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How to be the Artist You Want: An Interview with Bella Volen

Bella and I in her studio in Vienna.

Bella and I in her studio in Vienna.

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Bella Volen is a Bulgarian born artist based in Vienna, Austria. She creates amazing art installations through painting on virtually everything: canvas, humans, balloons, guitars, walls, … the list is endless. Here are some of my favourites:

For more of Bella’s art, recent news and all you want to know, visit www.bella-volen.com, www.bodypainting-event.com and www.artgallery-vienna.com.

Bella also creates what she calls visual poems. Instead of explaining what it is, I just resort to an example (for a discussion, listen to the podcast episode):

I met Bella a couple of years ago in Vienna and last year I participated in her workshop. It is amazing how her small but precise and personalised advice was able to put me on the right track in my hobby. So now I decided to interview her for this project. The list of topics we discussed together with timestamps can be found below. This includes discussions about what inspires her, how her inspiration can keep her awake and working for 40 hours or more, how water, smells and music inspire her and why does she like deadlines and martial arts.



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Once again, you find more info at Bella’s websites:


Line up of topics and questions:

05:00 – Why and how to fight stereotypes that your audience creates about you.
10:00 – What is print making.
11:00 – How do you come up with ideas for your art work and how art is a combination of techniques serving the creative process.What are Bella’s visual poems?  DepressionAddiction and Oneness.
18:00 – Did you ever want to become anything else than an artist?
19:45 – Difficult and rewarding times of being a student of Wolfgang Herzig (around 2003).
24:00 – How to stay motivated in face of difficult situations.
25:45 – Who of your teachers influenced you the most? Mentioned names: Katja Kostova, Reggio.
29:00 – How to pursue your own direction despite different views from your teachers. What is intermediality in art?
30:30 – How much do you know about your art work before you start working on it? How water and music inspire and help to find the right workflow. Art as meditation.
34:00 – How long do you work in a row? Why deadlines and urgent projects are neat. Efficiency.
38:45 – Having a manager, travelling.
42:15 – Do you have other hobbies?
46:15 – Being vegan.
51:45 – Why don’t you eat anything for breakfast? What is your morning ritual? (Being free!)
53:30 – Combine creative life with personal life.
56:45 – What else inspires you?
58:30 – Is your art political, religious or spiritual?
01:00:00 – Travelling and how to get what you want.
01:05:30 – An advice you would give to yourself when you were 20?
01:10:30 – Writing PhD.
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