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Life and Work with Ariana Detrez

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

Hi Ariana, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
After graduating from UCF in 2017 with a Bachelor’s in Art Education, I taught Art 2-D and Digital Photography at Lake Brantley High School. I quickly realized this wasn’t the right path for me. After a school year, my husband and I moved cross-country to California. This is where my husband, Edwin Detrez Jr., started his career as a Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force. I used this time to reflect and figure out where I wanted to go next and how I was going to get there.

I started to teach myself design and learn more about it since I already knew the basic principles, it was more about learning the software and lingo. A few months into California, my husband was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes which caused him to get medically retired from the Air Force. We pivoted again and moved to Charlotte, NC. This is where my design journey started to kick off the most. I worked at a sign shop for nine months while getting really good and fast in Adobe Illustrator. I started to get some of my own freelance clients and quit the sign shop to go freelance full-time. This was back in 2019 when I went full-time as a freelancer. I learned a lot and I failed a lot but kept on pushing through. We lived in Charlotte for a year and I connected with an agency there, Tiny Horse, who I now work for part-time.

We moved back to Orlando, FL April of 2020, in the midst of a pandemic. Because that’s the perfect time to move, right? Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing and my next steps. I had zero clients for a month due to the pandemic and didn’t know where to go next since so many other people were in the same boat. That’s when I started to get back to my roots and get back to painting and creating. This was such a stressful time, as many others can relate that art saved me. It felt so good to be painting and creating again and I knew I had to start sharing this again. I missed teaching but I didn’t miss the public school system.

For a year now I had been dreaming of doing in-person workshops and teaching online courses and I can proudly say that I’m there. I now partner with local businesses in Orlando, FL, to host various watercolor workshops. I have online courses you can subscribe to or buy by themselves to take as many times as you want. I’m showing every level of the artist how they can create and teach them to enjoy the process rather than stress about the outcome.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It hasn’t been a smooth road. The road of entrepreneurship is never smooth, as much as we wish it was! Each step of the way, I have learned so much and wouldn’t change it. Some struggles I’ve faced along the way have been finding clients, stressing about reaching my monthly goal, the pandemic, and learning when to pivot.

I strongly believe that if you master the pivot in your business, you can overcome anything that comes your way. If the pandemic taught business owners one thing, it is that we must be adaptable. Things are constantly evolving and we have to learn quickly how our business can consistently serve this ever-changing world.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’m an ex-high school art teacher turned designer, artist, and art teacher! I’m known for my watercolor paintings and digital illustrations. I absolutely love teaching all-level creators how to paint in-person and virtually, which is why I teach at local businesses in Orlando and over online courses. My classes focus on watercolor painting and also cover some basic drawing techniques.

My non-negotiable for all my classes are: To be welcoming, laidback, and judgment-free. To feel comfortable enough to create art (it’s a vulnerable thing which is why I got you!). To understand that everyone’s art will look different and that’s the beauty of it. Most importantly, to enjoy the process no matter the outcome.

What matters most to you?
What matters most to me is that I’m offering others the courage to create and spreading kindness every step of the way. This is important to me because I’ve seen so many people too scared to create due to the pressure of wanting to be perfect but I believe if we show kindness and lead them, that beauty can be created.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
The “ArianaDetrez-SucculentWorkshop” was a workshop hosted at Fledge by Piante Design.

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  1. Titi

    July 27, 2021 at 3:01 pm

    So proud of you! Got the eye cm of the tiger!😘

  2. Ruth bausk

    July 28, 2021 at 10:39 am

    Ariana I am a friend of titi and ur mom I am so proud of u.I want to take an online course how do I go about it

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