We had the good fortune of connecting with Josie Bellerby and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Josie, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Maybe I am a glutton for punishment? Any creative will open this with a laugh, knowing how absurd it is to pick being underpaid, overworked, and without the stability of a 9-5. But I can’t help it – there’s something fundamental about my brain that buzzes for the problem solving that only creative thinking can satisfy. And the gratification of sharing that creative communication is addictive, it changes you and the audience in real-time.
I took a job in recruitment straight out of uni, and within six months the soul-crushing feeling of a work-life without creativity was enough to send me running to the other side of the world. No matter how much I longed for stability, I kept coming back to it, that itch that could only be reached by pulling out a shared experience with a stranger, trading stories, sights, and deep thinking.
I have spent most of my 20s traveling around the world, unknowingly gathering a pool of visual resources. As a set and costume designer it is my job to help create spaces and characters that truthfully and honestly work in exploring other people’s narratives.
And when I think about what impact I want to have in the world, I really do believe that art and imagination is the front line of change. Perhaps now more than ever, creativity has the potential to change and shape people’s perceptions of the world around us.
And I want to be part of that change!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m an English Production Designer newly living in LA. I create sets and costumes across a range of mediums including theatre, TV and broadcast, opera, and dance. The UK is one of the only countries in the world where designers do both roles, it’s amazing as it means the creative vision spreads across the whole image, but it’s a LOT of work!
I approach design as a visual storyteller, for me the joy of this work comes from collaborative minds creating together. I am particularly interested in sharing politically driven narratives that amplify women and marginalized voices.
I was recently awarded best costume design at the LA fringe which was lovely, and I am excited to dig my heels into working in America, especially in film.
So that’s what I do and how I do it! It’s not an easy field to get into and I would love to see more diversity in the space. But it is a really rewarding to see my work brought to life by other talented creatives.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My wife and I have electric bikes that we ride all over the city, we haven’t been here long but have already found some amazing spots. Did you know there is a huge lake in the middle of Hollywood?
We are big foodies and are living in Los Feliz, close to a bunch of great spots. We love the mustard seed cafe, they have great coffee and AMAZING pancakes! We also really like Figaro, a cute french restaurant with excellent people watching!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My endlessly patient wife who listens to all of my ideas and helps me thrash out even the maddest of ideas, she makes my work and life so much better.