We take a sneak peek in the studio of Lucy Dawson, owner and creator of Bella Art in Suffolk
When we purchase homewares, gifts or fashions, the story of how these items came to be is a rare thought, but here among the reels of fabric propped up against the wall, the canvases standing tall and the sketches that lay across the table, it is clear to see the hours of talent, creativity and passion that goes into making Bella Art products.
I am in the studio of Lucy Dawson, the artist and business brain behind Bella Art based in Suffolk. Known for her country style animal prints, she designs and sells beautiful prints and textiles for the home including lampshades, cushions, make up bags, aprons, bunting and table runners.
I’m immediately drawn to her newly launched notebooks, which are sure to be a hit for Christmas. Bella Art is stocked in Wow Vintage in Southwold, Neptune Interiors in Bury St Edmunds and an outlet at Jimmy’s Farm. Regular pop ups include Ivy Joan in Bury St Edmunds and Dalegate Market.
Her studio and showroom, which can be booked to view by appointment, is located at Finbows Yard in Bacton, near Stowmarket, set among other flourishing independent businesses such as gift and home store and café EmZo and others.
“It’s important to support local businesses,” says Lucy. A choice which is evident in her own work. Bella Art lampshades, coasters and notebooks are all made in her studio, while other textile items are made in a historical mill in Lancashire. The UK craftsmanship is reflected in the high quality of each individual product.
Bella Art draws on inspiration from Suffolk’s countryside, woodlands and wildlife. Designs include stags, hares, horses, bees, birds and wild fl ora, created using earthy tones and a neutral palette, perfect for fitting into any home. Hares are one of the most popular designs with customers and a favourite of Lucy’s too: “My favourite to paint are the hares,” she says. “It’s amazing to watch them in the fields. They are intelligent with their own character. One hare was particularly inquisitive and came close enough for me to take photos including one sticking his tongue out! I think it’s the sense of folklore which makes them a popular choice.”
Photographing the animals is just the beginning of creating one of Bella Art’s lovely pieces. From a photo Lucy begins painting the image by hand, followed by editing and printing. In all, each print takes up to three weeks to complete.
Lucy started drawing from an early age and graduated from university with a degree in graphic design, but it was her passion for traditional methods of art and the need of a creative outlet that encouraged her to start her own business.
“I’ve always been a keen artist and always liked portraits and life drawing. My love of fabrics came from my gran and mum, they give me a nostalgic feel,” she explains.
The beauty of living and working in Suffolk has inspired many of Lucy’s works, and she has been commissioned to create murals in homes across the county. This is an area of the business she will be expanding next year with local projects, nursery murals and portraits.
With more launches, stockists and pop ups planned for 2019, this home-grown talented artist is definitely one to watch!
Purchase gifts from Bella Art at www.bellaart.co.uk