Artist Bio

Ariel Villaseñor was born in Oakland, California and raised on the San Francisco Bay Area island of Alameda.

His first artistic influences came from Hector Villaseñor, his father, an immigrant from Mexico who operated printing presses for a local radio station. In retrospect, Hector, also a skilled carpenter with interests & talents in audio recording, auto repair, cooking, & photography, provided the subconscious belief that anything creative to which one set their mind could be accomplished.

  • an invigorating aroma of freshly cut lumber in the garage, which transformed into objects of function & beauty...
  • the distinct & somehow mysterious smell of ink in the print shop, filled with hulking machinery of creation...
  • around the house, drawers of cables & gear for various audio engineering tasks...
  • a large, self made family portrait hung high on the wall...

A few of the experiences and memories which colored Ariel’s early mind.

Other early artistic influences came from the households large collection of National Geographic magazines, the work of M.C. Escher, and The Secret City Adventures, a PBS television show featuring Mark Kistler, the Bob Ross of drawing, who taught kids perspective, shading, and other drawing skills in an engaging & entertaining way. 

Ariel left art behind at an early age due to recommendations to pursue a practical career in the growing field of Information Technology. However the resulting 20+ year period of left brained problem solving, along with some health challenges, eventually led to unavoidable desires to see the world in a different light, and to manifest artifacts inspired by the alternative hemisphere. His slow return to the arts was immeasurably assisted by the advent of advanced mobile phones, specifically the iPhone, which allowed for near effortless & always available exercising of the artistic eye, along with Instagram’s vibrant & encouraging community of artists & patrons.

Ariel’s current artistic philosophy is simple, create whatever the soul seeks to manifest, as carefully and as beautifully as possible, without any thought to maintaining any sort of recognizable “personal style”. Patterns recognized in hindsight are acceptable, but as much as possible intended stylistic limitations are consciously avoided.

Having spent a period photographing found ephemera in urban & natural settings, Ariel is now practicing with studio portraiture & editorial photography, as well fine art print making, and more recently, metalworking.

Ariel’s desire for creative freedom is summed up in a quote by Ansel Adams:


“There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.”