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Meet Ariana Brooke

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ariana Brooke.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My name is Ariana De Vincenzi (mostly known as Ariana Brooke or Ari B) and I am a Musician, Artist, Crafter, Graphic Designer, Photographer and Merch-hand.

I’ve been singing and creating art for as long as I can remember. My Mother and her Mother had always been the talented artsy types and encouraged me to keep doing what I do. I started out simple with a pencil and paper, little doodles and drawing on my notes in school to help me focus. Eventually, I started picking up one craft after the next, one medium here another there until I had tried a bit of most things. Ink digital, paint, sewing, knitting, macrame, sculpting, carving, stamping, photography, editing, etc… you name it and I have probably done it or attempted to do it. A classic “jack of all trades, master of none” type. I realized later on that I could be selling the things I was crafting and attempt to make a living off of them, simultaneously supporting myself, what I love to do, and creating the space and time to do it more often. I am currently working on building my business and craft even more, establishing a website, solid line of merchandise, and so on.

As far as music goes, I sang all the time growing up and don’t really remember when I started writing lyrics, but they came before I picked up any type of instrument. I realized I was too shy to ever really sing around people and I had to pick up something myself in order to accompany my voice. At age 18, I bought a soprano ukulele, it was the only instrument I could afford at the time. I sat down at the computer and taught myself a song or two. It took me about a week to figure out how to play smoothly and, after a while, I started writing songs and picking up more instruments as I continued to learn. I moved on to Bass, then Guitar and now I can pretty much figure out any stringed thing. I have been performing for about six years solo and I was a bassist in a band for about three years. Playing music and being at shows all the time got me into running merch and taking photos for bands.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think things could have been smoother along the way, but I also believe that everything that’s happened has only been a lesson to help my future self grow and thrive. A lack of funds is usually the biggest struggle for me, and I mean, COVID obviously has had a hand in making things difficult (for everyone). While it’s cancelled the music side of things for the last six months, it has totally helped the art side of things for me personally. Balance has been hard to figure out between the two things, which is probably why I hadn’t established a consistent art business before now.

It’s hard to want to be playing and attending shows all the time, touring and traveling, while also wanting to constantly be immersed in the physical arts…and vice versa. I let things get in the way of other great opportunities too. Over volunteering myself and committing to things I should have walked away from kept me from going on tour with musicians that could have helped me grow a lot as an artist. And let’s be real… procrastination, laziness, and mental health don’t typically help anyone get anything done either. Those things have always been a struggle.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
So I guess I would put things into three different categories: Music, Art, and Merch-hand/Photographer. I am a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who mostly plays the 8-string ukulele and sings sad, melancholic folk-ish/indie songs. I am an artist that creates literally anything I feel like making as well as commissions for people that are interested. If you need something done and I can do it, I’ll get it done (see, that’s where the over volunteering comes in). Small sewing projects, cross stitching, hand-embroidered patches, Digital artwork like logos or designs. I draw, ink, paint and then turn all of those things into digital work that gets printed on stickers, charms, shirts, pins, buttons, etc. I’ve created large physical arts for festivals like large dream catchers, flag banners and piñatas. I am a great merch runner and organizer. Actually, I can confidently say that I am really awesome at these things, and I don’t often make statements like these about myself. I have a really good system and I keep things running smoothly for bands and go above what they expect of me to make their lives a little easier.

I would mostly say I specialize in my arts. I love stitching patches, cross-stitching, painting, drawing, and helping people bring their artistic visions to life. I’m most proud of what I have been doing recently. Quarantine has given me the time to really dive into my craft and start supporting myself with it. Sort of the push that I needed to get to where I wanted to be.

What sets me apart would probably be the fact that I work with my clients to make the things they want into a reality. I don’t really put myself or my craft into a box, so there are all kinds of possibilities for people to have things customized in the ways that they want. I am really easy to work with and want people to get the most out of their money and their time.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Authenticity and a sort of flexibility or understanding. Being 100% real with the people I am working with and being able to adapt to everything that happens. I have had people try to convince me otherwise, to act or present myself a certain way or not embrace the no-BS/outgoing side of my personality, but being myself just feels right. It helps to also be passionate about the things you do.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Tallman Smallvan @tallmansmallvan, @scissabob and Myself

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