Could you introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Ariel Shea. I am an artist living in Montreal Quebec, Canada. I really love painting with oil, shooting film, and I've been dabbling in curating art shows here in Montreal. In my spare time, I like thrift shopping, going to see shows, and walking around the city.

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How did you start?

I think I've always been painting, really. As a child, I always loved playing with my watercolour sets, but I don't think I started taking my art more seriously until I was a teenager. I was really lucky because my dad was always super supportive. He gave me my first film camera when I was 12 or 13. I'm so fortunate to have had so much experience while I was younger, when I could afford to waste film.

What was your first piece?

My first "piece". That's a hard question. I guess it was when I was little, eight or nine. The local art gallery came to my school and taught us a lesson with water colours and depth. My dad still has the painting and has been offered money for it, so I think that counts.

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What ticks you off?

Working in restaurants really pisses me off. I'm trying to avoid that kind of work right now. I'm also really upset with the state of humanity right now, corporations, and their greed at the cost of people's lives and the life of this planet. It makes me tick that I'm also a part of this problem because of my lifestyle, and I feel like a rock in a hard place. Sometimes I just want to go off the grid and retreat somewhere but I'm too addicted to my life and the city to leave.

How would you describe your work?

My work is very fluid, and I feel as though it's very observatory. It's energetic and inspired by funny people I see walking around or at the bar. It can also be sad, and it's very natural.

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What's the most challenging piece you've ever created?

For me my work is not really challenging in its technique. Because I'm self-trained I'm becoming more and more comfortable with my process and tools and I'm enjoying the challenge of learning, developing, and discovering on my own terms. The challenge for me is stability in my environment and where I live, which it's lack of has taken a toll on my productivity this year. In these cases though, I have a sketch pad and a camera so I stay sane.

Who are your favourite artists?

I love Anna Jenson's paintings, as well as Darby Milbrath. Norman Mclaren and his film work has always intrigued me, and Robert Mapplethorpe is my favourite photographer. I feel a deep connection to these artists work. The artists I am most inspired by will always be my friends though. It's so amazing to see them work, their processes and to be a part of their support. There's some amazing artists here in Montreal and I'm so fortunate that they are also dear to my heart.

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What are you currently working on?

Right now I just returned to my studio, so I'm working on a new big oil painting. I'm so excited. It's going to be a part of a larger series. I'm also working with my friend Leonie right now on a series of shows we've been curating. It's called Girls in the Garage, and it's a multidisciplinary showcase featuring art and music from women in and around Montreal. It's a really fun event and it's so empowering to bring all these women together in the name of art and liberation!

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When was the last time you tried something new?

Well I'm trying a new tea that I've never had before right now and I'm enjoying it. I also tried living I the country for a couple of months, I just returned a week ago. But I discovered the country isn't for me right now.

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Discover: You can view more of Ariel's work by heading here.