Australian illustrator and designer Penelope Bell came from a long line of artists, designers, musicians and entrepreneurs. “My grandparents used to have a fashion label and my mother is an artist whom possesses great individual style so fashion design was always going to be an industry I was drawn towards.” Bell said. Bell grew up on a remote sheep and cattle station, but this only encouraged her passion for fashion even more, “When I did see women with impeccable individual style I was drawn to the confidence and pride they seemingly and so effortlessly exuded.” Bell said. Bell also believes that her heritage is what makes her work differ from others, Bell said “The daughter of a sheep and cattle grazier and art teacher, I know and wholeheartedly respect what it takes to bring a garment or accessory to life from its initial earth source to the shop floor.”
Bell became a fashion illustrator after being made redundant from a marketing position in a law firm in 2014, “I decided I would stop wondering ‘what if?’ and just bite the bullet and pursue fashion illustration.” With more than 15 years of experience across the industry in fashion design, illustration, styling, marketing, public relations and event and sales management; Bell has a comprehensive and varied skill set. Bell describes her role as a fashion illustrator as being like a storyteller, “It’s my responsibility to share a brand’s story through the form of visual imagery.” Bell said. “Each working day is different to the next. A lot of research, concept development, story-boarding, pitch creation and marketing fills my day.”
While Bell takes inspiration from many aspects of life, her main focus is on nature. “Perhaps the greatest source of inspiration to me is experiencing immeasurable joy in the everyday: The rising of the sun, the sweet singing of birds in the trees. The simple pleasures of Life itself.” Bell said. Her love of nature is also seen through Bell’s focus on sustainable and slow fashion.
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