Author Rachael Taylor – successful artist, pattern designer, entrepreneur, and the co-founder of the Make It In Design online education platform – shares creative motivation and guidance that will help you achieve your goals and thrive.
➢ Identify how to begin, find, and sustain inspiration and cultivate creative courage
➢ Clarify your vision and consider how you need to evolve
➢ Stay motivated and establish creative longevity
➢ Shift gears to set sights on your next goal as you reach each destination
➢ Create with intention and acknowledge – and embrace – your creative power
BUY her book POWER UP YOUR CREATIVITY here or wherever books are sold.
Connect with Rachael
Make It In Design - https://makeitindesign.com/livehub/
Resources for SCIENCE-based information
Susan G. Komen Foundation
National Breast Cancer Foundation
Memorial Sloane Kettering - Cancer Experts
Connect with Marci
PTH 90 Rachael Taylor Episode
[00:00:00] I try to explore all of the feelings and I always say, you know, feel all the feels and, and use creativity to comfort you in a bad time if you feel up to it sometimes, you know, we don't wanna do that, we just wanna sit on the sofa and watch Netflix or whatever, you know, whatever works for you. And then you know, the same if you are good, you know, pouring that energy into your work.
Hello everyone and welcome to Permission to Heal. I am Marci Brockman and I am really thrilled that you are here. This is the last episode of the second season of Permission to Heal. I am after this episode, taking a six to eight week hiatus. All know that I am in the throes of breast cancer and treatment and surgery and recuperation and all of that.
[00:00:38] So I am clearing my life out so that I can focus during that time solely on healing and peace and rest, self care, self-compassion, self. Okay, so that being said, this episode 90 of Permission to Heal. My guest is Rachel Taylor. Rachel is an award-winning art director, a creative mentor, and print and pattern designer. She is best known for her quirky style. Her daring use of color and her unique innovation. She regularly takes on design commissions for various companies and has created prints and patterns for almost every part of the marketplace. She is a trademarked brand with a number of licensed products worldwide.
[00:01:30] Rachel is also a much loved coach and creative mentor who is well known for her friendly, honest, and motivational teaching style as the co-founder of Make It In Design. She has developed a groundbreaking educational platform and has taught more than 25,000 students across 100 countries. Rachel has been featured in many printed online publications, including House Beautiful, Red Molly Makes and Home Style and on it V, the BBC and Channel four.
[00:02:02] She is also a member of the UK government's anti copying and design sector council, and a regular speaker for design industry. You can follow Rachel on Instagram and on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and LinkedIn and her website, and all of it will be in the show notes.
[00:02:21] What I find so amazing about Rachel and the book that she has written that is coming out, I believe the publication date in the United States is November. And a couple of months later in the uk. Her book is called Power Up Your Creativity, Ignite Your Creative Spark, Develop a Productive Practice, Set Goals, and Achieve Your Dreams.
[00:02:46] And the reason that I had her on the show is because the way that she frames creativity and visual art, design, artistry, whatever the creation of visual art, it doesn't require. What we think of as artistic talent, it just requires you to be present with yourself, to try to get in touch with your inner authenticity and your heart, and have a pencil and a piece of paper and maybe a drink, you know, iced long Island iced tea, whatever. Because so much of my own healing journey has been manifested and urged along through almost 40 years of keeping journals and really 51 years of. Creativity. I remember very specifically having design ideas or drawing ideas when I was three in nursery school. And using the power of verbal and visual art has really allowed me to get in touch with all of my feelings and manifest for myself.
[00:04:06] What my own values are and what I want out of life, and get to know myself and learn how to try things without being afraid to fail, without being afraid of, you know, oh my God, it's not perfect. Or what if it comes out badly? You just start over again. You know? You don't have to have a degree in art to be an artist, you know, and her book is visually aesthetically gorgeous, and there are so many quotes, so many things that she says in her book that are so in line with the mission and the values of this podcast and of my life and of my own book, Permission to Land. Here. She says, Give yourself permission to pause, reflect, and be free.
[00:05:02] It's your journey. Follow your weird. If we dream small, we act small use your emotions to fuel your creativity. Remember that growth could be uncomfortable and painful, but it's also necessary and beautiful and is a process. Be as kind to yourself as you are to others. Asking for help and, and getting rest is not power is power, not weakness.
[00:05:30] You are your only limit. Give yourself the creative freedom to bloom and know that you can create anything you put your mind to. All of these came right out of her book, and I would challenge any of you to find a single episode of this podcast where these ideas are not present. This is everything that I have been talking about, and it's just taking on a visual art form.
