Imani Bell is a artist and the founder of Imani Bell Designs (IBD). The work produced by IBD focuses quite literally on women of color. The colorful illustrations always have a flower to symbolize women as the source of life and they are always placed in the universe and sky.
Painter, Sculptor & Actor
Artist Cheat Sheet: 10 Questions to Get to know our Artist Imani Bell
1. Art medium?
I love all mediums! I think it’s a challenge and a blessing at the same time. It’s a challenge because I find it very hard to stay with one medium for long periods of time. But it’s a blessing because I am never limited to one form of art. I feel like I have multiple avenues to relieve myself artistically.
2. You are a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be, and why?
I’d be something bright! I’d be a crayon with multiple colors, like hot pink that transitions into a sunflower yellow with a kind of ombre effect.
3. What is your favorite 90s jam?
I have to be honest… I don’t really have one. But Tierra Whack a newer artist has my attention as of late. Or maybe Lauryn Hill… she was 90s right???
4. If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?
Tigers tigers tigers!!! I’ve loved these bright and unique creatures since I was little. I’ve always loved how majestic and powerful they are.
5. What inspires you?
People inspire me! I love creativity in all shapes and forms. I am not really a dancer, singer or writer but when I see it and I can feel the passion and emotion behind the work I usually feel inspired to work. I feed off of that energy but I also look inside for my own!
6. If you woke up and had 2,000 unread emails and could only answer 300 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer?
That is my current situation, so this question is too stressful! I don’t choose any of them I ignore them for as long as I can.
7. Estimate how many windows are in New York?
A trillion easy!
8. Describe the color yellow to somebody who is blind.
Yellow is walking out the door and feeling the first rays of sunlight on your skin and the feeling of joy when you do something silly or hear a baby’s laugh.
9. What do you think about when you are alone in your car?
I’m dangerous in a car… I think about everything! From moments I wish I handled better, to my schedule, to how I want to tackle the world and at the same time, sometimes I use driving to clear my head.
10. Weirdest art story?
It took me a while before I started sharing my talents with other people it wasn’t until high school when I finally admitted that I could draw to people, and for a while people did not believe me! To this day I will still have people say ” Oh like you’re a real artist ” to which I still don’t have a response…
Sometimes we get off track from our passions or goals which is human nature. It could be from an specific negative event in life or road block occurrence. I just wanted to encourage everyone out there to know that it is okay and things will get better, even though I know it’s so cliche. The main thing to know is to never give up on your marathon of passions or goals. Even if you do, I feel God definitely has a way of pushing you back to it once you are ready. If we didn’t learn anything from the prolific rapper, philanthropist and father Nipsey Hussle, we learned that the “Marathon must continue.”
Nevertheless, everyone has been through this at some point in time. You are not alone out there! This especially relates to the creatives, because it might make you feel like… “Why am I doing this for, again?” It can make you question if this is truly, your God-given purpose or were you just hearing what you wanted to hear. I can speak on this personally and say in my whole 32 years on this earth, I have never really questioned this or felt uninspired, but there is a time and place for everything. Last year until the beginning of this year was that eye opening experience for me. My personal, loss of creativity and being uninspired, stemmed from loss of life from family members. I have experienced tragedies throughout my life, but none of them hit home as much as these two people I lost last year: My best friend who I considered my sister first, and then my father shortly after. Both deaths hit so hard because, frankly they were unexpected.
It was so much to deal with, that the last thing on my mind was art. I know that sounds harsh to say because some artists thrive off setbacks, but this time around that wasn’t me. Now I know that was okay and that God had other plans and was giving me a mental break to realign my thought process and appreciate other things around me. Right after the passing of my sister, I had an upcoming art show and thought about canceling it, but pushed myself to do it even through the pain. I felt she would have been upset if I had not done it, knowing that she supported my dreams and aspirations wholeheartedly. So I completed that last show in November and had not done really anything arts-related since then. I questioned if I was maybe over art or if art was over me, due to a lack of inspiration. This was my demeanor all the way up until last month even with me buying new supplies and posting things.
