Artist Profile: Adri Friebel

CHS senior discovers his artistic style, inspiration and the purpose of his art.


Creating art is like telling a story for Adri Friebel. Throughout his childhood, Friebel remembers creating pieces with his father, who is also an artist. Together, they would create projects like mazes that felt to him like going on adventures in faraway worlds.

Friebel continues this theme of storytelling in his art today. Recently, his work has consisted mostly of dark and eerie scenes, made using charcoal. He has always liked monochromatic art but was not sure where to start, until he found charcoal. He realized how well it lent itself to monochrome and created shadows, unlike painting.

“With painting you have to mix,” Friebel said. “You have your color, and then if you want to do a shadow for that, it’s a new color.”

Friebel enjoys the simplicity of charcoal. A piece of charcoal and an eraser is all he needs to create a piece.

Recently, Friebel has been creating remote nature scenes. He’s noticed that many of his new pieces seem to take the viewer back in time.

“I think subconsciously I’m doing that because I am a little tired of phones and I’m tired of social media,” Friebel said. “I just want to live on some property and tap trees for syrup, so I think that might be the message.”

Digital art has had an increased presence in the art world in recent years. Nowadays, there are A.I. generators that will create completely computer generated art pieces. Some have expressed their worries with this kind of art because it is making it harder for artists to make a living in today’s world. This is something Friebel isn’t concerned with. He’s confident in the idea that people connect to human made art in a way they never could with computer-generated art.

“People like the idea that it’s made by a human and that it took actual skill,” Friebel said. “People care about the specialness of a piece or about the meaning behind a piece.”

What draws Friebel to art is how he can use it as a communication tool even though it’s nothing like writing. He likes how he doesn’t have to say exactly what he means, it can be up for the viewer to interpret. Friebel has struggled with the concept of meaning in his art until recently, after he spoke with other artists. These conversations helped him realize what he wanted to be making and what he wanted to convey with it. He wanted to make people care.

“During class critiques, no one would really say the things they say now,” Friebel said. “Usually it was ‘You painted a robot, nice.’ Now it’s more, ‘This makes me feel a certain way.’”

Friebel doesn’t plan on going to school for art, but does want to continue the craft for his own enjoyment. He wants to continue creating worlds to get lost in.

“I don’t really want my job to be art because then it turns into a chore,” Friebel said.

He is currently planning on going into forestry to keep the connection to nature that is often present in his art. For now he’s enjoying the adventure of creating what he sees as the best art he has ever created.