[00:05:54] And so I hope that you go by yourself a box of crayons or colored pencils or magic markers, and get a sketch pad or a coloring book or something and just. Paint color, create something that speaks to the mood that you're in, to the, the color palette of your emotions and your spirit. It's. Fun. Allow yourself the freedom to create and be creative.
[00:06:23] And even if you do it in secret, even if you do it for your own, only your own enjoyment and keep it away from other people, you know, there's no, no reason you have to share it with the world, but you can if you want to. I would love to see what you create. So listen to yourself. Don't be afraid. Go bold into color and into new things and see what happens.
Hello. Hello, Rachel. So lovely to meet you. And I'd been looking forward to this conversation because I got a copy of your book from your publicist.
[00:00:06] It's not quite out in the United States yet or in the uk, but it's so great. Oh, thank you. Yeah, it's all, it's almost time for release day and I'm kind of excited, but kind of super nervous as well, but really excited. Mostly . It's. Beautiful. Thank you. Look at the colors, the pictures, the photographs, the placement of everything.
[00:00:30] It's power up your creativity, but it is such an aesthetically pleasing book that, Thank you even just to look at it is inspiring. Like I wanna. Take out my paint and start painting again. Oh, it got a little emotional when you said that. A little sugar down my spine. Oh, thank you. I literally poured my heart and soul into everything.
[00:00:50] Not just the words, but the whole kind of creative vision from the beginning was how it was marketed. Big shout out to my assistant, Kelly Crossley, who, helps at the studio. She's my studio manager and she assisted with, with the design of the book also. And we, I think, and also really grateful to my publisher for just allowing me to like, inject me into everything and trust and my kind of vision for it.
[00:01:14] And, and they really allowed us to do that. And it was a lot of effort and you know, it was a real, yeah, it was just, it was. It just felt really natural and organic, but a heck of a lot of hard work at the same time. . Absolutely. Absolutely. So, so you have a, a platform called Make It In, Make it in Design, right?
[00:01:34] Yeah. What would you tell, tell us a little bit about that. Yeah, so we are a online design school. Um, the first focus in on surface pattern design. We've been running now, gosh, almost 11 years. So, you know, way back when no one was really doing online courses and particularly design courses. Anyway, we were, you know, one of the first out there and, um, it's just kind of exploded over the years.
[00:02:01] So, myself and my fellow business part, uh, my business partner, Beth Kemp. Who's also a great writer by the way. We joined forces and she kind of approached me about, you know, this kind of e-course concept. Mm-hmm. , and then we got our heads together. We were like, There's a gap in the market. There should be more than one course.
[00:02:20] And then when we did one course and it did well, we got industry people interested, word of mouth, people saying great things, students going on to do great things. And it's just grown, you know? So we've got multiple courses now. We did start out very surf pattern. I focused, cause that is initially my specialism, but over the years I've really gone multidisciplinary, I'd say.
[00:02:40] But now we work with a team of experts, you know, from all around the world of different specialisms. We have like a summer school, winter school, like a member's club. We do free things as well, like a podcast. You know, free courses and yeah, we've just got this amazing community, which has opened up a lot of doors for me and I, I think with that business.
[00:03:01] One thing that just kind of makes my head explode every day is that we reach people in a hundred countries. I was reading that more than 25 students in a hundred countries. Yeah. And sometimes I think, you know, um, I, I definitely speak slower when I teach and we do, you know, professional videos and things, but um, I do have a Liverpool accent.
[00:03:22] Um, so I think all these people follow me, but they get transcripts and things as well, but, It's just amazing that we, we reach all of these people like really cool, interesting people and that's why I love like different cultures and communities coming together and. Just, it's just a lovely place to be and I know when I was like graduating or stepping into the industry, there was just none of this.
[00:03:44] And the design industry can feel quite competitive and quite lonely as well. And it just feels really inclusive and encouraging and supportive. And I've grown, you know, as a creative, because of this community, like the book is, was definitely born because of the ideas and the conversations with, with all these amazing people.
[00:04:02] Yeah. And it's just, uh, it's something I'm, I'm really proud of. But again, you know, I. A big shout out to the, the, the team that I work with. We are small, but I definitely think we are my team. We do really cool things and there's just a number of individuals who, you know, really do sprinkle the magic on everything and, and, and put as much effort in as me invested in the beginning and yeah, so grateful.
