Tuesday 11 August, 2020

Barbadianista Carla is one chic who works outside the box creatively

Barbadianista Carla Bellot

Barbadianista Carla Bellot

She is the reason why Barbadians can now enjoy two Barbados filters on Instagram.

In the Barbadian society where the top careers were doctor, lawyer, bank manager for many years, Carla Bellot colours outside the lines and her creative skills are on full display with her latest creations - the Trident and Pride of Barbados Instagram filters.

Carla is a 26-year-old motion graphic designer and videographer, and she also dabbles in arts and crafts in her spare time. 

Loop Lifestyle stumbled upon Carla's filters on Twitter. Go figure!

"Instagram filters are always fun to use, and I was certainly using a lot more of them during [COVID-19] lockdown in my Stories. I then thought that it’d be fun to try making a Barbados-themed one that Bajans and Bajans-at-heart both here and overseas could use. 

"I chose these two symbols as they’re very Bajan and instantly recognizable. I personally love flower crown filters on Instagram and Snapchat and I know that they’re always very popular, so I thought, 'Why not put a Bajan twist on it?' I designed and created both filters using AR software."

And in four days time, Carla has already seen a great response. On Twitter, when she saw one woman showing off her Bajan Pride crown, Carla replied: "Woiii yuh look sweet! Getting goosebumps from seeing people wearing my filters." 


With a huge smile, she told Loop Lifestyle: "The response has been very positive!

"As of July 3, 2020, the filters have over 6,000 impressions and 900 opens on Instagram. I also got a lot of positive feedback from users on Twitter, plus I’ve been receiving photos and videos of people, even from overseas, using the filters which has been absolutely heartwarming." 

With many creatives having to fight "the funk" during the lockdown, Loop asked Carla how she's been able to push through the fog.

She confessed:

"The worldwide COVID-19 situation has been difficult and devastating, to say the least. 

"Crafting and art has been a great distraction for me from all the uncertainty and frightening news, and I’ve been trying to make the most of this time at home by catching up on old projects, or starting new ones that I just never got around to until now. I’m also trying new techniques and mediums and am absolutely loving it!

"I’ve repurposed clothing, made a few pieces of home decor, upcycled a wine jug into a table lamp, and I’m currently repainting my party cooler. I’ve also tried a few new recipes, and I’ve even tried my hand at making a macrame wall hanging!" 

With her travel plans to visit the United Kingdom (UK) and Portugal cancelled due to COVID-19, she's even tried her hand at some new things like making sponge cake and a chicken pot pie.

And she draws too.

So trust and believe that she has even picked up paintbrushes to pass the time as well. "Yup! I did a few sketches and doodles during lockdown, and I also experimented with watercolours, a medium that I’ve admired for ages and would like to get better at. I’ve also been doing a lot of painting in general and I’m very happy to be getting back into it." 

But that's not all to Carla. Stuck on the rock with commercial flights still on hold, she is actually the face and brains behind Barbadianista (@barbadianista) an Instagram blog.

Carla started it in July 2018. "The name is a combination of the words 'Barbadian' and 'fashionista' as I wanted something that was fun and unique sounding. 

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"I highlight happenings such as sales and events in Barbados, as well as emerging brands, small businesses and unique locations on the island, among other things. I especially enjoy looking for the many hidden treasures that Bim has to offer. We as Bajans often complain that 'There’s nothing to do in Bim' and that’s definitely not true. There’s so much to see and do here! 

"My friends joked that I always know what’s happening on the island, or where to buy or find specific items, and they often said that it was like having a Bajan encyclopedia or directory. Thus, the idea for the blog was born!" 

A tourist at heart, Loop Lifestyle asked what lessons the Barbadianista has learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, besides to bake of course, "Never take anybody or anything for granted in life, and always make time for those that you love. Life is really unpredictable, and plan as we may, we never know what it will bring. I’ve also learned the true importance of self-care - always make time for yourself and things that you want to do, because you cannot pour from an empty cup." 

With COVID-19 having also led to the cancellation of the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) which may have been an escape for Carla after months of restrictions and being indoors while exploring her talents, she said:

"I won three Bronze medals from NIFCA when I was at Combermere, as well as some art competitions throughout the years. I had planned on entering some pieces into NIFCA this year, but sadly it’s not meant to be. 

"While I’m not sure about entering any other art competitions during this time, I know that I’ll definitely be participating again in the #inktober art challenge in October! I often post photos of my artwork and crafts to @carlabellotart on Instagram." 

So what's one thing that Carla the Barbadianista has started because of COVID-19 and now has no plan to ever drop, with a smirk, Carla said: "Sanitizing everything!"


Here are the direct links to the filters in case you want download them: 

Trident Tats: https://www.instagram.com/ar/1602576203256546/

Bajan Royalty: https://www.instagram.com/ar/1162743907419027/ 

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