MUM Achievements Article – by Livia Cole
Genevra Bell, daughter of MUM faculty members Ken and Juliette Daley, graduated from MUM in 2009, earning a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with an emphasis in ceramics. Although her clay pieces were also vehicles for illustration, she never thought she would one day make a living drawing animals.
It all began when Genevra moved to England after graduation. She worked in a pottery studio, but when the studio closed, she began to paint instead. Soon a Fairfield gallery invited her to exhibit 15 animal portraits, which were all sold during opening night. The success of that show turned Genevra’s focus towards illustration.
Over the past three and a half years, her business has grown and her specialty has became custom pet portraits. In addition, she sells cards, calendars, and prints at craft shows and in retail stores around the Midwest, as well as internationally through her website, www.genevrabell.com.
In 2012, Genevra moved back to Fairfield and has been working as a teaching assistant and administrator for the MUM art department. “My education was paramount to where I am and where I am going,” said Genevra. “My experience in the art department was amazing and that’s why I wanted to come back. I appreciated my education even more when I started working here in the classroom.”
Genevra finds that her artistic and entrepreneurial activities are complementary. In addition to illustration, she does graphic design and window displays. She has also sold her ceramics at art shows. “I really enjoy the business side, having an online store, and doing customer service.”
Now Genevra is expanding to add design licensing to her services. She recently won a Minted and Pottery Barn Kids Design challenge contest with the Animalphabet poster that is now available for purchase through Pottery Barn Kids.
Featured image “Shhhhh, it’s time to sleep” courtesy Genevra Bell