Today I have five minutes with Betsey Iannarelli, a creator of original, restorative embroidered paintings, full of boldness and whimsy, and beautifully balanced colours. She first drew my eye on Instagram, where her use of colour, balance, and of course, nature-based design, jumped out from the crowd. Her store is on her website at betseyianstudio.com, and you can check out her stunning, colourful work and IG photography @betseyianstudio. Let’s get into it.
1. How did you get into art?
I have always loved art since I was a child. I got more into watercolors when I was in college and post-grad, but didn’t really start spending more time painting until my daughter was born in 2018. I found myself with more time on my hands after I switched jobs and was working part-time from home. I started using acrylics in the fall of 2018 and began adding embroidery to my work in January 2020.
2. How did you find your distinctive style?
Daily painting! Exploring so many different subjects, color palettes, mediums until I found something that just seemed to click with me. The more I created, the more I found myself settling into a style that became both familiar and challenging to me!
3. What is your favourite thing about being an artist?
So many things… but the process of creating is the biggest thing. It’s just such a breath of fresh air in my life. One of my favorite quotes is “art washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life.” from Picasso. That really resonates with me- because I feel like the process of creating is something separate from the day-to-day grind and it brings so much joy to my life!
4. What message do you hope people get from your work?
I hope it encourages people to find that thing that “fits” them - I believe everyone has the ability to be creative, they just need to find the medium (or combination of mediums!) that suits them and brings them joy.
I also hope my work encourages people to embrace the whimsy in their lives - the things that aren’t quite following the status quo, that are a bit different set apart from the norm.
5. You have just started some art chats on IG live (@betseyianstudio), where you chat to other artists about their process and lives. What inspired you to start this up?
I could talk about art and anything art related for hours a time - literally. I love talking to other artists about their creative practice, process, and businesses! I’ve connected with a lot of other artists in the Philadelphia area and on Instagram as well, and thought it would be fun to bring our conversations to the rest of Instagram so others could chime in and enjoy them.
6. I noticed recently that you were talking about Podcasts, and how sometimes they can introduce self doubt – something a lot of artists experience. How do you overcome self doubt?
Yes, I have definitely struggled with this at times. It’s hard to hear a very established artist telling you there is a “good” or “right” way of approaching art or your creative business and there are things you shouldn’t do. One thing that has helped me is to limit the amount of podcasts I am listening to now. I don’t listen to many anymore, and especially not while I am creating. Someone commented on a post on my instagram recently,
“learning to trust myself is the most challenging part of being an artist”
and that is so true - I am learning to turn off other voices and do what I think is best for my process and business even if it goes against the grain. The more I am able to do that the more confident I am becoming.
7. If you could give people just starting out on their artistic journey a piece of advice, what would you say?
Try to limit looking at other people's work while you are creating. It is fine to look at others while you are trying to learn techniques - but if you do too much of that it will stifle your own unique artistic voice. It becomes harder to separate their work from your work and it will take you longer to find your own style!
If you've not had enough of Betsey's stunning work, then do check out her website and Instagram @betseyianstudio, and tune in to her IG Live Art Chats, where she talks to other artists about their work and creative processes. She also offers Watercolour Workshops totally free on IG Live once a week (for the time being, so get in there now if you want a go!). Betsey also has a newsletter you can join from her website, and if you want some of her art, joining it is a must, because it sells like hotcakes! (Obviously, I mean, you just gotta look at it...)
Thank you so much for joining us on the blog today Betsey, it was a total pleasure to have you.
Thanks to all of you for reading!