February 2022 Issue
About the Cover Artist — Bella Pilar
By Kelly Hunter
Bella Pilar made a name for herself through her greeting card designs for Papyrus. Her collaboration with the company has lasted more than a decade and led to her being their featured artist.
“I love to paint for the sake of art and the pleasure of creating a painting, but I’m especially excited when I get to share my art with others by having it printed on product that people can have for themselves and enjoy,” Bella explained. Her work can be found on more than just greeting cards. It’s seemingly everywhere, including gift bags, gift wrap, puzzles, mugs, canvas prints, wall art, journals, jewelry and phone cases.
Not everything Bella paints ends up on product, though. When I asked about Jemma, the piece on our cover this month, Bella said, “I painted this piece just a couple of years ago, and it is still one of my favorites. It’s a personal piece, it was not done for a client. I often paint personal pieces like this to keep creative and keep my portfolio fresh and get out all of the ideas that pile up in my head. When I paint my girls, they most often have pink lips. I love to paint pink lips and love to wear pink lipstick myself!”
A native New Yorker, Bella moved to Los Angeles with her filmmaker husband many years ago. She also told me about her “two very creative and artistic teenage girls who get to grow up in a house filled with all the art and craft supplies any kid would ever need, since my art studio is currently attached to my home.” Bella doesn’t just work at home, though: “I’m a bit obsessed with my daily coffee, and I do love to sketch in coffee shops! It’s a great source of inspiration for me, gazing up at people coming and going, the music, the chatter, the atmosphere. My local coffee spot was always my second studio away from the home studio. Before the pandemic, it was where you could find me most days—sipping my ice lattes and sketching ideas by the window seat. Sadly, the pandemic changed this for a while, and I only worked at home in my studio for many months. But eventually, when it was safe again to do so, I started going back and sitting outside to sketch; it is Los Angeles, after all, so it’s almost always a nice day to sit outside and work.”
Bella went to an art high school in New York City and went on to receive a degree in Fashion Design from an art college. She said, “I’ve always had a passion for painting, beauty and fashion. These three loves have inspired me to create and to be an artist.”
To purchase products featuring Bella’s work, including canvas prints, click the Shop tab at BellaPilar.com. You can also find Papyrus greeting cards featuring her designs in stores like Bed Bath and Beyond, Target and Harris Teeter.