Featured Artist: Celeste Arteaga

by Josiah Lerman

Celeste Arteaga is a freshman studying film at John Paul the Great Catholic University. She has decided to switch to the New Evangelization emphasis to apply philosophy and theology into her music and storytelling.

JL: What are your interests?

CA: So, I’m a directing major right now. I’m going to be switching to New [Evangelization] actually, just to get some more like theology and philosophy stuff. But I think I’m interested still in production, maybe moving more to like producing. I’ve been doing music basically like my whole life. I got my first guitar when I was four. My whole family is really musical. My uncles taught me guitar chords and stuff like that, but I actually mostly learned on YouTube. So, I’ve never taken lessons or anything. I just learned by ear.

JL: How do you like being a musician?

CA: It’s cool. I like it. For a while, I was thinking I would want to like pursue it professionally. I used to do gigs a lot in Texas. I lived right outside of Austin, which is like live music capitol, so there was lot of opportunity. It was fun, but it’s intense. I mean, film is intense too, but [music] didn’t really stick, I guess [professionally]. But I still play, and I’m playing for SOUL [Campus Apostolate] a lot right now. I like leading worship, mostly.

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JL: What led you to join SOUL?

CA: I actually didn’t really like ask or come to them about it. I don’t know. It just kind of happened. I would sometimes, with like a group of my friends, we would just go to the chapel and do some praise and worship. And I guess after Jackie left, and Kyle too, you know there was a need. So, I’m gonna just be like helping out Sienna . . . I love to do it.

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JL: Why did you decide on JPCatholic?

CA: There’s really no other good Catholic film school. I decided I wanted to pursue film, but I knew that I would like, going into this industry especially as a Catholic, I would need to be further grounded in my faith to make sure that I stick with it throughout my career. So, I felt like JPCatholic would do that.

JL: Could you elaborate on your switch to the New Evangelization emphasis?

CA: I think when I came [to JPCatholic], I was like, “Oh, I want to go into like film and like Hollywood and stuff,” but I don’t know. Being here, when I thought about the stories and stuff I want to tell, they all kind of . . . I guess they were more explicitly Christian than I thought. So, I think the direction I’m going in now, I kind of want to do more maybe ministry based stuff, but just like creating good Catholic content. That could change, but I thought the switch would be good, just to get more theology and philosophy.

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JL: In light of this change, how has your faith changed your artistic choices?

CA: Well, I actually don’t have a lot of experience in film. So, most of the art that I did was music, and that was a struggle for me when I was thinking about if I wanted to pursue it professionally because I didn’t think that I wanted to do like Christian music. I feel like it’s a little bit different with film.

JL: What is it about film that you like?

CA: I love storytelling. I got into storytelling in middle school when I started doing theater. I kept that up in high school. But I think that what really draws me to film is like the group part of it. You really rely on other people, and I think that that’s really cool. I could never be like just a writer. I need to be working with people, so I like that part of it.