We had the good fortune of connecting with Gabrielle Arduini and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gabrielle, what’s your definition for success?
Social experiment vs. private experience I could argue that one’s success is solely dependent upon one’s environment. I began my career in the arts at the young age of twelve. In 2018, I graduated with a fine art degree in photography from Savannah College of Art and Design. Shortly after, I toiled in the commercial realm and experienced a fiery burn-out. I longed for the excitement, calmness and pure joy being an artist brings, but the commercial world was like having your face constantly dunked in ice-cold water everyday. You can probably guess that it was a full time job trying to keep my professional composure. I quit. I had enough, and quit my jobs right before what we would know as Covid-19. I was jobless. Exhausted. Stripped. Most of all, I had this overwhelming guilt. You start to question your choices and if you’re anything like myself: i’m tenaciously interested to know what thinkers think. In the midst of the confusion, I started focusing on what I wanted out of a job. I birthed my creative design company Knot Nice this year and I have begun a new series of photographs, The Greenway which I’m currently working on in Fernandina Beach, Florida. I slowly began to realize that success is when you are creating for yourself rather than others. After upgrading my environment, I noticed now what thinkers think and that can either drive you mad or inspire you. I haven’t decided yet. Leaving bad environments and pursuing the unknown reminded me of what success really is and what it is not. Success and environment are one in the same. Changing your environment allows for new creative energy to flow and that’s what leaving the commercial world did for me. I began to notice childhood tendencies reappear like the simple joy of storytelling and reading which is major for an artist. Success is not being a well-known artist, or knocking down people in your path or leaving people out to dry – it’s simply being proud of yourself. Your success should be your own personal happiness. No matter where you find yourself and the term success first, appreciate yourself then begin to prune your environment for deeper and bigger success. Success needs to stop being this huge social experiment, but rather, it’s one of the privatest experiences one will ever have.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am passionate about showing the obscure moments in emotions, power, love, and pain. Those moments drive me to work everyday – I wanted to be a scientist when I was young, but it developed into this passion for art and science. I believe when those two elements combine, that’s where the real magic begins. Thus, began my title as an alternative photographer! It’s not easy trying to make work that speaks to others the way you’d hope, but that’s the beauty of it. Artists will sometimes make work that misses the mark – but those are all milestones for your work to grow. I’ve learned to not be frustrated and accept that it’s all part of the process, but on the flip side, using frustration in a positive way helps overcome dry seasons in your work. I am constantly being inspired through reading, watching and listening to the world around me. When you stop listening, your work can really suffer especially, with the state of our world today. When I am gone, my wish would be that people would see the intricate details and stories behind the work I created and be able to relate to them. In the end, we all want to feel heard- it is my hope that my work unifies people, inspires, and produces thought provoking and game changing artists.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First and foremost, the mountains! Check out Arabia and Kennesaw mountain, they have wonderful trails and impossibly beautiful views even some of the city itself. After hiking in those areas, treat yourself to Revolution Doughnuts (they have allergy and vegan friendly options!). I love supporting local businesses and you can’t pass them up! Take a walk in the Kirkwood area, they have many leave-a-book-take-a-book which I have a “healthy” obsession with! Also, a friend of mine works at Sun in my Belly, that’s another great spot for breakfast foods and supporting local. My all-time favorite books stores are: Atlanta Vintage Books, Eage Eye Bookstore, and Savannah College of Art and Design’s (SCAD) library is to die for. I feel the last Atlanta staple for dining would be American Deli – just do yourself a favor and treat you and yours to the one on Cascade Ave.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Hands down, wouldn’t be thriving as beautifully without my wonderful partner, Garrett. He’s always been from day one my inspiration and there isn’t a day I don’t laugh because of you.
All photographs Copyright Gabrielle Arduini 2020