We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachel, how do you think about risk?
I think that all Artists + Creatives are inherently “Risk Takers”. To willingly throw oneself into a career path as a Creative means entering un-chartered territory with so many unknowns. For me personally, I LOVE the challenge and “risk” associated with being a Creative Entrepreneur… the mental stimulation that comes from pursuing this particular path has become something that is rather addictive. Risk-taking is in my genetic code I suppose- my parents are adventure junkies, which means from an early age I was on the back of motorcycles, climbing mountains, (willingly) jumping off cliffs, and learning all about conquering my fears. In my early twenties, I scratched this itch with travel to off-the-beaten path places and moving from my small Missouri hometown to Los Angeles, CA… where I eventually discovered my real passion, which is combining Art + Entrepreneurship and starting my own business. Being a working Artist means you have to be fearless and vulnerable every day- by continuously putting yourself out there and exposing yourself to criticism and rejection. Once you get over the fear of looking like a fool and making mistakes (which are inevitable) the world is truly your playground.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a full-time painter who works mostly in watercolor and inks. I *accidentally* figured out a way to use watercolor on canvas (vs. watercolor paper) so I’m able to work very large scale. While I enjoy painting a wide variety of subjects, my favorite subject to paint is animals. I try to give them very distinct personalities and really bring out the essence of their soul through their eyes. My work is whimsical and light-hearted.. which after the year we’ve all just experienced.. we could all use a little more of that. For the first couple of years, I truly was living “painting to painting” and although it was hard financially at times.. I was so grateful to be doing art as my actual job that I didn’t mind being poor and sharing a studio apartment (with a VERY patient roommate who put up with my painting messes!) I was grinding away and said yes to any and every opportunity that came my way and sold my art at a Flea Market on the weekends. I got my “big break” from an interior design firm called Studio Collective- they hired my to fill a boutique hotel called “The Landsby” with my art. After I dropped off the 200+ paintings for that project I knew my life was about to change for the better and go from just “surviving” as an artist to genuinely thriving. I am forever grateful for the crew at Studio Collective (Leslie, Adam, Christian, Nicole and Allison) for taking a risk on me for that project. The most important lesson I’ve learned along the way is to treat EVERY project like an important one.. give 110% effort and it will eventually pay off.
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.
I recently moved to Austin (from NYC and LA) and am having a blast exploring this dynamic new city, and having friends in town to visit gives me an excuse to show them around while discovering new gems myself. My idea of a perfect day in Austin would be to meet friends at The Line hotel and grab a Matcha from Alfred, mosey over to VeraCruz tacos for a Migas Taco or two.. and then post up by the Austin Motel pool for the afternoon. After that, I would grab dinner at Launderette and then hit up live music at The Continental Club (post-Covid, of course). For a more relaxed day, I love going paddle boarding on Lady Bird lake and going to La Holly for margs + the Taco Flats food truck. For shopping, my faves are Nina Berenato jewelry at the Domain Uncommon Objects for antiques and home goods.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My Mom. She was my art teacher from Kindergarten through my Senior Year of high school. She is an incredibly talented artist herself, but teaching was/is her true passion. She never awarded grades based on talent, but on effort.. and she truly believes that every one is an artist.. and brought untapped potential out in all of her students by offering a non-judgmental and encouraging environment where kids felt safe to express themselves.