Say hello to Arielle! The multi-talented, 24 year old creative from the Bay Area who's articulation's about life are nothing short of brilliant realness. She is most well known for being a poet, author, speaker, blogger and creative curator, but if that wasn't enough, you will also feel like Arielle is the best friend you've always wanted after reading her work. The first time that I came across Arielle was on Instagram and from that day on I have been glued to her reflections. I have always admired Arielle's authenticity in talking about her experiences and this interview was no different. I hope that you enjoy her insights just as much as I do. - Maureé
How long have you been writing?
Oh goodness, since i could hold a pen? English was always my favorite subject and every time I had to do a “creative” project for school I would write a poem or a story. It’s sort of been ingrained in me for as long as I can remember. I didn’t start doing specifically Spoken Word poetry till my sophomore year of college!
When did you first realize that you had a gift with words?
I think I have to sift through insecurity and self doubt almost every day and re-realizing or more so grasping is a constant and daily battle. It might of been when I started my blog and began sharing it and received so much feedback about how much it touched people or how my thoughts were thoughts they haven’t been able to express or understand and now they do. It was that moment I think, where I realized--- oh shoot, this could be the way I love people, through words.
Was there every any fear involved with taking on a career in the arts? If so, how did you overcome?
Hmmm.. I don’t know if I would use overcome in the past sense. As I said before it is a daily battle to be able to wake up and create. Yes, it’s very much so who I am and not just something I do but at the same time bills demand to be paid and the “practical” is forever fighting to win over what “reality” looks like for you.
Needless to say, there’s a ton of fear, everyday. Somedays your certainty that you have stepped into your calling trumps fear, but fear is a sneaky little sucker that comes back in when you least expect it and floods over what you thought to be true.The fear that you won’t make enough, that you won’t be enough, that you’ll never be “there” wherever the heck “there” is these are thoughts you will battle all the time but that’s the beautiful part about calling and ordained purpose. Once you’ve stepped into it not even fear or hell itself could take it from you.
Being a poet/public speaker can be pretty intimidating. What helped you gain confidence being in front of crowds?
Fun fact: I am nervous 95% of the time. Before getting on stage my stomach is pretty much always in knots, my hands sweat and I get lightheaded. Also, you know I'm nervous by either two ways 1. I ramble the moment I get on stage 2. I’m too nervous to even ramble and dive right into a poem without any prior introduction. I think the most humbling part of it all is being nervous. I never want to get used to it. Eventually once I'm up there I’m fine. I won’t pass out or anything. I am home once my feet are grounded and I’m able to share my heart with the audience, BUT you better believe once I step on stage internally I am crawling into a fetal position ball.
Before I step on stage, I whisper a little prayer that has just become constant for me, “This is not about me". I remind myself that in all honestly, these are not my words and that I am simply a megaphone for the most important voice worth hearing in this moment. I think that’s where the “confidence” comes from: the reminder that it isn’t about me, but I get to be used in that moment or those moments and it’s super neat!
Many of your poems focus on empowering women to be their best selves. Was there ever a time when you struggled with self-confidence? If so, what was that experience like and what helped you discover your beauty
Like I said before, this is something I definitely struggle with daily. Some days I’m like HECK YEAH!! I am gorgeous, I love my curvaceous body and I feel so good! Then there are days where it is difficult to even look at myself in the mirror without cringing. Comparison likes to make me believe that I am less than all my friends or the people I follow on Instagram --it’s a never ending battle.
I will say however that I have had a MUCH healthier mindset for the past three or so years. I have always struggled with accepting and loving my body. I’ve always been taller, thicker, carried a little extra than most my friends and I’ve always felt less or inadequate because of it. And then one day someone asked me, “When are you going to see yourself the way your creator sees you?” and that has wrecked my mindset ever since. I am valued, precious, beautiful, more than enough and wonderful in the eyes of the very one who formed every quirk and aspect of who I am. When you think about that you start to extend yourself a little more grace and have a more loving mentality towards yourself.
What is life like for you right now?
NUTS. Life is absolutely crazy for me right now. I am working about 5 different jobs in all sorts of different categories and they stretch me very thin. I am currently creeping out of the “I can’t do this, I’m not cut out to be a creative” phase. I am trying to find balance between craving stability and thriving as a creative and on top of that not letting fear win. In the midst of all that, I am also learning that God is SO constant and all this stability that I’m craving is already who God is! Also, with creativity timing is everything. It is a slow and growing process ---that’s also how God works and though extremely annoying sometimes, always worth it.
Being a recent college graduate, what would you say to young women who find themselves afraid of the future? And are there any scriptures or quotes that helped you get through that time in life?
I would say--- baby girl, the fear is good, just don’t let it consume you. Do what makes you come alive, if there is a fire within you don’t let fear, expectations or doubts extinguish it but instead fuel it. God works in mysterious and beautiful ways --- let him work on your behalf okay? It will be above and beyond what you could dream of.
Scriptures to live by...
When questioning your calling…
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. “ Ephesians 4:1
I was able to memorize/ recite the entire book of Ephesians with three other gifted individuals at my church for four different services. During the first service I stumbled on the first part of Ephesians 4 and broke down on stage. This was during a time when the enemy was really challenging me and trying to get me to shy away or hide from my calling to speak, write and perform. When I got to the back of the stage and calmed down a bit, I sat on the floor and recited my section word for word. This has always been my life verse but honestly in this moment God was challenging me, but is it really? Then it hit me --- it doesn’t say WHEN you get your calling or IF you get it ---it says live it regardless of the title. Regardless of what your profession will be, your calling is to be a light, love well and be a reflection of Jesus Christ here on earth, you don’t need a resume or degree to do that.
For when I felt anxious…
“I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” - Lamentations 3:24
For when I doubted…
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” -Hebrews 10:223
“When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.” -Shauna Niequist
“You cannot limit the work of God because it doesn’t sound realistic.” - My mom
“God is not a God of uncertainty.” -My dad + probably scripture
Are there any projects of yours that we can look forward to seeing in the future?
I’m working on a EP which is a short album of 5 poems to music, composed by my friend Aaron who is very gifted! That will hopefully be out in February and i’m also working on a book collaboration with my Sarah, titled Write Bloody, Spill Pretty which will be out --when we finish it haha. Also I’m really wanting to work with my friends who are singers and musicians and do poem covers to songs with them, that will be after the EP