Today we’d like to introduce you to Arielle Austin.
Arielle, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Though my story as an artist began in childhood, it wasn’t until my last few years at California State University Northridge while pursuing my degree in Graphic Design that I really fell in love with painting. Admittedly, I probably chose more fine art classes than design classes, but there was something about the tactile nature of creating and the presentness that painting so gracefully demanded that captured me.
Once the classes ended and graduation had passed I began focusing on my “practical career” of being a Graphic Designer. Yet, shortly after, I fell deeper into a season of depression and craved for a way out. I craved for something that would help unravel the thoughts in my mind and break through the fog and static. It was then that I remembered my love of painting and the joy, beautiful frustration, peace, and spiritual connectedness I felt when I brought brush to canvas. So I’d come home after long days of my customer service and design jobs and paint. Totally unsure of myself, fear, tears and all, but simply present and hopeful for the transformation in the process. It was, and still is, my moment to meet with God – to pray without words, to let my intuitive movements guide me, to understand myself better. A lot of the time, my paintings are like a visual diary or prayer journal entries. Fast forward to four months later, and the work that was simply created as an outlet was now being hung in my first solo show in 2014.
And here we are, over 4 years, a move from Los Angeles to Austin, numerous solo and group exhibitions, lots of hard and exciting work, and hundreds of really honest paintings later.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Initially used as a tool for personal therapy and spiritual connectedness, my process based work explores the intimate relationship between subject and viewer with layers, texture, and details. It’s a practice in staying present, while resolving abstract plays on color, composition, and texture. In experimenting with this process, using paper, modeling paste, and layers of color, my work compels the viewer to take a closer look – to become intimate with the art, resembling our very own human nature and desire. To be fully seen and known and appreciated from afar and even more so once our layers have been examined.
With my use of dried flowers I carry in the idea of bringing new life to what we would see as dead or trash. I’ve always loved the thought of having a hand in bringing a sense of redemption to what was thought to be lost.
One of the greatest compliments I’ve received is, “I can see God in your work. It’s as if He is painting alongside you.” My hope is that anyone can find a piece of themselves in what I create. And to get even a glimpse of God in company with the image of one’s self that’s seen, known, understood, and loved – that would mean everything.
What do you know now that you wished you had learned earlier?
I’ve always held onto these few pieces of advice:
Start with where you are with what you’ve got.
I began my personal practice with leftover paints from college and repurposed canvases from The Salvation Army. Just start somewhere.
You can’t make good work if you don’t make really crappy work first and in between.
Plain and simple. Keep making ugly work until it becomes the catalyst for really great work. It always comes.
Do not overlook the big and small victories.
It can be so easy to reach a milestone only to immediately turn your eyes to the next mountain to climb. Stop and sit in the moment of your current mountaintop and give yourself credit for where you stand. Find and surround yourself with genuine community that is always down to cheer you on.
Do not sell yourself short.
A lot of people who do not create art are very unaware of all the details it takes to produce “a pretty painting”. From supply runs to studio/workspace set-up, the cost of materials, time, taxes, self-marketing, and the list goes on. Not to mention the physical and emotional expense creating takes out of you. All of these factors matter and deserve appropriate compensation.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
In addition to my website and social media profiles, my work is currently on display and for purchase at Silk and Sage Design Studio, LIMBO Jewelry (Domain Northside location), and at Austin City Hall as part of the People’s Gallery for 2018. I can also be found around town participating in pop-up exhibitions with atxGALS (@atxGALS).
I’m also teaching a workshop or two in the Austin area based on abstract process painting and nurturing your inner artist. I hope to see you there!
- Website: www.arielle-austin.com
- Email: ArielleAustinStudio@gmail.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/arielle_austin
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/ArielleAustinArt
Portrait Image : Tyeschea West