Q&A with Artist Arlette Tebele
I met Arlette Tebele almost five years ago, at a time when she was in flux and trying to find direction in her life. With her multiple interests, drive and passion, I was confident that Arlette’s creative talents would manifest somehow. Fast forward to today, Arlette is an accomplished artist and at only 23 years old, she is creating influential street art – massive murals commissioned by business owners and eclectic projects. I’ve been fortunate to witness her evolution and her vibrant spirit that transcends into her work. I believe Arlette is a great example for those in pursuit of their dream. She is dedicated to living in a way where she is expressing her authentic self. She’s made healthy choices both physically and emotionally and has carved out a path that led to her success.
I sat down with Arlette to explore her dreams, her work and how she’s managed to combine it all to live freely and creatively:
JD: How would you describe your work ?
AT: My work is really just a fun loving expression ofmy life.. I enjoy making art that is fresh and colorful. I make art in hopes to bring a smile to whoever is viewing.
JD: How is your personality reflected in your work?
AT: Those who know me would describe me as vibrant, yet chilled in nature. My art is playful and fun, which is a big part ofmy personality. I love to laugh, and not take things so seriously. That expression is evoked when I paint my monsters. They’re highly representative of marching to the beat of my own drum. They’re weird and cute, and I especially love how I can make them express whatever emotion I choose.
JD: What inspires you?
AT: My main source of inspiration comes from observing those around me. Whether it’s my friends and family, or people-watching in a local coffee shop. I love the way humans can feel and express, and capturing those emotions in art is incredible. I aspire to move people toward happiness. Which is why I love to paint cartoons. They have this strange ability to bring joy to its audience, and I hope to bring the same feelings.
JD: Which artists are you most inspired by?
AT: Keith Harring, Roy Litchenstein, Alec Monopoly and Banksy are some of the graffiti and pop artists I’m influenced by.
JD: What obstacles did you face with the pursuit of your dream? How did you overcome them?
AT: My biggest obstacle was myself. It’s hard to believe in yourself everyday and put forth that tough confidence needed to continue forward. I would tell myself I wasn’t talented enough, and I would never be able to do it. I would hide my work and get shy when people would ask me to make them art. It wasn’t until I took it upon myself to truly make art for the love of creating that I was able to let go of that fear. Slowly I became more confident in my work and learned to keep trying beyond any perceived limits.
JD: Can you describe the time you realized that creating was something you had to do?
AT: I was about 5 years old, I had a cute little pink bow inmy hair. One night I came home and stayed up all night trying to draw the bow. When I did it, I was amazed. I actually took something from the world and put it on paper. That was the moment I realized I had talent.
JD: What are your creative routines or rituals?
AT: Staying up at night. There’s something about the solitude of the night that gets my mind towork and think. I also get highly inspired when I do physical activity. My favorite is skateboarding. I put my headphones in and play a wide range of music, and just let the words and music inspire me.
JD: What advice would you give to an emerging artist trying to pursue art?
AT: Stay hopeful and practice! The more you do it, the better you get. And I really believe anyone can do it. Just keep doing what you love for the sole purpose of loving it. I would also encourage an emerging artist to try anything and everything. Just get your hands on new things. Yes you will “mess up” and make mistakes, but if you’re dedicated to it, you will master it. So just keep trying.
JD: What does a holistic path mean to you?
AT: A holistic path means finding calm, stress free time. Trying to make time to embrace myself and really get in tune with my emotions. Yoga, meditation and massage therapy are holistic routines that I enjoy. I would say my main holistic therapy is sketching and journaling, also spending time alone just learning about myself and my feelings.