We had the good fortune of connecting with Ariel (ArieltheCreator) McMahon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ariel (ArieltheCreator), what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
It has always been my dream to do what I love and get paid for it, enough that I don’t have to work for anyone else. Because I value my freedom above most other things. To date, I’ve had at least 4 businesses, and I realized that the process is not a straight line forward. You have to go through a lot of trial and error to get to a place that works, and even then, that still may not be the final destination. My past businesses are the reason my current business is thriving. ATC Studios is my graphic design company, and it has done the best out of all the businesses I’ve attempted to start. Growth and progress doesn’t come without its frustrations, though, and while on my journey, I’ve learned that keeping your goal in front of you is key. I realized that not only did I want fulfillment and freedom, but I also want that same thing for my friends and family as well as any other hardworking human being out there.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I can’t recall a time where I was not an artist; I was born this way. My first “job” was for a comic company my father made up to give me experience since when I was younger, I wanted to move to Japan and be a comic artist. Fast forward to college, I strived to go to school for graphic design. However, my loan application was denied, and I stopped creating, slowly but surely. 10 years later, I own my own graphic design agency called ATC Studios, and I’m on pace to making six figures my first year in business. It has not been easy, and the whole journey makes me proud. I’m still learning, but I’m most excited about taking on more illustration projects for large companies. If the world needed to know one thing about my story that could help them is to never, ever give up. Slow down if you must, but don’t stop.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Okay so some of my favorite restaurants include Soul Food Vegan – that mushroom poboy is sooooo good – Turkey Leg Hut, Frank’s Grill, and Pappadeaux. Some of my favorite places to visit are the Museum of Fine Arts, Discovery Green, the Galleria and there are so many beautiful music venues! My favorite is the Fresh Oranges show, especially if you’re looking for good people and good vibes. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This is like having a speech after receiving an award; there’s just so many people to thank! Maybe I’ll just list them all? Madison Thomas, Tim Seriki, Johnny and Anissa McMahon, Alexis McMahon, Jeremy McMahon, Keith McWilliams, Crystal Stewart and the Miss Houston Pageant, Tiffany Williams and Rich Girl Collective, AlCyone Gunn, Armand Johnson, Langston Hunter, Niecy Walls and the Heels and Hustle Group…gosh I know I’m forgetting some people for sure…
Other: www.instagram.com/atc.studios (business Instagram) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCty5BSJbxE1w3qxA1lBpe-A (personal Youtube)