Ariel Adkins is the Curator of Art, Culture & Community at Twitter. As part of the Culture & Community team, she works directly with marginalized communities on Twitter to make sure their voices are heard, elevating their work to broader audiences.
Here is what Ariel had to say when we asked her about embracing the creator’s mindset:
What does your role as Curator of Art, Culture & Community at Twitter entail?
As a member of Twitter’s Culture & Community team, I work to elevate important voices from marginalized communities on the platform, specifically focused on visual art and creativity. While I love this role, I want to mention that I joined the company in a different role, with the hopes to build the job I wanted within Twitter. While I was in that role, I jumped into projects on different teams, which allowed me to gain experience and knowledge. This gave me the leverage to create my current role, and shows that you should never be limited by a job description.
You are also the founder of Artfully Awear. Can you tell us more about Artfully Awear and what inspired you to found it?
I wanted people to engage with art in a more creative way, so I came up with Artfully Awear, which is a movement dovetailing art and clothing. I produce garments inspired by artwork from all different genres, mediums, and eras, all over the world. Believing that the best way to appreciate art is to do it yourself, I have created over 100 one-of-a-kind pieces of clothing that recreate artwork in a wearable form. I also encourage others to harness their inspiration by offering a peek into the process behind my work on my Instagram account, @artfullyawear, and I teach workshops and lectures.
You say that your goal is to be a work of art each day. What does this mean and how can you embrace this mindset?
This means that every day is a new blank canvas. Every day, you get to ask yourself, “How am I going to live today? What mark do I get to leave?” Answering these questions will allow you to live as a work of art.
How can you incorporate creativity into your daily life?
Initially, you have to be intentional about it. Set aside 5 minutes every day to do something creative. You can paint, draw, cook, or write—the creativity is endless! Now, instead of five minutes, I have “passion hours,” and my best ideas always come from these.
What is one tip you have for navigating Instagram as a creative?
It might sound simple, but if you want people to engage with you on Instagram, engage with them and their content! Follow hashtags, ask questions, and participate in conversations. Most importantly, be nice. Treat others how you want to be treated.
What advice do you have for students in high school and college?
Always do your research and know what you are talking about. Whether you are running for class president or interviewing for an internship, knowledge is power. Also, when you are interviewing for internships and jobs, always tell the company how you will add value and help the organization. Maybe you’ll bring in money through sales or increase social media followers. Make companies see that they need you.
Ariel Adkins is the Curator of Art, Culture & Community at Twitter. As part of the Culture & Community team, she works directly with marginalized communities on Twitter to make sure their voices are heard, elevating their work to broader audiences. A seven-year veteran “Tweep,” she launched Twitter’s first ever program aimed at engaging with and supporting the art community, resulting in a new and self-made position that allows her to focus on art and creative pursuits full-time. She now works cross-functionally to ensure that art enriches work across the company. Ariel maintains her own art practice, called Artfully Awear, dovetailing art and clothing into wearable garments that she uses to engage with communities around the world, lecturing and teaching on the topic of “How to Dress Like a Work of Art” and “Create Your Own Masterpiece.” She is also the founder of The Art Book Salon, an artful academic reading group and social club. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.