I was born and raised in Sydney, by the sea. I feel most alive when I’m in nature—particularly in the ocean— and I grew up with salt-stained skin. I’m also half Indian. My dad moved to Australia from South India when he was just 13 for school, and eventually his family joined him. I feel a deep connection to my Indian heritage and it’s a big part of who I am today.
I think of myself as ‘some kind of artist’, as art has always been central to my life. My mum is an oil painter, as was her grandfather. I’m no painter but art is a part of everything I create. It’s the way my brain is wired—whether it’s the way I move or how I approach a creative brief.
My family, on both sides, are the ones who shaped me. They have always encouraged me to be myself and pushed me to have dreams larger than life. I was very privileged to grow up knowing that I could be whoever I wanted to be and, even though I wasn’t following a typical path, if I was passionate about what I was doing that I was on the right track. I learned from them to trust my gut.
I thrive most from being around people, particularly my close group of friends. I feel very special to have such a tight community of people who are also very different; no one has the same background or career. We laugh, we cry, we challenge one another to be the best we can be. I am a believer in connection and community. I hate to see loneliness and aim to always be inclusive, no matter what circumstance I’m in.
I don’t really have one beauty ritual, but I do love cleaning my face when I come home from a full day. I feel most beautiful with bare skin—or after a good cry. I believe actual beauty comes from within, though. It’s when we can be 100% our truest selves and when we remove all expectations and judgement. Beauty is being kind. It’s an unnerving love for those who are harder to love. It’s cutting ties with someone who doesn’t love you in the way you deserve to be loved.
I’m working on letting go of doubt and comparison. Both of which are daily decisions. I’m looking at changing my perspective on what it truly means to ‘grow’ and be ‘successful’. I’ll get back to you when I find out! (Laughs) I also hope to be living abroad in a few years. I haven’t left my safe Australian nest yet, and I am aching for it. I love the life I have built here so much, but that is also the reason I feel I need to go and create something new elsewhere.
It's hope that gets me out of bed in the morning. Hope for humanity, hope for this world, and a strong faith that good will always prevail. I dream of a world where love is at the center of everything. Until then, my best advice for life is to use what you have in your hands—don’t look left or right. And always be kind to yourself and others.
Find Bella here. Photography by Claudia Smith.