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We Are Dallas College: Arianna Castillo

Arianna Castillo

Dallas College student, School of Creative Arts, Entertainment and Design

Where does your passion for art come from?

Art is something I have to do. I’m fortunate right now to pretty much make it my living. Back in middle school, I started getting into realism and portraitures. I realized art was something I could really do when one of my art pieces was highly rated. After high school, I knew it was something I wanted to take more seriously and focus on. I was an architect major before COVID-19 hit, but I knew it wasn’t right. I thought, I either continue down the architecture path and deal with student loans or become an artist and save a lot of money by going to Dallas College — especially at the Richland Campus. There are many amazing art professors. Some who have gone through a full ride scholarship at SMU. Shout out to Marian Lefeld and Emily LaCour who have been big influences for me.

How would you describe your artistic style?

I like to create gothic surrealism. There’s almost a psychedelic feature to my art, which could present itself as unsettling but through the colors I use, it can be very inviting and alluring. My artist name is Girl Plastic, which is the story of my art and the meaning behind it all. At heart, we all have many insecurities and a desire to chase perfection. That’s what my art is all about: what is (beyond) those ideas and concepts?

Have you participated in any art shows?

I haven’t done many art shows. I’m continuing to get my name out there as an artist and working on collaborative projects, so I participate and create some art shows.

Who or what are your influences for your artwork?

I definitely use art as my own diary. Going back to Girl Plastic and my own personal experiences, a lot of my art currently explores the idea of what it’s like to be on display and having to almost sell yourself to the world. Being something that people will pick at in a way. The artists I’m inspired by include Zdzisław Beksiński, Gustave Doré and Frida Kahlo.

What advice do you have for others being their true authentic selves?

We all have insecurities. And at the end of the day, everyone feels judged, but we’re also judging others simultaneously. You have to love yourself and be confident in who you are. Nobody is going to do that (for you) except yourself. You are responsible for creating your own reality. You have to pour yourself into it and believe that whatever you desire will come to you. Art is something I have to do and need to do. 

When you’re on campus, do you feel like you are an authentic version of yourself?

I definitely feel confident and comfortable being myself when I’m on campus. The college is full of diversity and provides the opportunity for you to meet all kinds of people. For me, I know some of the people I’ve met here will be people that I’ll be connected with forever. Being surrounded by people who you’re comfortable with is encouraging and allows you to be your true authentic self.

What is something you’ve learned from being at Dallas College?

The knowledge I learned from all my professors. Art should not only look good, but it should make you feel something and there should be a meaning behind it. I want to create good art, which of course is subjective and means something different to everyone.

What advice would you give to new students?

I live by this idea: Life is a game, and you better play it. Invest yourself in whatever you love to do. Whatever interests you have you can make a career out of it. I’ve learned how to commit to something because that’s when you’ll reach your full potential. Especially when it comes to art, if you’re investing in all you’ve got and you want the best for yourself, you’ll get to that point. It’s just a matter of commitment.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

The end goal of my life is to live in Mexico, but my ultimate goal is to buy a house.  For the time being, I just want to create and put things out into the world and leave a legacy behind. When we die, the question is what am I going to leave behind? I want to be proud and think of all the things I was able to put out into the world. I want to leave a mark so people remember me, so they know my existence was real and that I was here. I’m still figuring out where I want to be in the next several years. I’m creating clothes and want to see where that leads me and also doing a tattoo apprenticeship. From there, we’ll just see what’s next!

Dallas College art student Arianna Castillo

Published inStudent Success StoryWhy Dallas College?