Canada’s Carlos Arriola Started Painting “Seriously” During Covid-19 & Look at the Results


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Some people are just born talented and that describes artist Carlos Arriola, who never took any formal training.

We caught up with Carlos from his home studio in Canada about his post-retirement “serious” pursuit of painting and some of his experiences building an art business.

His pieces include pastels and acrylics featuring landscapes, buildings, flowers, and animals, with more subject matter on the way.

Carlos, we’ve seen some really beautiful paintings on your ETChster profile. Can you tell us more about your aesthetic and subject matter?

I paint from memory and also from photos that some friends send me or from the site

Sometimes I just sit down at my easel and the ideas arrive.

I understand your art career really took off later in life…can you describe that process and your inspiration?

To tell you the truth, I started painting 40 years ago…very infrequently. I started to find out that I was able to transmit something from my head onto a canvas.

I had been painting perhaps one painting per year. I was a hotel executive without enough time to paint.

Carlos Arriola’s Studio

I have really started to paint seriously since the beginning of Covid-19. I’ve painted 55-60 paintings since then and I discovered a medium that I fell in love with: Pastels!

What do you like about pastels? What made you fall in love with them?

Pastels are very versatile and easy to use. They’re also as colorful as oils or acrylics.

No cleaning of brushes is required at the end. You don’t have to use mediums.

Best of all, pastels are stable for centuries, without cracking or damage that you expect with oil-based paints.

It appears you’ve been exploring different subject matter recently…Animals, for example. Do you have plans to try new themes in 2023?

I don’t get attached to any particular subject matter. I can paint flowers, animals, buildings, or landscapes. It’s all about what I’m feeling in the moment.

There’s one thing that I can’t paint though: faces!

Which of your paintings that visitors to your website can see is your favorite?

I love them all!

But I do not let myself get attached to any of my paintings in particular. I paint for my own pleasure, and I am happy when I finish a painting and it looks attractive and acceptable to me.

I believe you started your ETChster website after hearing about the community via The Working Artist. Can you tell us about that program?

I followed a course with Crista Cloutier that I found very well done and eye-opening in certain parts.

Following a good marketing strategy is a challenge for people that don’t have a lot of experience with computers and technology, but I’m making headway.

I’ve got a really nice collection of my work on my profile and have even transferred some physical NFTs to some of my buyers.

How are you finding transferring Etchings?

It is actually easy and the response has been that my collectors love the paintings!

I believe you had some previous challenges with building a website. Do you recall what they were?

I looked at a number of solutions that were expensive and I didn’t feel like that made sense when I was just getting started and not making any sales.

A number of them required some technical know-how as well. I prefer something that is very easy to maintain and requires no maintenance.

We got involved with crypto NFTs as a way to be sure that our pieces are differentiated from lower-quality imitations and anyone who comes across our work can find out more and potentially purchase a piece of their own.

Any business or marketing tips you want want to share with other ETChster community members?

Keep painting and don’t give up on your art business. Always paint for passion and if you want money, it will come.

Are you open to collaboration with other members?


What’s Next?

Did you:

  • Have follow-up questions?
  • Have other related thoughts that might be beneficial to the community?

Post them in the comments!

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Eddie Davis

Back in 2018, Eddie decided there had to be a better way. He a baby on the way and a house full of original art from his ancestors. So he started building an art collecting app to catalog each piece and capture its story. And then he started buying (or trying to buy) original art in his home town of Atlanta, Georgia, United States and quickly discovered that nearly all artists had broken, out-of-date websites and made it nearly impossible to buy their work. So he connected his catalog app to a maintenance-free artist website. Somewhere in the middle, crypto NFTs exploded and then imploded, and the ETChster global community grew to ~15,000 artists and art collectors of all walks of life. Et cetera...