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Meet Ariel Parrow of The Chaotic Aquatic

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ariel Parrow.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ariel. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am a Seattle based artist who specializes in large scale painting and murals. I got my B.A. in fine arts with a minor in media arts from the University of Montana and moved to Seattle around four years ago. You can find me and my work in my studio and gallery in Pike Place Market, Atlantis.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There’s been struggles, but I feel pretty lucky too – the road I’ve been on has been particularly interesting and I’ve met some of the best people along the way. I knew I wanted a job that had something, anything, to do with art when I graduated – I started with a customer service job at the Seattle Art Museum that was nice and comfortable but essentially I was just answering phones all day and I really started to get creatively itchy. I started pursuing tattooing a bit because it seemed like a perfect way to be able to get paid to draw all day – I worked at a couple of tattoo shops as a counter girl and started a couple of apprenticeships – I really didn’t have the years of patience and dedication it takes to apprentice appropriately (I met some wonderful people though, and have even more respect for every tattoo artist now).

During one of my apprenticeships where I wasn’t getting paid, I was making little commissions to support myself and realized I had been operating under this belief that I needed to be joining someone else’s studio or shop that already existed so that I could do art everyday, but I could just start my own thing and find a way to get paid to make art if I just put enough time and energy into it. I started my own little business and get to do murals, painting, and design work as my bread and butter. I also opened my own art collective in Pike Place Market – it’s my little home base and where I work and show my finished pieces and I get to work with other super talented artists. The whole pursuit to incorporate creativity into my everyday work has sort of taken over my life – it’s been an absolute challenge but also incredibly satisfying to call the shots and find my way as I go.

Please tell us more about your art.
I LOVE painting murals – it’s definitely what I’m best at and I love creating huge artwork that people can get lost in.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I’ve had SO many people help me along my way – I still have to pinch myself when I get to team up with my heroes for projects and I get so much joy out of the creative people I get to be around consistently. I’m really thankful to all the feedback I got along the way – the whole time I was trying to find my feet, I got so much encouragement and love from my community and from my friends and family. I really especially appreciate those closest to me – they were able to see further down the road than I was, especially at first, and give me support when I needed it most.

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