Ep. 59: Instant Client To Friend: Bella. The One. The Only.

When I saw Bella's e-mail I felt a sparkle. 

About a month later she entered the studio for our in- person consultation and color test. Ten minutes in I knew we would become friends. 

Sometimes people have just the sense of humor that feels like a warm steamy shower on a cool day, and quirks you immediately adore. Add some Eastern European roots for what feels like a solid and somewhat unique thread of relating, and queerness, of course. Oh, and also she is just brilliant. And one of my favorite things on humans are our brains. 

Listen to us discuss being Eastern European, and queer, and her talking about also being Black. Bella used to do hair and then went to school, started as pre-med and became a chemist and is now developing drugs and making such things as vaccines. We had a great conversation about the Covid vaccine and what scientists would like you to know. 

This conversation is had with soothing voices and is very, actually, comforting. Enjoy!

Episode transcript

Micah RiotHost00:00

What is your name, bella? Is that all the name that you want to give? Yes, how old are you? I am 34. And how would you identify yourself with any kind of identity markers you'd like to provide?


I am a 30-something queer black femme.

Micah RiotHost00:25

With the perfect skin for color tattoos.


Yes, and someone getting tattooed by you.

Micah RiotHost01:03

So how did you find me?


I think on Instagram, but a very long time ago. Tell me about that, I don't know. I think you just came up on my feed and I was like, oh, I like this person's work. And then I just kind of like watched it evolve over the years and then I was like, eventually I'm going to get a tattoo from this person. But I was like you know, a student, I was going to community college and, yeah, couldn't afford any tattoo and I had a tattoo I didn't like love that I wanted and had an idea for and your work looked perfect for it. So I just waited. And then eventually, I think yeah, mid, early mid last year I was like, oh, yeah, that person.

Micah RiotHost01:46

Cool, yeah. And then when you emailed me, you were like, what did you say? You were like I've been like stalking your work, admiring your work, or something like that for a bunch of years. And I was like, wow, that's so cool that you've been a fan for a while.


Which is just a weird concept to me. You know because, like I get that when you're doing something creative and you put it out online and you have people following you that you don't know that that happens. But it's just such a weird concept Like it continues to be and no matter how long I've been doing this, that's exciting.


What else scares me about the internet? I know it's true. Like any picture I post to myself, there's probably some weirdo who has it printed out and pasted on their like bathroom ceilings or something and they're like in the ceiling of their bedroom, probably, right.

Micah RiotHost02:35

Yeah, that is a strange thing about the internet is like you just don't know where your stuff ends up.



Micah RiotHost02:44

And then you get surprised and with the podcast too, like people tell me that they'll be like, oh, my friend listens to your podcast and I'll be. Like I have no idea who your friend is, which is just like you know. From my side it doesn't look like I assume that everybody who follows me or listens to me or anything just knows me. Like that's why they do that, because they know me. But that's not always true.


No, probably yeah, and the bigger it gets, you won't know. Most of the people eventually.

Micah RiotHost03:11

I mean, it's not getting bigger. Yeah Well, it might.


I've told some people about it, yeah.

Micah RiotHost03:20

Please do yeah, and then they'll hear you on it, gosh.


I can't listen to my own voice, so I'll skip that one.

Micah RiotHost03:29

But people who you've told to listen to should listen.


Yeah, they probably will.

Micah RiotHost03:38

So the previous iteration of your back tattoo that we've been working on? Yes, tell me about getting that.


I got it in London when I was 17. And it was like a doodle that I drew. And then I have a friend who's a lot more creative than me and he redrew it and it was very pretty and I, yeah, I was in London and I was like just visiting some family in Germany, but we just stopped in London for like a week just to do some traveling. And, yeah, I went to a tattoo shop which is kind of a big tattoo shop now. It's called Frith Street.

Micah RiotHost04:19

I feel like I follow artists from there, yeah.


And yeah, it's just like a kid's doodle basically, and I didn't hate it, I just it didn't really like resonate with me anymore, so I was like I'll cover it up with something that feels more me.

Micah RiotHost04:37

So you like abstract art. Do you also like to look at it?


in museums? Yeah, definitely. I don't think I'm like, yeah, very sophisticated like art person. So if you, yeah, I just know what I like. Yeah.

Micah RiotHost04:52

I mean, I don't know, is anybody very sophisticated art person? Some people know a lot about art. Well, there's like them knowing, like who this person is and where they came from and how they got to do their style. But then there's also like, just like things make you feel things or they don't.


Yeah, I'm running purely on vibes.

Micah RiotHost05:11

Yes, I feel like everybody is, but they don't admit it. Yeah maybe Like including like things like wine Perhaps, but they just don't admit it, they don't own it.


I'm quick to believe people. If you tell me like you're an expert on wine, I'm like, well, I'm not. So I believe you.

Micah RiotHost05:31

What would you, what would be a thing that somebody was like I'm an expert on this and you'd be like are you though?


I don't know. I guess things that no one can really be an expert on.

Micah RiotHost05:46

Like what.


Religion Okay, fair.

Micah RiotHost05:53

Yeah, like big, encompassing things. Yeah, so you're talking about traveling in Europe. Have you spent a lot of time in Europe?


Yeah, I lived off and on. Yeah, my mom is from, for me, yugoslavia. Yeah, so I lived there when I was a kid and then moved to well, I was born in the United States and then the war broke out in Yugoslavia and my mom moved us all there to run like a humanitarian organization and she was bringing injured refugees back to the United States for medical treatment. So we were there during several of the war years and then moved back here to the United States and I just went back to visit and then, when I was 19, I moved back over there for four years or so. Why?


What were you seeking? I kind of just wanted to travel for a summer and then think about, maybe, what I wanted to do with my life.


After that I went to beauty school and I was working as a hairdresser and I was like this is not a job I want to do forever, forever, but it's something that could put me through school and something I could do while traveling. So it just seems like a little bit of money and then I went over there