Phind out Phriday: Cayla Belser- The Woman Who Passionately Paints Possibilities

You ever meet people who are good at what they do and they don’t have to tell you they are, they just do it. They don’t build up a hype. They don’t talk about their numbers (what they sold, how many invitations to social gatherings offered, etc.). They simply have a passion and pursue it unapologetically. Well, I definitely had the pleasure of meeting such a person and this week I am more than happy to share what I got to phind out about artist and illustrator Cayla Belser. She’s good at what she does and will humbly tell you she has room to grow. She’s about as committed as it comes and will tell you that she works until the piece is done and done is better than perfect, because perfect doesn’t exist anyway. Take a read and enjoy.

Phreedum: Who are you in 5 words?

CB: An artist who loves painting.

Phreedum: When did you first fall in love with art/illustration?

CB: Tough one. I always drew as a kid and I think Disney had a lot to do with that. By the time high school rolled around I definitely didn’t draw as much ad was just interested in other things. In college I made a u turn you could say. Well kind of. Technically I was still in high school but I took a college course to kind of experiment. The course was an art course and I was back in love with art. I knew that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  

Phreedum: The collection I saw, “The Character Collective”  had a variety of pieces, clearly used a variety of techniques, and showed various skills you have. But, what I want to know is beyond color and technique, how do you stay inspired?

CB: My fellow artists, and not even just other illustrators, but other artists from interior designers and fashion designers to graphic artists to sculptors.  James Gurney and Dan Dos Santos are two of my favorite artists. They are incredibly hard working and committed to their work which is evident in their finished pieces.

Phreedum: And what about support? Who supports you as you pursue your dream?

CB:  Everyone, but definitely my mom. She was there when I didn’t know what exactly I wanted to to do. My family has no art background and had to get used tot heir eldest daughter going into a field they were clieless about.  My mom was very active and supportive in my search for an art school. I know I found it reallly helpful  helpful to have a firm supportive family foundation at home. 

Phreedum: What has been one of the biggest lessons you have learned as an artist?

CB: It’s okay to make mistakes. Every piece you do you want to be “the” great piece, so you kind of worry a lot. You can learn from mistakes, they are just as important. Sometimes what you learn from the mistake is more valuable than had you gotten it right.

Phreedum: How does your work change the lives of others?

CB: I think through my illustrations  I create a world where people can leave their reality behind for a moment and experience the power of imagination and the wonder of adventure.

Phreedum: What are some of the sacrifices artists make? 

CB: Sleep.

She laughs, perhaps because she notices as I did there was no thoughtful pause before her response.

CB: An artist or any person who is passionate sacrifices sleep. You give it up because you want to keep working, building, creating. Also, friendships and socializing takes a hit.

Phreedum: What do you think people under estimate about the work you do?

CB: That what I do is easy. When you don’t know all the details  it’s easy to assume that it’s art and it's easy.  Family and friends think I just sit down and whip up a painting. But it takes a lot of energy, time, and dedication.

Phreedum: So how much energy, time, and dedication are we talking about?

CB: On average it takes me about 60 hours. Some of the pieces in the collection you saw took 25 to 30 hours each.

Phreedum: (my jaw has dropped)

CB: You don’t really realize it. There are times I wish it was shorter, but each piece takes the time it needs until it is finished. I research the piece. I do composition sketches prior to painting. Such a process helps start the foundation and you need a firm foundation. If you mess up the foundation the whole project will go south and it can be evident.  There is 4-5 hours of tiny sketches to see what works best in the end.

Phreedum: Are there are other art forms you enjoy (i.e. graphic design, abstract painting, interior design, sewing, etc.)? If so what are they? And why illustration out of all the various art forms? 

CB: I’ve always been interested in fashion. I love illustration because it’s similar to fashion if you think about it.  Fashion is illustrated and then comes to life via those super sexy slimming pants, that backless LBD, and that perfectly tailored suit. Idea, illustration, garment- illustration fits right in the middle of a process I know I oversimplified, but you get what I mean.

Phreedum: What one piece of advice do you hold on to as you continue to pursue your work as an artist?

CB: Make possibilities for yourself. Two of my professors in under grad would always remind us that you don’t look for what is there, create what you want to be there. When you do, you will love it and others will see that love and enjoy your work as well.

To learn more about Cayla and view her work visit

No comments: