I remember the first time I saw Rachel’s work, there was a strange but familiar sensation, I felt I had the urge to take a bite of all of the colors and to feel the creamy sensation of the oil pastels in my mouth. There weren’t any conventional aspects on the drawings, the shapes or the colors and I loved that. What makes the work exciting is perhaps that I can tell she’s not trying to please anyone. She IS an artist, she doesn’t live to get people’s attention, likes or followers, she probably just lives to feel and make art. We talked with Rachel to know more about her work and her experience as an artist.
Bubble Gum: Tell us a brief introduction on who is Rachel? Rachel: Rachel is a person made of flesh, blood, and bones. Rachel likes to draw and make pictures.
BG: When did you start drawing? Do you remember your first drawing? R: I definitely enjoyed drawing a lot as a little kid, a lot of drawings of my dream house. It brought me joy to draw and still does. I thought I was good at it and still do. And I knew I was good at it because I was bad at other things like math, reading and writing.
BG: How does your surroundings influence your work? R: Ultimately whatever I am making is coming from inside of me but whatever is going on around can seep into the picture too, if I am in my bedroom and it’s raining outside or if I am sitting outside on the ground with bugs crawling around.
BG: I can see you do a lot of self-portraits, what role does the perception of your identity play in your work? R: My nature is shy and introverted, so I counteract this by putting myself in the picture, I aim to embarrass myself. There is a lot of fear of shame and embarrassment, but I don’t want to live in fear. And often once you face fears, they are not scary anymore, they seem silly.
BG: What is your perception of the art scene both in the UK and internationally? R: I don’t know, there are a lot of amazing artists all over the world, the Internet has helped us all keep connecting. But still there is always a competitiveness and snobbery that can happen – born out of living in capitalist society. I would like us all to keep raising each other up as much as we can. The current thing people fixate on is stuff like how many followers and likes you have on Instagram. These things only have power if people give them power, it means nothing really. But if you find yourself in a comfortable position then stop and make sure others around are also doing ok.
BG: What does the future hold for Rachel? R: I would like sunshine and friends and swimming in the sea and more giving and receiving of tattoos. More creative connecting and community consciousness.
BG: What artists (current) influence your work? R: Always seeing more and more amazing gorgeous artists through the Internet, I made an ‘artists’ highlight on my Instagram. One of my favourite artists through Instagram is Pretty Pillow Princess, everything she makes and creates is very exciting and inspiring and vulnerable and strong. Sue Kreitzman is also always wonderful, and her house is completely dreamy.
BG: Can you describe your work environment? How is the city where you live? R: Messy
To see more of Rachel’s work go here.