Julie Bell is an artist and former bodybuilder, a true fantasy muscle superstar. She was born 1958 in Beaumont, Texas and always had a love of art and the human form. She knew early on she wanted to be an artist and drew comics for friends growing up. Julie went on to study art at several colleges and universities and focused on drawing the human figure.
Love of the human body led her to weight training and eventually bodybuilding. She became a nationally ranked competitor, winning many trophies and awards. Julie says “It was great fun to compete and it was a wonderful learning experience.”
Bodybuilding helped Julie become a professional artist. Her first modeling job was in 1989 for artist Boris Vallejo, well know for muscular figures in his art. Boris was a great influence on Julie and helped bring her artwork to a professional level. Their relationship grew and they married in 1994.
Julie quickly became a rising star in the world of fantasy art. Her hyper-realistic painting style depicts powerful warriors and sexy, voluptuous amazons with exquisite use of color and texture. She often uses bodybuilders as models, along with herself and husband Boris.
Her first published work was a ground breaking cover for Heavy Metal magazine in 1991. It utilized her now famous “Metal Flesh” technique, which is a way of painting flesh with beautiful metallic surfaces. “Often people think that I use special paints or airbrush to do it, but it's just the same old oil paint and sable brushes that I use for everything else.”
Much of her work has been for the comic book industry, including the renowned Marvel Masterpieces. Many others include magazine covers, ad campaigns for the corporate elite, books, posters and album covers. She has also created various sculptures, even one was produced by the Franklin Mint.
Julie and Boris are still happily married and often collaborate for an annual calendar. While no longer a competitive bodybuilder, she continues weight training and enjoys most forms of exercise. She is currently working on a book describing her approach to nutrition for bodybuilding, fitness and healthy living.
Read more about Julie on her website and blog.