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Big canvas... Edendale artist Bella Ranstead finishes her first super-sized artwork at The Bunker in Mataura. PHOTO: MARGARET PHILLIPS

Bella Ranstead loves creating cartoon artworks and her latest is a gigantic piece which greets visitors to The Bunker in Mataura.

The 18-year-old Edendale-based artist has just finished the artwork, which depicts the activities the young people who attend the youth facility take part in.

Bella said she was immersed in art and sketched whenever the inspiration took her, which could be any time of day or night.

The fledgling artist has never taken on a project of this magnitude before, but said she had been keen to give it a go.

She worked with the Mataura Youth Trust on the concept before starting on the work.

Bella said she could not remember a time when she was not involved in art.

Coming up with her own ideas for cartoon characters is a favourite pastime.

Her sketch book is full of cartoon characters, who are drawn to give the impression of movement.

Her interest in cartoons could be partly attributed to having three brothers who were interested in the art form, she said.

However, she did not believe cartooning was in any way the domain of males.

“There are a lot of girls involved in cartoons.”

Her art teacher at Menzies College, Bianca Gibbs, provided inspiration and encouragement.

“She’s amazing.”

For the large work at The Bunker Bella drew the characters digitally, then used house paint to bring the creation to life.

She mixed her own colours but the one challenge with using house paint was that she could not mix the exact same colour twice, she said.

As well as completing the large artwork at The Bunker, Bella is also creating artworks for the Mataura Community Development office.

She was keen to give any art project “a go”, she said.

Although she preferred doing cartoon work, she recently painted a landscape for her father’s birthday, she said.