We had the good fortune of connecting with Arielle Howell and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Arielle, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
To be completely honest, (and probably somewhat cheesy) art and creativity chased me down… or to put it differently… made sure to give me a looming sense of dissatisfaction with my life if I wasn’t creating. Creativity pours out of me whether I like it or not. I can’t help myself from painting, writing, singing, “making”… and when my hands don’t have access to the resources, my mind takes over with visions and daydreams of ways to see the world, ways to describe what I see, and things that have yet to be seen, heard, and/or felt.

I was on the road to medical school but during my gap year I addressed that “looming sense of dissatisfaction” that had haunted me during undergrad. I had a revelation that what drew me to medicine was people and ultimately the desire to be with them in their most vulnerable state and see them healed. But, dare I say, art/music does the same? It penetrates at a level that no needle can. It crosses boundaries and barriers as people let their guard down to listen to, or process things that they wouldn’t allow themselves to be told. So, in accordance with this revelation, I made the decision to make music the forefront of my pursuits, no longer seeing creativity and healing as separate.

In an artistic/creative career, the way I am designed meets my desires.
I have never felt more fulfilled doing anything else.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I create. I don’t create to please anybody (with the exception of being commissioned for a specific song or piece. But even then, I have to have the right perspective in order to remain in the vein of joy). This is what sets me apart; I am the only me on the face of this planet, and the only me that will ever be throughout the existence of the universe… so I believe I can say the same for my music and art. When I’m not trying to fit into a mold or formula to “be what they want”, I set myself apart.

While I do paint and create within the realms of different visual arts, I am primarily a musician and something I’d like to call a “wordsmith”.” (Honestly, simply put, I’m just an artist/expressionist.) Whether it be piano, guitar, percussion, production, poetry, rap, etc. there’s nothing like the thrill that comes from the manifestation of all the layers of an idea into one unified sound. The most recent project that I am SUPER stoked about is the single that I plan on releasing this July called “Tomorrow.” This song has such a vibe, and the musical elements I’m bringing in to tell the story get me giddy. And as if it couldn’t get any better, I’m collaborating with two amazing artists (photographer, videography) to bring the vision to life.

Getting where I am today wasn’t easy at all… and I still have a ways to go and grow. Ironically, my challenges had/have little to do with resources and support, but everything to do with identity and headspace. I have first-handedly learned the importance of identity, grit, and vision and how they are all equally essential to success. Without vision there is no direction… without grit (passion and perseverance) you won’t be able to push to achieve the vision… and without identity, you won’t think you are worthy of the dream or able to reach it. This is what I want the world to know. I want to offer people a way to view the world when they believe there isn’t another way. A way to view themselves when they forget their value. The words to process what they feel. An escape from the things that get them worked up… and a reminder of the power of the mind in the search for joy and rest when they come back to reality.

My story is evidence of the significance/impact of choosing to be still… slow down… listen in… and find rest. It’s not easy… but it’s possible.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a challenging one because my favorite way to adventure is by getting away from where I am. I love going up into nature somewhere way out of my OC suburb. It’s also hard because one of my best friends lives in San Diego… and my other bestie is away in Columbia but she is from here (and the other two ladies that I hold so dear to me also live within 30 min from me). BUT if I had Annabelle (my SD bestie) up in OC with me for a week… I would create a glorified itinerary of all the things we already do, and things I have yet to show her.

Day 1: Costa mesa Anti-Mall, Eat at Seabirds and get some vegan doughnuts from Goodtown Doughnuts (specifically the triple berry or raspberry pistachio <3) chill… shop.

Day 2: Hike Laguna Canyon. Get a Bonzai Bowl from Banzai bowl (duh lol), specifically the Maui Sunrise with Extra Coconut and granola! Swim and chill on the beach (Thousand Steps Beach, Aliso, or Montage). Get dinner and tea at Urth Cafe, or just tea to heat us up as we sit in the car and laugh about something weird that probably happened during the day while trying to figure out what on “urth” to eat (bad pun)

Day 3: Coastal roadtrip down to oceanside to my favorite restaurant “The Plot”…. They currently don’t even open until 4:30 so we’d explore some thrift shops around town or just have a slow morning… probably walk the beach and eat snacks from Trader Joes (I go to TJ’s more often than id like to say)

Day 4: Breakfast at home (i specifically LOVE baking and cooking different recipes for my friends… so this is a thrill for me), grab some Indian food from Curry Hut in Fullerton and hang at the park and play some games with the homiezzz (honestly spicy UNO gets really heated and its hilarious). End the day with an outdoor movie night on the projector in my backyard with some homemade popcorn and bakes <3

Day 5-6: Beach camping, bonfire, and surfing at San Onofre SB. with the most exciting people (my frienddzzzzz) (who knows… maybe 3 days!)

Day 7: Thrift and explore the antique shops of Old town orange, Grab a burrito from Meads Green door…. And honestly do whatever we feel like doing. Im just content to be with her no matter what we do.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My parents. No question about it. There are so many people who come from broken homes. Who’s stories of success and triumph involve overcoming the challenges of a traumatic childhood, unsupportive parents, or the lack thereof. I have been so beyond blessed to have my Mom and Dad. Never have I questioned their love for me as I have gone through my phases of self discovery, unsureness, being lost, being difficult, and everything else that comes with growing up and becoming who we are created to be. They have supported me morally, emotionally, financially, and spiritually, while all the same encouraging independence. I can even say that they are actively involved in my creativity. My dad supports me on stage as a guitarist and bassist and in the studio as a sound engineer while my mom inspired me to become illustrator of her children’s book “The Fist Day of School” (by Mae Valentine).

Despite times of contentious disagreement, butting heads, and the resistance that comes with being pushed out of my comfort zone, they always hold true to their love, keeping my best interest. They stretch me, challenge me, drive me near mad, support me, and love me…. I wouldn’t be who or where I am without them. They aren’t perfect…. but neither am I. Not a day goes by where my gratitude doesn’t grow.

Website: ariellehowell.com

Instagram: @ariellehowellmusic

Facebook: facebook.com/musicariellehowell

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqy0273GwPhUyBSVMddLoiQ

Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4rsBNJpu2Aa65wERv2HzJG?si=udnR0J2KTF-13ew2C3goIw Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/arielle-howell/1536038072

Image Credits
Jonathan Sherrill

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