Reading: Bella Pilar’s most fashionable art
pilar ’ s designs sport her key signature take on fashion. Photograph courtesy Papyrus. pilar ’ randomness designs feature of speech her signature take on fashion. Photograph courtesy Papyrus. Bella Pilar in her home-based studio apartment in Los Angeles. Photograph courtesy Papyrus. We caught up with the NYC native and LA-based artist and fashion illustrator at a recent sign, where she talked art, fashion and family ties to the Hudson Valley .
Anyone with a fashionista in her life has likely purchased a Bella Pilar batting order in a local Papyrus .
From Rye to Greenwich, White Plains to Westport, the upscale card and endow boutiques prominently feature her stylish work .
While greeting cards have been the pillar of her association with the company, today Papyrus besides features Pilar ’ s work on everything from lug bags to cosmetic cases, giving wrap to notebooks .
sometimes that work includes playful animals such as puppies or birds, but most much, it ’ s her key signature “ girls ” taking focus on stage in scenes celebrating milestones, holidays, friendship or equitable a great couple of shoes .
All is decidedly feminine, charmingly capricious — and wholly recognizable .
so WAG eagerly headed to Manhattan on a late showery good afternoon, invited to meet the artist at the Papyrus on 42nd Street .
Pilar, a New York City native now based in Los Angeles, was doing a card/art sign for this Artist in Residence event .
And within moments of entering, we were chatting away with the personable pilar about everything from artwork to fashion to her class ties to the Hudson Valley .
Pilar, who has been creating exclusive designs for Papyrus for some 10 years, was besides showcasing her fresh line of desk accessories .
“ I dreamed about it… of having my art this accessible, ” she said. “ I constantly wanted to have my artwork out there in an low-cost, accessible way. ”
A LIFE IN ART
art came naturally to Pilar, who grew up on the Upper West Side and studied fashion design at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, where she may have had hints about her future .
“ My favored separate of designing dress was drawing it. I just enjoyed drawing the girls. ”
back in New York, Pilar would finally work as a constitution artist, her fine artwork taking a back seat .
“ For years, it was precisely what I did for fun. I ’ d do constitution as a business. ”
That was until a cagey commercial enterprise tease changed that .
“ actually, my first illustration subcontract was because I used an illustration of a girl ’ s face on a card. Most people had photograph of constitution. ”
The picture caught the eye of an art director and, Pilar said, “ One occupation slowly led to another. ”
Collaborations, she said, lawsuit her .
“ I love to paint other people ’ mho visions. I feel like it ’ s a way of sharing my universe with other people. ”
Over the years, she has worked with companies ranging from Tiffany & Co. to Target, along with a number of charitable efforts. She has sold her cultivate as prints and on sail and has had designs grace mugs and saber saw puzzles, T-shirts and key chains. A particular project does stand out .
“ Papyrus started being a patronize of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, ” she said, which found Pilar creating designs for laminates, schedules and VIP products for the Lincoln Center shows .
“ It was amazing. Two and a half years, five seasons… I was decidedly in my component. ”
It was besides a full-circle moment, as Pilar had worked fashion workweek as a constitution artist years before, when the shows were held in Bryant Park.
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IN THE CITY, AGAIN
Though the rain may have curbed the attendance at the Papyrus event, for Pilar, the yard was “ nice, because I get to talk to people. ”
No matter the venue, it seems one question is a constant .
“ It ’ s always about hair, ” she said with a laugh. ( And yes, she wishes she could offer every card ’ south subject in every hair color ) .
overall, pilar welcomes the feedback .
“ I take all the comments in and process it, ” as she heads second to her studio apartment .
so, how did this traditionalist New Yorker end up on the West Coast ?
“ I blame it on my conserve, ” Pilar said with another laugh, noting he ’ south in the film diligence .
There are, though, frequent class trips back to New York, specially with her sister calm living in the city and her parents now based in Grandview-on-Hudson .
“ I was good there yesterday, ” she said of the riverside community, noting her daughters were there on this day — and that her ma ’ s a regular at the Papyrus in the Palisades Center in West Nyack .
In recent years, Pilar ’ s two girls, nowadays ages 11 and 9, have inspired her to reach out to a younger audience leading to ledger illustrations and licensed products such as lunch boxes and diaries .
For Pilar, inspiration is ever-present .
“ It ’ s kind of endless because it ’ s manner. It doesn ’ triiodothyronine end. It doesn ’ t go aside. ”
She might admire a pass woman on the street or, more frequently, have an estimate sparked by a window display .
“ Seeing new trends and styles is always on my mind. I precisely look through my fashion magazines for inspiration. ”
Should there be a fleeting lapse, this fashionable dame does what ladies have farseeing done — turns to a authoritative .
“ If you run out of ideas, you paint a short total darkness dress, ” Pilar said .
No count the project, her set about is ceaseless .
“ I sketch first, ” she said. “ And I ’ ll frequently spend more time sketching than I do with the painting… I ’ d say every sidereal day I sketch. I sketch in coffee bean shops a bunch. ”
sometimes it ’ randomness just for research as, “ Most of those ideas never get painted. ”
But when they do, it ’ mho all by hired hand .
“ There ’ s sol much digital, ” she said, noting she ’ mho old-school all the way, with gouache ( an opaque watercolor key ), brush and paper her tools of choice .
“ I paint on paper then I scan it, ” she said, a computer necessary for getting her designs to her clients .
With a home-based studio, one might imagine Pilar allows herself plenty of “ dress-down ” days, but that ’ s far from the truth .
“ You ’ ll never find me in sweats, ” Pilar said in no uncertain terms. In fact, she said she ’ sulfur been known to wear her own LBD and full makeup “ to sit in my studio apartment paint. ”
That direction, she said, “ I just feel like I ’ megabyte ‘ ready to go. ’ ”
And go she does, constantly creating what surrounds her on this day. At one point, a customer looked around and broke into a wide smile, saying to Pilar, “ Thank you for… all this. ”
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It ’ s such moments, when she hears how her “ little pieces of artwork ” have connected with person, that Pilar finds then rewarding .
“ If they want to save it, frame it, care for it… what more could I want ? ”
For more, visit bellapilar.com or papyrusonline.com.