I’m thrilled to be interviewing Bianca Bello from WildHumm on the blog today. I’ve been following Bianca on Instagram for a while, and I am always so taken with her photos of her brightly colored paintings and drawings. Based in Boston, Bianca primarily paints in mixed media — hers is a combination of acrylic, watercolor and illustration work. I love her attention to detail and thoughtful color schemes, and I’m dying to own one of her pieces. Bianca is definitely an artist to watch as she develops her career, and I’m excited to have her here today. // susannah
1. How would you describe WildHumm?
WildHumm is my small shop where I share my paintings and illustrations. My work right now is very abstract, colorful, and full of movement. I’m always experimenting with new techniques, hoping to create work that tells a story and sparks specific moods in the viewer.
2. What were you doing before WildHumm? What inspired you to change paths?
I started my shop in 2012, I was an undergrad finishing up my degree in chemistry. In every spare moment I was painting and creating things, but I didn’t know what to do with it all. My boyfriend caught me throwing away stacks of paintings that had amassed in my small apartment, and he suggested that I try to share them with people instead of hoarding them as a product of a stress outlet. I didn’t really know what I was doing, I sort of just took some photos of my artwork and put them on Etsy, hoping for the best — but I only sold one painting in my first year.
When I started grad school two years ago, I moved into my own apartment and finally had more space to work on new projects. This was the perfect opportunity for me to put in some real effort into my artwork. Juggling school and my shop has been challenging, but definitely rewarding! I’m not doing this full time yet, but it’s something I hope to do in the future. I’m still on the lookout for local galleries and trying to branch out to potential stockists.
3. When ideas are scarce, where do you turn for creative inspiration?
Whenever I feel stuck, I challenge myself to use the materials I have in new ways. Like, weird ways. A few weeks ago I was so frustrated with a painting that I stopped using brushes and used my palette like a squeegee to add blocks of color. It was super messy but it got me thinking about color blocking and shapes in different ways.
Click to read more of Bianca’s interview!
4. Describe your workspace.
I’m actually operating out of my studio apartment, which is on the top floor of a building that’s about 100 years old. It’s small, but has a whole wall of big windows that overlook a park, so it has a lot of natural light and great sunset views. I really love living and working in one space. I like to keep it clean, but this takes some serious damage control efforts on a daily basis because I work like a hurricane. I’m usually blasting music and working fast, so there’s paint, tape, paper scraps, and brushes everywhere while I work.
5. What have been your biggest successes and challenges for WildHumm?
My biggest challenge has been mastering the business side of things. I was so unsure of how to price my work in the beginning, that I seriously undersold myself (like, $8 canvas paintings… bad). I think my biggest success has just been finally finding confidence in my work. I used to be so concerned with creating things that I thought people wanted to see, but now I’m 100% focused on creating work that makes me happy and has real meaning. I’m not afraid of people not liking my paintings anymore, which is a big deal!
6. What are your dreams for WildHumm?
I would love to have my work in a local gallery or stocked in shops like Anthropologie or West Elm, or smaller indie shops. I just want to branch out of my little corner of the Internet.
7. Who do you look up to?
My parents, as cheesy as that sounds, they’re both working artists and they never cease to amaze me with the amount of skills they have.
8. Where and how do you love to spend your time off?
I love walking around the city with my boyfriend, we’re always exploring new places – feeding the geese at the public garden is one of my favorite things to do. We’ve also recently started cooking, so every weekend we experiment with new recipes!
9. What resources do you recommend to someone whose dream job is your job?
If you’re starting an Etsy shop, I highly recommend reading their help articles on how to get started, SEO, and photography tips — Etsy is a great place with a lot of information about that kind of nitty gritty stuff.
10. If you weren’t running WildHumm, what would be your dream job?
Is there a job where you can just pet puppies all day? I think I’d like to do that professionally.
Know someone who has your dream job? Want to see them interviewed? I’m looking for ideas. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org!