We had the good fortune of connecting with Lori Arbel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lori, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Healthy risk-taking. I love it! The unknown is so exciting with respect to the art-making process and adventure in general. As a student, I needed to know the answers, the right way to do things. When I entered college, I quickly learned there are many ways. And so experimentation began. In my latest works, I thought “what would happen if I mix oil-based paint with water?” We are taught they don’t mix… unless you take the risk, experiment, and see what happens. Magic appeared before my eyes, the paint separated and I poured that on my surface. New textures emerged that I couldn’t create without the risk of making ugly art.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am an artist, Florida state-certified teacher, and creativity coach guiding young adults through personal journeys of self-discovery and, often, the discovery of their creative talents. My passion to create innovative mixed-media art and photography – and to help others bring out their own inner artists – has led me to teach in NYC and South Florida schools and community spaces for 18 years.
Whether finding my inner-expression in art or helping my students do the same, I try always to offer a positive, energetic perspective. I’ve been pursuing my artistic muse since early-childhood. Later in life, I discovered that artistic expression could be a tool to heal. In college, I used art to work through the anger and pain of my Mom’s death. Later on, after the difficult birth of my daughter, I used art to sort through the emotional challenges and creative shutdown that followed. It was then that I was affected most profoundly by its power to heal. And it was then that I started teaching others how art could be used for healing in stressful situations. And how it can promote inner happiness and well-being. To read more stories visit my blog.
As for my art, my collections explore the inner psyche including the monotonous tasks of everyday life. Using marks and a reduced, palette, I delve into thought patterns to question how we connect, respond, and make our mark on the world while embracing emotional introspection for content; a creative expression as dialogue. Pen and ink lines, handmade paper, and geometric shapes allow me to express texture and patterns visually in energetic and meditative renderings. The imperfections of the handmade paper and the pop of gold illustrate metaphor, transforming sometimes negative energy into something beautiful. Keep planting seeds, watering them, and watching. Beautiful things emerge when you are patient.
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?
Of course you must visit Wynwood to check out the murals, have an amazing time getting lost in all the inspiration shops and galleries. Try some amazing tacos at Coyo Taco, Dr. Smood if you want something healthy, some coffee at Joe & the Juice, and amazing ice pops filled with condensed milk that you cover with toppings at Cielito Artisan Pops. Then take a drive over 395 for an epic view of the water and stop by the Perez Art Museum for an amazing architectural wonder and great spot for a romantic dinner!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to mention Ms. Anderson, my high school photo teacher. She always believed in me and used words of encouragement. This set me on a path of becoming an art educator and continuing my art practice, and love of art.
4 years ago I transitioned into full-time artmaking. A year ago I joined Axen, an amazing mastermind group, created by Dynamo. This is a warm group of go-getters that witnessed my emergence in the art community; that moment and their support was pivotal for my growth.