After much reflection and prayer, I got a message that was loud and clear that I must continue this marathon! Art wasn’t through with me yet! One day, I had a text conversation with a sister about how I felt uninspired and non-creative. No one knew except her and my mom. I got a random email from my friend telling me she came across an art show I should apply to. I told her that I didn’t really think i should apply because I was in a negative mind space, but then I remembered how random this invitation was after no one knew about my feelings. So I applied, realizing this was a neon sign that said “Keep going and don’t drop the baton.” A few more weeks passed and I received a acceptance letter to have one of my pieces displayed in a reputable gallery. This event spoke volumes to me and in closing I am slowly but surely back to business. I hope this helped or inspired someone else to know that everyone gets down even when you seem the happiest and will eventually continue the marathon….
Don’t let adversities keep you off track!!! The baton pick up has started again my first stop of 2019 is below!
The work above will be displayed from May 1-26th at the “SAMASAMA Art Show & Gallery @ Shopkeepers DC (1231 Florida Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002)
Schedule of events in link below!
I am so excited about my new portfolio! I hope everyone that views it, from my past work to present, enjoys it!
I wanted this site to reflect not only my artist statement but, also my movement/life motto “Artistically Adaptive.” This movement is the definition to how I have lived all of my life, in and out of the art scene. So, sit back, and read a little about me, my background, and why I do what I do.
I was born destined to have a passion for art. With two artist parents, who aptly named me Artisia, I was destined to do great things in the creative world.
My mother received a fine arts degree from Pratt Institute, and was chosen by a few other prestigious colleges, before deciding on Pratt. She is an amazing artist, that has not missed a beat honing her craft over the course of her life, which is rare sometimes for artists. I admired this about her the most and she is the reason why I keep pushing myself today with no complaints.
My dad, also very artsy in his early years, was a draft-man for Atlantic Research Corp. and other companies. He always encouraged me to stay focused in whatever I did and to not quit. This meant in his words, “try to avoid making detrimental mistakes in life.”
So with this free, artistic, and driven mindset, I endeavored to accomplish as many things as I could artistically in life. It did not matter what facet of art it was; I wanted to try it and perfect it in my own way and that I did.
With the help of my mom teaching me so many types of art tactics, mediums, and subjects I was ahead of my time in this world at a young age. By the time I had reached my teens I had already sold kid, off-the-cuff, amateur art at craft shows, won awards and started tackling the fashion art world. I would paint on clothing and make and sell custom jogging suits using printed fabric I bought from local fabric retailers. I had an indie label and all!
Being a local model in the DMV (District, Maryland, and Virginia) helped me promote more of my art and designs to others around me. Subsequently, at age 15, I hosted and planned my first fashion show at my church’s annual, “Pan African Day” festival. This might have seemed amateur for some but not me..,it meant so much to be selected. I planned a fashion show with not only my designs, but other local area designer’s fashions. I styled the model’s with my line and the other stores clothes piece by piece. This trained me in more than just fashion but styling.
Later, I was asked to manage other shows and direct models, that’s the side a lot of people don’t know about me. Nevertheless, once college came, I made more clothing and started doing more art; while studying for my biology degree (lol).
Yes, I said biology degree! Fun fact about me, when I first went to college even though my whole life was literally locked up in art. I wanted to be a dermatologist at a young age due to my ongoing battles with severe eczema. I wanted to find a cure, but that wasn’t in God’s plans.
I literally committed to a biology degree for almost three and a half years of my college career, while working part time job. Then as time went on I realized I hated biology and pre-med and this was not for me!!! My grades in some classes reflected this especially chemistry three and my organic chemistry two class.
One day I finally admitted to myself and my mom that I was done with that life and moved on to my true calling of fine arts! The day I walked into the fine arts suite at my college. I realized that was where I was suppose to be the whole time, and I had lost time ignoring God and the universe. So from then on I made a commitment to myself that no matter what happened in my life I would be like my mom and stay the course. No matter what full time job I had my calling would always be art, it was my passion and purpose. Once I recognized that I aced all my classes and before I knew it I graduated with a BFA from Bowie State University!
To make a long story short, that’s already too long, God has found ways to keep art in my life ever since. Now I’m blessed to have a multi arts and crafts designer business with my mom and an on the rise art career that I couldn’t imagine years ago. Every-time I get lazy, God’s always puts wonderful people or events in my life to tell me to keep going never quit so I just keep going.
My art has truly adapted to my situations in life that I’ve endured or been through. It rolls with the punches just like me and I wouldn’t change anything. That’s why What makes me Artistically Adaptive and that will never change.
So…get ready to view more art and enjoy my crazy world that is well art, fashion, and culture! More posts to come!
Been an Art One Since Day One