Apr 20, 2015 12:26PM

Meet The Artist: Bella Newman

Likes include bees, Leo DiCaprio and surfing.

It figures that Jaime King's niece, Bella Newman, would be the world's coolest 16-year-old as well as a super talented photographer. When we stumbled across her Tumblr we were floored by her image taking skillz. So we sent her some questions and found out she loves otters and Leo DiCaprio, and is probably our soul mate.

Name: Bella Newman (full name Isabella Newman).

Where's home: Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania

What were you into in high school?
Convincing my friends with licenses to drive me places to take pictures, making boys uncomfortable, travelling, playing with cameras, reading and surfboards.

In what ways have you changed since then?
I'm still in 10th grade.

If you had to describe your artistic output in five words, what would you call it?
Encapsulating and decorating [the] human condition.

Who inspires you?
I think it's important to be inspired by things that don't pertain directly to your specific style or craft. I really like Edgerton's pictures of the atomic blast, and movies/books that create their own worlds, pretty much anyone who can take earthly materials and make them otherworldly…Creators like that inspire me a lot, [people like] Kubrick, Francis Ford Coppola, especially with Apocalypse Now, and Wizard of Oz by Baum, and a lot more…I get randomly moved by strangers on the street and stuff too.

If you could stay a certain age forever what would it be?
I think my current age of 16 is pretty prime…but maybe a few years older so I could do more things on my own.

If you could have any animal as a pet, what would you choose?

I feel like your photos have strong narratives attached to them, do you plan that?
I hate planning things, so I think that my pictures may seem to tell a story simply because they aren't posed. The pictures that I'm drawn to are the ones that are raw, which probably stems from the subject's personality or mood or story. Everything's pretty impulse-driven.

What scares you most?

Best piece of advice you ever received?
Create create create even if it's complete shit, just keep making things!!!

What is a skill you wish you possessed?
The ability to FLY.

A lot of your subjects are recurring, who are they/where do you find them?
They all happen to be people I have known for a long time, I'm drawn to them because they're very individualised and they have a sort of unrefined-ness that I like.

What fictional character do you most relate to, and why?
This is probably the hardest question ever…I don't know, I feel like I'm affected by every fictional character in different ways. I latch onto them for a few weeks and then other cool books come along [but] they all mould me and shape me. I forget to document them but maybe Ralph from Lord of the Flies or Alex from A Clockwork Orange just because they're cool.

What celebrity do you have a crush on?
Dane Dehaan and Leonardo DiCaprio, when he was younger, and a lot of male models that I don't know the names of too.

Best YouTube clip you've ever seen?
Pakistani boy dancing!!

Which three people (dead or alive) would be your dream party guests?
Cleopatra, Leonardo Da Vinci, Salvador Dali and I'm going to add Zelda Fitzgerald, because she would be so fun.

Do you prefer crowds, small groups or being alone?
It depends on the moment but I like crowds.

You use Tumblr to share your work, how important is that community to you?
The Tumblr community has no impact on me, people on Tumblr can be really irritating. I just open Tumblr whenever I'm not near a photography book or I'm bored and want to find cool things.

What's on rotation on your Soundcloud at the moment?
I haven't used Soundcloud much recently, it's been a lot of New Order and Joy Division these past few months.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be mainly a filmmaker, but I'm hesitant to give myself any labels because it'd suck being constrained to just one medium.

Who else's work do you admire, who are doing cool things atm?
The bees are always doing cool things, but as far as humans go I really like the weird "movement" in NYC with asspizza and that whole squad, also my friend Vincent Farone captures some nice photos.

Will you send us a selfie?
Sure here are two.

Photography: Bella Newman

Lucy Jones