Quick Questions with Bella Mfon
Meet a woman who uses colours to unveil personalities buried deep within, Bella Mfon is a self taught visual artist that wants her work to constantly challenge viewers to see past their traumas and recognise that they are not alone.
From Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Affairs to Visual Artist, what inspired
Even before I learned how to paint, art always fascinated me. I would gift my family
and friends paintings. I studied International Relations because it was available and
affordable at the time. It wasn’t a choice per se. In 2018, I began painting as a hobby
and found it therapeutic, since then it has been an outlet to process thoughts and emotions I
can’t express orally. In 2022, I decided to practise visual art professionally.
Take us on the journey of finding your primary medium for art, and finding your style as a
When I started, I would go to Pinterest or Youtube and recreate whatever I found
intriguing. At the time, I wasn’t looking for a signature; I just wanted to create. I used
acrylic paint to create geometric artwork because shapes were easier to replicate, but
around April last year, I discovered Fluid Art, and it has become more or less my
Can you tell us your mission statement as a visual artist?
My work speaks for those experiencing brokenness, loneliness or abandonment.
Through the mediums of acrylics and texture, I use colours to unveil personalities
buried deep within. My goal is to create relatable art that reminds us of the many
reasons to embrace life. I want my work to constantly challenge viewers to see past
their traumas and recognise that they are not alone.
Can you share your creative process with us?
My creative process starts with an idea and has many different stages. The stages
vary depending on the type of work I intend to create, how I feel at the time and the
message I’m trying to convey. I watch several Youtube videos for inspiration and
prepare my colour palette using the colour wheel. I also do some research to aid my
reflection stage. It helps put my thoughts together so I can easily compose my
As a mental health advocate, is there an intersection between your art and mental health
advocacy? Can you share that with us?
I delved into the art world through painting as a hobby and a form of therapy, a way
of processing my innermost thoughts and working through conflicting emotions that I
struggled to vocalise. My work focuses on the interaction between light and
darkness, mental well-being and the hurdles encountered in everyday life. I hope
those who experience my creations are encouraged to delve inward and harness their
What is it like working in Management and as a visual artist? Does it feel like you’re living
two separate lives or are you just living your life?
I was a Management Professional for over six years. My roles were related to either
Operations, Administration or Project Coordination, but I quit my job last year to
practice Visual Art professionally. At the time, I would create only on weekends or
when I had closed early, and it felt like I was living two separate lives, but my passion
for art was stronger. Sometimes, I have mixed feelings about the decision, but I need
to see what Art has in store for my life.
Can you tell us some highlights of your journey as a visual artist?
A significant highlight for me has to be partnering with Reconnect Health
Development Initiative in honour of World Mental Health Day 2022 to raise funds to
provide subsidised treatment for people battling mental health challenges.
Another highlight would be exhibiting at the Celebrating Womanhood Art Gala in
March 2023. This exhibition aimed to elevate women’s voices for quality maternal
healthcare. I feel honoured to be among the talented artists who participated in this
When you’re not with a paintbrush, what can you be found doing?
When I’m not painting, watching my favourite sitcoms or learning new painting
techniques on Youtube.
What are your goals and expectations as a member of the African Fashion and Arts
Award Advisory Board?
As an AFAA Advisory Board Member, one of my goals is to help upcoming artists or
creatives gain exposure. We have a lot of talented artists, but most of us face the
challenge of getting visibility. It would be amazing to have a platform which
celebrates every artist, whether emerging or established.
What is the most insightful criticism you have received about your work, and what did it
reveal to you about yourself?
I took a break from creating earlier this year because I wanted to understand what Art
was trying to teach me. It was challenging to return to a plain canvas; I was battling
self-doubt then and felt like I had lost my creative side. I created a painting because I
had to create something. I wasn’t sure how it made me feel, so I showed a close
friend, and she said she couldn’t relate to it either. She said it didn’t evoke emotion,
and the concept was confusing. Criticism isn’t something I take well, especially as an
artist who puts her heart and soul into her work. I appreciated her honesty and
decided to work on the painting again. Her comment made me realise that although
art is relative, my goal is to create relatable art, and sometimes honest reviews are
essential for growth.