Ariel is a free-lance illustrator, animal-lover, city-dweller and Francophile living in New York.
Josette asked Ariel a few questions
What is your background?
My background is in teaching. I have a masters degree in English education and was an English and art teacher before pursuing illustration. There was a lot that I liked about teaching, especially being surrounded by other teachers who were passionate about what they were doing. I realized I was yearning for the same thing and it wasn't to be found in a school! The kids deserved more teachers like my colleagues. I've been drawing and messing around with photoshop since I was a kid and only recently realized I could pursue this.
What inspires you?
I'm inspired by other artists who create work drastically different than my own. I'm also inspired by the faces and small moments I see everyday between people, whether on the bus or at the park. I try to best to remember their expressions abs attitudes and capture those in my sketchbook.
Are there recurring themes in your work?
I seem to love to draw people, animals and creatures! If there is a theme that links them I don't see it- and I'm an English teacher! I do always attempt to capture some elegance or movement in my subjects and again, create characters that beg questions.
How did you get started?
When I stopped teaching I started drawing a lot. I began using Instagram as a way to see other illustrators and to begin to (nervously) put my own sketches out there. I began doing portraits for friends and friends of friends and finally set up an Etsy page.
Which work of yours is a good introduction?
I think my Lupita portrait is a good introduction to my work because it was one of my first attempts a breaking out of a realistic portraiture into something more representative and stylistic.
How do you stay motivated?
Other artists! Artist challenges like the character design challenge. Also making gifts for friends.
Tell us something you wish you had known early on.
Comparing yourself to other artist can be your downfall. I probably look at Instagram too much. Take a break from social media and make something for you!
What would you like to learn?
Animation. I can make really brief and simple GIFs but I would love to make short animated films.
Do you always have a plan?
I usually have a rough idea of what is like to create and then I choose a color palette. After that it's anything goes and often my product has little resemblance to my plan and that's okay.
How do you deal with judgment and criticism?
I'm pretty sensitive in general but I'm getting better at taking criticism. As long as I create one drawing that I'm proud of it's a good day.
Who will you thank when you receive an award?
My boyfriend gave me a set of drawing materials when I told him I kind of like drawing. Because of that I began drawing again after a long hiatus. I wouldn't be illustrating now if it wasn't for him!