Arielle Brochin was raised in a household of creativity. With a fashion designer mother and an artist father, the Elon senior said she was destined to eventually find her niche. While grounded during her sophomore year of high school, Brochin uncovered her own passion for art.
“The night that I started drawing with colored pencils opened up a whole new world for me,” Brochin said. “The rest of the time I was grounded, I spent it in my room drawing random objects. I remember being pretty surprised with myself, that I could draw and color so accurately. And to be honest, I had no idea the talent and potential I had unlocked.”
It wasn’t until she was stuck at home again due to the coronavirus pandemic that Brochin realized she could turn this passion into a career.
“I had such a set idea in my head that you had to have a 9-to-5 to make money. Once I really got into [art] during quarantine, I realized, ‘this is really what I want to do,’” Brochin said.
Brochin began creating art in both her advanced high school art classes and in her free time. Eventually, she wanted to share this talent with others, so during COVID-19, she turned to Instagram to showcase her artwork. The account and business @the_goldencanvas was born.
“The idea behind The Golden Canvas comes with a notion that anything can be a canvas,” Brochin said. “On The Golden Canvas page, I paint on anything from sweatpants to canvas to ashtrays, jewelry, plates, sneakers and more. The opportunities are endless.”
Brochin uses her platform to showcase the art she creates in both her free time and in her Elon art classes. This work consists of everything from oil paintings to color pencil drawings. Additionally, Brochin uses this platform as a way to reach potential customers who are interested in buying their own customizable piece.
In her latest commission — a piece for a couple’s anniversary — one of the customers wasn’t too sure what he wanted, so Brochin helped guide the client.
“I started asking him about what trips he has taken with his girlfriend. He mentioned they went to London last fall and visited a very beautiful high tea restaurant,” Brochin said. “This place holds a dear memory for them. So, I took that memory and that idea and am now painting a photo from their trip.”
In addition to regular clients, Brochin receives support from her close friends who know to look to her for a unique fashion find. Senior Alex Covello is one of these friends and a loyal customer of Brochin’s.
“I fell in love with my order from [Brochin]. It’s like she really knew exactly what I was looking for,” Covello said. “She was texting me with questions constantly and got it to me really fast. I’ve since then put in two orders for her.”
After launching her business in early March, Brochin’s work began to gain recognition and she built up a client base quickly.
“I just started doing free work for people kind of just to get my work out there, get my name out there to show people what I can make,” Brochin said. “Just like that, it took off.”
As an artist, Brochin doesn’t confine herself to a box and constantly tests new mediums for her work. Her artwork is multifaceted and reflects the mission of The Golden Canvas: to be unique and experimental.
Though the artwork embodies the brand, so does the customer experience. There’s something rare and exclusive about wearing a product that no one else has.
“[Brochin] was able to see a vision that I wasn’t able to see for myself and make it happen,” Covello said. “When I got the sweatpants, I posted them everywhere for everybody to see because they were custom-made. They were made specifically for me and I love that I couldn’t get them anywhere else.”
Brochin’s work reflects her two artistic styles: surrealism and hyperrealism. She draws inspiration from people like contemporary Australian artist CJ Hendry, who mirrors both her vision and passion for creating.
“I draw inspiration from other artists that are doing the same thing I’m doing now,” Brochin said. “Just trying to get their art out there and make a business out of it, make a living out of selling their art.”
Brochin believes one of the most rewarding aspects of @the_goldencanvas is the impact her work has on the customer.
“Usually someone asks me for a commission for someone’s birthday or anniversary, things like that,” Brochin said. “Seeing the reaction to the commission is one of the greatest feelings ever.”
Brochin is eager for the future of @the_goldencanvas. Recently, she has been working with other students and hopes to continue giving them a resume and work experience. In addition to collaborating, Brochin hopes that her work can have a greater impact on the world.
“I hope to reach a point where I have a large platform or following where I can influence others to care about art and how it impacts people’s happiness, as well as motivate other people to make a difference through my art,” Brochin said.