We had the good fortune of connecting with Ariel Gonzalez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ariel, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think about risk all the time. As an artist, taking risks, both physically and mentally, comes hand in hand. “Should I sell this piece?” “Does it spark anything in me?” “Will this be the right color scheme?”. Risk is practically ingrained in my everyday life and I love every second of it. Taking risks has opened doors I thought didn’t even exist. I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember and that passion stayed with me well into my senior year of high school. When college rolled around and the impending doom of adulthood settled in, that fire burned out. I bartended for a while and although the money was great, my creative side was dying off. During the initial part of the pandemic shutdown I picked up painting again and slowly that fire was igniting again. I got up early one day, got ready for a long bar shift and asked myself “how much longer are we gonna keep doing this?” Long story short, I took a risk that day and decided to quit. I sat down, wrote a list of my hopes and dreams and decided I wasn’t looking back. Almost a year later I’ve checked off so many items off that list and have never been happier. All thanks to taking a risk.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve always been a huge fan of street art/graffiti culture. Toys, cartoons, comics. All that reflects in my work. Since middle school all I ever did was doodle on my notebooks instead of taking notes. Drawing comics for my friends and coming up with funny cartoons. Over the years I refined it to a style that reflects my love for all that. Street art has exposed me to some of the most insane artists. I want to be one of them. With the rise of social media, now more than ever is it easy to connect with those individuals all over the world. Thankfully the community is supportive and when they see raw talent they want to see it expand. I’ve been lucky enough to make some great connections with local talent here in Miami and they’ve pointed me to the right directions. Although not easy at first, especially as a newcomer, I’ve been blessed to have an overwhelming amount of support from left and right. Some bad apples here and there but that’s all part of the fun. I’m learning everyday and loving every second. My goal is for the world to see my stuff and say “hey, I know that brand” I want my art to be all over shirts. shoes, skateboards, canvases, walls. You name it, I want it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Id take them to the obvious choice, Wynwood. Although way busier now than ever, its something so unique Id have to show it off. I’m a huge craft beer enthusiast so Id also take them to some great breweries all over SoFlo. Beat Culture Brewery, Strange Beast, Tripping Animals and Spanish Marie to name a few. I’d also give a gnarly tour down West Flagler/Little Havana, my hometown. So much culture and good food there.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to shoutout literally all my loved ones. Without their support and insane trust in my talents I would still be miserable, wondering where my life is headed. Now more than ever do I feel grounded and looking forward to the rest of my life. All thanks to them, Also a huge shoutout to anyone that has ever bought my art or has given me opportunities to showcase it on a larger scale. Your trust and love for it has motivated me to keep pushing and longing for more.