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Life & Work with Adrienne Aragon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Adrienne Aragon.

Hi Adrienne, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I launched my business in an effort to showcase all of my creative projects on one platform or under one brand. Prior to launching Aesthete, my social media presence was strictly for music. I boxed myself into this singular artistic identity, which led to burning out in that area. I had so much more to offer than solely music, and ended up with a vast array of “hidden” projects (such as photography, art, and writing). After a year of brainstorming how to best release these projects into the world, I came up with the idea of Aesthete. This business gives me the freedom of movement between many creative projects. As of right now, I am releasing my entomology art, music and music video projects, and photography under Aesthete. I have a few unannounced projects in the works at this time that will expand the platform to encompass different art mediums and more of my own poetry and academic writing. As my audience and collaborative business opportunities grow, I would like to set up a blog space and build a community that showcases fellow creators and multi-talented artists.

“Aesthete” /ˈesˌTHēt/ is a noun, meaning “a person who has or affects to have a special appreciation of art and beauty.” It first appeared in the late 19th century. Much of my work draws inspiration from the Aesthetic/Decadence movement, Victorian Gothic, and Pre-Raphaelites. The term felt fitting to describe me as an individual, a creator, and the basis of my creative drive.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest challenge has been the legal side of launching my business. Since I am the sole operator behind Aesthete, that puts me in charge of the legal, financial, technical, and shipping/handling aspects of the business, too. I am grateful to know several local business owners and freelancers who have offered guidance and advice when I ask. I am still in the early stages and know that there is so much for me to learn and a tremendous amount of growth and improvement ahead. The challenge I am beginning to face now that my audience is beginning to expand is time management. There are months where my books for custom orders, photoshoots, and my own projects are back to back, which can get chaotic. Having a wide range of talents to offer requires that I greatly limit my books/openings to ensure that I can dedicate myself fully to each customer and each project. This is especially the case since I am still in school full time! My schedule is often jam packed, but thankfully with all of the things that bring me joy!

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Aesthete is a creative platform and collection of works made by me! I am an artist, musician, model, and photographer. My work draws inspiration from darkness and balances beauty with haunting melancholy. I create entomology art with ethically and responsibly sourced specimens and natural materials. I work with dried insects and florals to create unique and encaptivating art pieces that balance the stillness and beauty between life and death. Over the years, photography has become my love language to the world. Many are fearful of what lies in darkness, and I utilize the camera as a way to share with others the beauty that I see on the other side. When it comes to my work, I like to think of myself as a moon, encapsulated in darkness, reflecting light back to those who choose to look. I describe my music as “dark indie.” My music sits somewhere between ethereal beauty and haunting melancholia, with a touch of cinematic drama. I recently released my latest single and music video, “Sunshine//Suicide,” on Winter Solstice (the darkest day of the year). Someone described the track as an “international espionage movie meets cheerful depression.” And a viewer described the video as a “gorgeous slice of vampirical mystique.” All of my creative work is available to browse on my website!

What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
The biggest lesson that I have learned over the years is simply not to rely on others. There have been so many missed opportunities in my life as a result of waiting on someone else, or having plans fall through at the last minute. At some point I realized that diving in alone is not a bad thing. My younger self was so opposed to experiencing life alone, or pursuing creative work opportunities alone. The moment that I made this realization was when a fellow musician backed out on me a few hours before our gig that evening. It was my first show opening for an international touring band who sold out the venue. I could either back out of the show entirely, or face my fear of performing on a stage alone. I chose the latter, and will never forget how special that night was. I have learned that taking on projects and experiences leaves me with an unequalled sense of freedom and joy. That sense of freedom is ultimately what led me to create Aesthete. At the end of the day, I have learned that nothing is more rewarding than completing a project from start to finish without dependency upon anyone else. That being said, I will always love and welcome collaborations with fellow creatives! And it is a joy for me to learn from other creatives and their wealth of knowledge. I have simply learned that collaborative creativity does not require dependency.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:
Adrienne Aragon and Kristen Autret

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