Artist Interview: Tisean M. Bell

Who are you and how long have you been an artist?
I am Tisean M. Bell and I’ve been an artist my whole life. I’ve been designing for 6 years and I studied graphic design in undergrad and grad school and began to take painting a more seriously 2 years ago.

"Jaded Joker" by Tisean M. Bell

“Jaded Joker” by Tisean M. Bell

What medium(s) do you work in & why?
I typically use acrylic and acrylic spray paint and paint pens on cotton canvas. I like to use these because there’s freedom in it and I find them to be more expansive than watercolor and more flexible than oil. I want to get into a bit more mixed media and wooden canvases in the near future though.

What is your creative process like?
My creative process involves various stimuli. I MUST have music playing; it takes me to another world. Usually I like to watch/listen to comedies or art documentaries. I also like to read comic and design books while I create and I look at different color palettes. It gets the wheels turning.

"Beauty x Intrigue" Tisean M. Bell

“Beauty x Intrigue” Tisean M. Bell

What is the best art-related advice you’ve received?
The best advice I received would have to be to always stay true to myself and create from the heart and to also never compare myself to any other artist. No fingerprint is alike and that idea can be applied to art. We are all different. We all have something valuable to contribute to the world.

What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist?
Right now my biggest challenge is having a space where I can dedicate it solely to creativity. I really need a studio space that I can turn into a safe haven and creative sanctuary. I think it’s important for artists to have a place where they can fully unleash their ideas. Creativity is air for a lot of us. I know it is for me. Another challenge would be really making a true living off of my art. Sometimes, it feels as if buying art isn’t on most people’s value chain and that creates that idea of “starving artist”, a term I truly despise. We shouldn’t starve. We deserve to thrive just like anyone else.

Choose one piece that you currently have on display at Artomatic and tell the story of that piece:

"Will Paint For Food" by Tisean M. Bell

“Will Paint For Food” by Tisean M. Bell

This image is titled ‘Will Paint For Food’. I created it when I was having a really rough day and just thought about the journey of being a full time artist and making a living solely from my art. Sometimes I think people don’t really appreciate art. We hear often how being an artist isn’t a “real job” but without it the world would be less colorful or interesting. I painted this piece to remind people that artists are improving the human condition everyday with our creativity. We aren’t punching a clock everyday in a space where there isn’t any passion and we need people to support us. Not to just look at the art but actually purchase it and help us eat and sustain life.

What is your favorite part of the Artomatic experience so far?
My favorite part about Artomatic is meeting all the cool people and really taking in the art. I love getting inspired by other artists and genuinely connecting with others. This is my first Artomatic and it has been wonderful so far.

What is your website (or other method of contact):
My website is www.dreamsalley.com I’d love for people to connect with me there. Thank you!

You can see more of Tisean’s work on display at Artomatic 2015 on the third floor, space 5-062.