We spoke to Arielle Estoria, the talented author, actor, artist, and spoken word poet who creates environments and spaces where her audiences are able to be vulnerable and feel seen.
Arielle tells us about how she got started in her work, how brands should be including BIPOC communities, and what she hopes her listeners take from her poetry.
For those that are unfamiliar with what you do, can you share a little bit about yourself and your work?
Of course, my name is Arielle Estoria, I am a creative in multiple fields but focusing on poetry, writing and content creation. I have a motto that I created when I first started to freelance and that was, “words not for the ears but for the soul”. I have a heart and mission in making sure my work is not just heard but felt, experienced and walked away with.
Whether that work be poetry written or experienced in person or an encouraging word on my social media, I want people to feel more known and seen than when they first encountered my words.
What drew you to your journey of writing and spoken word poetry?
I have always been drawn to writing. I would scribble words in my journals in elementary school and write poems about sunsets and boys with blue eyes and that stuck with me now in my thirties. I process the world best through my poetry and by saying it out-loud with strangers or familiar faces. In college as I explored more art forms outside of acting, (I went to an Arts high school and double majored in theatre for my first two years of college) I found the art of spoken word (or well it found me) and I have been in love ever since.
Although there are many types of poetry, you focus on spoken word. Why do you think this form of poetry is so powerful?
I think there’s something really monumental about having the words almost exhaled off of a page and into the ears of people. I think there’s something really dynamic and intimate about sharing parts of my story and watching how beautifully it connects with other people. I have always been drawn to the stage, as I said before, and though acting was a space where I could step into the shoes of other people and explore their life and experiences, spoken word poetry became a place where I could explore my own.
Your newest video, “What a Miracle”, highlights the beauty and movement of Black Women. What do you think brands, like ours, should be actively doing to encourage the inclusion of Black women, as well as all BIPOC communities?
The conversation is a continuous one. That you’re doing the work of radical inclusion so much so that it doesn’t have to be a check in every time Black Lives matter is trending, it’s about creating a world and a brand where anyone can look and find representation and solidarity that who they are is not just tolerated but accepted, embraced and intimately connected.
We always talk about making space at the table and that is a good first step but it can just be a placeholder. It has to be active and interactive for it to make real, meaningful and transformative change.
What is an unforgettable experience that your platform has given you that you never thought you could’ve had otherwise?
I am a huge believer in the right moment at the right time. So I think a lot of orchestration is not necessarily happenstance but divinely orchestrated. I have had MANY opportunities through the platform I've created that has been above and beyond my WILDEST dreams.
One coming up is a mural of a piece I wrote for a campaign I did with the brand, Pure Tea Leaf, they loved the poem so much that they’re turning it into a mural in LA and New York!! So if you’re in either of those places, check my Instagram for the location and release of that beautiful opportunity.
We love that you talk about meditation and mindfulness through your Instagram. How have these two practices impacted the life you lead today?
Stillness has always been my greatest challenge and so I have tried to make it part of my own intentional habit building. I want to be comfortable with stillness, with going deep and getting present. Using the Calm app has been a great tool but also I love going to the park or beach and sitting in stillness before I read or play or do whatever I’m there to do and let the wind or the waves be my meditation sound to focus on for a few minutes.
Whenever I feel as though my mind is a chaotic place, I stop what I’m doing and focus on my breath; I can get pretty overwhelmed and overstimulated a lot so when I need to take a moment to ground myself then I make sure to do that.
Although you speak to virtual audiences, you also host in-person events. How did the past year affect your work?
Oh Gosh, It was AWFUL. So much of what I do depends on people so not being able to be around them for so long was really heartbreaking to be honest. The virtual attempts definitely help but they're absolutely not the same.
We’re in a space now, where slowly and sometimes in person events and shows are beginning to start up again but they have to be meticulously planned and usually outside (which is actually my favorite so it’s been fun). It’s definitely not the same as it has been in the past but I’m so blessed to have anything at this point.
Any exciting, upcoming projects we can look forward to seeing from you?
Yes lots! The mural mentioned above is the biggest and lots of other fun stuff coming up as well so make sure to keep in tune with my page.