Monthly Muse Interview: Bella Shulman

I believe Bella was around 5 years old when I met her.  She is now almost 18.  I can't believe how fast time flies.  I was always enamored by her beauty.  Her and her sister (whom is extremely beautiful as well) posed for me time and time again in their youth for many artistic creations with film.  I remember the first shoot I did of Bella, I forced her to squeeze into I think a doll dress, or maybe it was just too small, but I loved the idea of making little girls look doll-like in photographs.

*Lily and Bella Shulman circa 2001 on film by Kristy Mann

Over the years, I've watched Bella grow up, become more sophisticated, and really just inspire me especially when it comes to her style and personality.  I hope you'll enjoy the images we snapped a couple of weeks ago in her dad's apartment.

1) I notice you seem to have it more "together" so to speak than most girls your age.  What would you say motivates or inspires you?  What gives you that drive to accomplish your dreams, which, btw, are what?

Well I think people my age (including me) are figuring it out as we go. I've always been a really curious person and am always asking people about their experiences, accomplishments, and lives in general. I would say throughout my life I've learned the most from people I'm surrounded by and found my motivation and inspiration from them. I've also found a great amount of it through traveling and of course other artists. My overall dream is to contribute positive change and curiosity to the world through my art while pointing out the beauty endlessly surrounding us. 

2) Where do you derive your taste?  Runways?  Someone you know?  Just curious because I'm obsessed with what you wear:)

My taste definitely derives from my dad. I also love Japanese men's style such as Yamamoto and men's style in general. I love mixing patterns and anything that for the most part goes against what is considered cute/attractive on girls. So lots of baggy clothing, boots, overalls, etc. As long as I have a good pair of socks and shoes, I'm happy. 

3) Where and what do you visualize for yourself in five years?  What career, city, etc.?

In five years I will have just graduated from Parsons with a BA in Fine Arts. I visualize myself being a known fine art/street photographer and possibly a ceramicist as well. I hope to be continuing my world traveling, exposing and evolving my art along the way.  

4) How do you deal with insecurities if any?  How do you draw the fine line between taking a healthy risk &  just getting it soooo wrong.  I'm only asking because you seem so confident as well as a non-conformist.  Many girls your age just try and keep with the popular style, are afraid to go out on a limb, and never really establish their own voice with fashion.

I deal with insecurities having to do with my looks and style by constantly looking at the style and looks of other cultures and countries to remind myself that there is much more than what is considered "acceptable" in Hollywood/America. I also think that being original is better than popular style and if you think like that you are forced to find your personal style. 

Photography: Kristy Mann
Makeup Artist: Heather Cvar www.heathercvar.com
Styling: Bella Shulman