Meet Ariana. She's an apprentice painter at Overall Murals, known for her infectious smile and positive attitude, and has quickly become a valuable team member. Her dedication to the job, passion for the arts, creativity, and energetic personality bring life to every project she works on, making her the ideal walldog. Seven years ago, she came to the United States from Caracas, Venezuela. Since then, Ariana has been using her talent to create incredible hand painted murals nationwide.
Ariana Villar joined the OM team a little over a year ago as an apprentice. Since then, she's been a part of producing some of our most memorable murals to date. You may have seen some of her meticulous line work for Hendrick's Gin, soft blends in Google's Shopping holiday campaign, and handiwork from one of our many murals for the award-winning Amazon Music's Breakthrough Artists campaign.
Ariana has grown into a vital team member because she has no problem tackling any obstacle and is always eager to take on new challenges to push herself creatively.
How did you become a muralist?
I grew up in a very artistic environment. My mother is a painter, and my father is a photographer. So I was constantly surrounded by their creativity and passion for the arts, which encouraged me to develop my creativity at a young age.
I studied graphic design and visual arts in Venezuela. I have two careers as a graphic designer and a muralist, allowing me to express my creativity differently. But nothing compares to the feeling of holding a brush and creating art with paint—that's my passion.
It’s ironic because muralists aren't part of the culture in Venezuela. You typically see more graffiti artists. When I arrived in the United States, I started to see massive murals, and I was fascinated by the idea of creating art on such a grand scale.
I’m an individual who likes “el reto,” which means the challenge. Jumping on my first large mural, sure, I was intimidated by the size, but I felt a rush of excitement stepping out of my comfort zone.
It’s rewarding to figure out how to translate a paper-sized sketch onto a massive wall.
How does Venezuela affect your work?
Being from Caracas, Venezuela, I had to learn to be flexible, resourceful, and creative with my art. It was important to me to find ways to express myself despite not having the supplies—it pushed me to think outside the box. I learned to repurpose materials and experiment with different techniques, which translates into my approach to tackling challenges.
I grew up around a lot of nature; in my case, I grew up with many birds—different colors, different sizes, and different sounds. So the symbol of freedom resonates with me a lot, and it just became integral to my work. It reminds me of Venezuela. It reminds me of home.
Why do you think art is important to society?
I don’t want to say art is everything, but art really is everything. It gives meaning to everything, especially in a world where people are often disconnected from their emotions and the world around them. Growing up, my dad told me,
“If the art made you feel something, it served its purpose," and I always carry that with me.
How has working at Overall Murals influenced your creative experience? Has it improved your art skills?
I'm always looking for ways to improve my art. Working for Overall Murals has helped me develop and advance my skills because I get to work with other muralists and learn new styles and approaches to mural painting. This company allowed me to expand my knowledge and hone my craft so I could grow as an artist.
Watching my coworkers' dedication to their art has been a constant source of motivation for me, and it holds me accountable. It reminds me that I need to keep pushing myself to grow and pursue my passions with the same dedication. I’m happy to surround myself with artistic and passionate people at OM.
What advice do you have for women looking to get into the hand painted advertising industry?
I advise women to be confident in their skills and not be afraid to assert themselves in a male-dominated industry. We bring a unique perspective and approach to the industry, which is really important to showcase. It's a lot of work, physically and mentally, but it's incredibly rewarding because we're always going to get the job done at the end of the day.
Why do you think it's crucial to have more women, and specifically women of color, working in this field?
Inclusivity. It brings diverse perspectives and experiences that can lead to more innovative solutions and ideas. Women bring unique skills and strengths that often get overlooked, but we add that special touch that can make all the difference. I'm very proud to be Latina and work for Overall Murals. They prioritize inclusivity and diversity and value the contributions of individuals from different countries and cultures, which is really important to me. I’m passionate about what I do, and I want other women to know that their voices and ideas are valuable in any industry they pursue.