & draw owls. My complete & utter de-stressing therapy.

A few weeks ago I heard about a competition to design the cover for the 100th issue of 'Stylist' magazine. Owls owls - was of course my intial thought. It was required to have a celebratory theme & have '100' written somewhere on it. The two 0's to me screemed OWL EYES &  I wanted to keep it simple & colourful. 

I sent my design with the application form & in the section 'Please write a few words on what inspired your cover' I wrote: 
What a hoot! I love colour, I love owls, I love celebrations! Bright, colourful & fun. I draw owls a lot - I find it very soothing. If I'm stressed I draw & colour owls. Thank you oh wise & wonderful owls. I hope others will also be inspired by my calming, colourful owl & his little mouse chum (with cheese).
Ok so I didn't win the competition...but am still waiting for the men in white jackets to come & take me away! 

(This scan of the cover hasn't come out that well - in reality it's much more colourful! Pink backgroud etc.)
A little mono print my friend Olivia did of me at art school.

Bella Owl.

La La La.

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