Debbie Marie Cetani/Arambula was born on a hot summer’s day in Tucson, Arizona at Davis-Monthan Air Force base, on July 9th 1960, where her father was nearing the end of his term.
At 6 months old Debbie’s parents traveled to their home town, San Jose, California, buying their first home in Almaden Valley, a suburb of San Jose, where she grew up surrounded by mountains & fields of cherry blossoms as far as the eye could see, this would be the true birth spot of her inspiration.
At the age of two, cute as Shirley Temple (and who isn’t at that age?) her mother entered Debbie in her first beauty contest.
“I remember standing on a big stage at Montgomery Theater in downtown San Jose in my red & white polka dot dress and every one in the audience was smiling and clapping enthusiastically. I stood there in wonderment of how incredible it was that I could make so many people happy & all at one time. Little did I know that I had won first place. Although I didn’t understand what was going on, all I knew is that I was making people really, really happy. It was at that point that I knew that this is was my calling in life, making a lot of people’s hearts smile!”
With the determination & dedication of her loving mother, and her romantic nature and love for black and white classic movies, Debbie started a dance/performance career at the age of three. Her mother instilled in Debbie the idea & confidence that she could do and be anything in life.
It was thru this encouragement that Debbie became very confident on stage and her genuine love of people grew.
“I remember performing at fairs, convalescent homes, recitals, pool parties….. I think for me the convalescent homes had the most emotional impact on me and nurtured deep inside me that giving life to others, thru the art of dance, music and to inspiring happiness, relief, hope, care, love was my passion!”
From the moment she can remember music became a big inspiration in her life. Through the adoring affection of her father, and his greatness in leadership, his great taste in music and natural ability to play the piano, he melted her heart and exposed her to Jazz and 1940’s Standards. Debbie found her muses that would serve her for years to come. “I remember when I was a little girl sitting on my Dad’s lap by the piano and he would play & we would sing. Oh how I loved these special moments. I cherished them.
“Most of my beloved summers where sprinkled with stays in Santa Rosa/wine country, a location that would become my souls retreat and nurture every step of the my artistic awakening & journey” visiting my favorite cousin, Annie & grandmother, whom was struggling to find her voice in art, constantly encouraging & instilling in me, despite my disbelief, that I was truly an artist. I remember she would hang my paintings in her bedroom and glorify them when I arrived. She would always tell me that I was an artist. Beyond words both women are deeply inspirational to me as an artist.
I couldn’t see what she could in me, but she always stayed true to her beliefs in my ability and talent encouraging me even on her death bed. She loved me unconditionally and saw something in me that would not blossom until I saw it in myself at the age of 35.
Check out Debbie’s new video of 21 Years of Creating Love