MEMBER MONDAYS is a weekly interview series highlighting current members & alumni of the Austin School of Film + Austin Cinemaker Space community! Each week, we’ll be featuring one of our incredibly eclectic community members, and doing a deep dive into their work. Insight into what makes them, them.
Arielle Vicaria works as a graphic designer and illustrator, using her Dedicated Desk at Motion Media Arts Center to create a variety of custom stationery for clients in Austin. To get some insight on her creative world, we spoke with her about her time before living in Austin, and what makes her passionate about her work
Let’s start with the early Arielle years—your “first installment!” Were you creative as a child? Like, is there something from your childhood or high school that you look back at now and say, “Yep, I’m doing exactly what I thought I’d be doing.” Or were you on a totally different trajectory back then?
Arielle Vicaria: I know it might be a strange thing for a kid to love, but I was always fascinated by typography and design. I remember spending countless hours of my youth on ‘Microsoft Paint’ and showing off my “early work” to anyone who would pay attention–mostly my ever patient parents! When I was young I never thought I could make a career out of being an artist but that didn’t stop me from taking every art class I could throughout my early education and into college, because I simply loved learning those skills.
Have you followed other paths in the creative world?
AV: I started working in the film industry right out of college actually. My degree is in Environmental Studies, not film, but I had a friend who was working in the costume department on a big TV show in Miami, so I was able to jump on board. For the next few years I took on any job I could find in the field: set PA, to costume designer, set decorator, prop master, everything! I really loved the fast pace and sense of teamwork you feel on set. But I realized that it was a young person’s game, and I needed to cultivate more stability than I could find freelancing in film.
I think the best experiences I had on film sets were on the really small independent shoots. On a small set, everyone takes on as many roles as they can and the sense of camaraderie is so rewarding. I remember one job where I was doing everything from writing out the slate for camera, to organizing props, to costuming and doing makeup.It was a blast!
After working in film, how did you end up in Austin? And how did you discover ASoF?
AV: I visited Austin years before I moved here–back in 2007–and I absolutely loved it! I’m a huge fan of warm, sunny weather and easy access to nature while living in a city. So those factors weighed in on my decision to move here pretty heavily.
I actually discovered ASoF through a friend who saw an advertisement for the co-working space here. I had been working remotely out of coffee shops for over a year, and I really needed a more reliable place to get work done. Having a dedicated desk has helped me separate personal time from work, which is something I know all freelancers have trouble with. I am so glad I signed up, I am here almost everyday!
You currently work as a graphic artist and illustrator with a graphic design studio which specializes in custom wedding invitations & stationery as well as corporate logos and branding. Do you have a favorite project that you’ve done? And how does it feel to know your work is probably framed in many households and businesses and part of memories forever?
AV: The jobs I like best are ones where I have the chance to create custom watercolors or maps. I’ve had some clients tear up from happiness and hug me when I deliver the final product to them. And I love that feedback, it’s so rewarding to create something people cherish. Each design is so personal, it is a privilege to work so closely with clients on something that truly represents them.
That’s so awesome that you get to experience some of their reactions in person! I know it must make your work that much more special every time you’re creating. Do you have any hobbies and projects that you explore outside of graphic design?
AV: Before I worked exclusively as an artist, I would spend lots of my free time drawing, printmaking or painting. Now that I am a full time designer, I try to be physically active during my time off since I spend most of the day working at a computer. Fortunately, Austin is beautiful and there are so many trails to explore without having to leave town.
Is there anything you can see yourself doing different in your creative future? Have you made any plans for yourself outside of what you are doing now?
AV: It’s funny, I’ve thought about this question a lot recently and I think I’ve found “my thing.” I absolutely love typography design and the wedding industry in Austin feels inexhaustible. I can’t imagine wanting to do anything different for the foreseeable future. I get a huge kick out of seeing my work in print and every job provides new creative opportunities.
INTERVIEW BY: Stephanie Franks