[00:04:23] So that's it in the kind of long and short version, I suppose. But yeah, I. That's awesome. And so the book is obviously an outgrowth of all of that and all of the links for those of you who are listening, all the links to make it in design and everything that is Rachel Taylor will be in the show notes.
[00:04:40] So you can just scroll down if you're not driving and take a look. But, um, I wanna talk to you about like what compels you as an artist, you know, How do you, you, you know, you said something in the intro of your book, it says, Give yourself permission to pause, reflect, and be free because it's your journey.
[00:05:01] Mm-hmm. . And that is like so much in line with the mission of this podcast. Right. And I know that one of the ways that. I don't wanna say healed myself, but taken myself cuz that's all that'll never be done. But taken myself along my own healing journey is through creativity and through art. And I've been keeping journals since 1983 and drawing and painting pretty much all that time.
[00:05:27] Well, since I was three years old and in my mid forties after my divorce. I set up an art studio in my house. This is where we are now. You know, it's become the center of my, my heart of my home. And I really think that I learned a lot about myself and reprioritized my own values through painting, through the release of that creativity.
[00:05:54] And I just thought maybe you would speak to that about your own process and, and so, Yeah. I love that you picked up on that, and I love that you've kept journals for, for that longer time, almost 40 years. Yes'. Amazing. Oh, wow. I, I love that. Yeah. I think just knowing when to pause and reflect and kind of put the breaks on things is, is really important.
[00:06:15] And to have that time to nurture your creativity. And I often think over the years, you know, working in the design industry, I felt. I've had to go at a fast pace or I've had to do things cause that person's doing it or this other person's doing this. And I, I feel like at times I was doing things as much as I enjoyed it because I felt like I was ticking boxes.
[00:06:35] And I think when I, mm-hmm. really thought about what is it that makes me happy and how I, how I define success for me personally, it doesn't have to be what everyone else is doing, of course. And I slowed down and listened and, and paused and reflected. That's when things just kinda. Clicked into place and I think that's when I stopped trying to kind of dis not disguise who I was.
[00:07:00] I think I've always been very open and who and who I am, but I definitely held back and, and felt a little bit embarrassed or ashamed of things that, you know, I wasn't perfect at or, and when I just. Slowed down and trust the process a little bit more. And also left room for spontaneity and freedom.
[00:07:20] Mm-hmm. , I think kind of like I, my authentic self came across more and that confidence came and, um, so I've gone up on a tangent there with this answer, but, but, um, yeah, I just think, you know, um, trust in that process and, and just, you know, really thinking about what it is that I want from, from life and my creativity and not feeling like I have.
[00:07:42] Do what everyone else is doing was a big, big thing for me. Um, does that. Freedom and your uniqueness and your colorful like love of color, that obviously comes across in this book, does that translate to other facets of your life? Oh, yes, definitely. So, um, I was restricted at one point with color within the design industry for a few companies I worked with, and I think then I, I rebel.
[00:08:11] Got the color back. I would say I've always loved color, but, um, a couple of things like, um, in the uk in the winter, in the gray weather, I suffer, really suffer with seasonal affected disorders. So, It really to the point where I can have days where I don't wanna go out the house and it's cold and it's wet and it's gray and, and so I love color for that.
[00:08:32] So I've always had wardrobes that are colorful or had my home colorful. I'm renovating a house again and. It's that thing of I want people to come in and be surprised or feel like they're on holiday or that kind of feel. Could that feel good vibe? Um, I drive a little pink car, . I don't A private one? Yeah.
[00:08:51] Oh, I love that. I, um, you know, in the UK no one has school for cars. Um, I fell in love with like travel and places like Cuba that have really influenced my work and I just, yeah, I love color and the, the energy it gives, like if I'm surrounded by yellow or orange, I'm just instantly lifted and. I just want that vibrancy and energy to come across in everything that I do and, and.
[00:09:14] I think, yeah, in my life I'm colorful travel color choir, live in a colorful house. I think I have that kind of warm, energetic personality. Don't get me wrong, there are days when, you know, I'm not feeling like that. But generally that's, of course, we all have great days. Yeah. That, that's who I am. And, um, yeah, I just, I just love color and how it makes me feel and, um, you know, dressing for the joy of it.
[00:09:39] And as I got old, Wearing what I one and not worrying about things quite so much. And yeah. And I think with, you know, even with my little boy, we, we try to embrace the fun and silliness in life a lot. And, um, yeah, really cherish little things like that. And, Um, we love to paint and make things and, you know, just collect unusual things and my house is full of random items, but I love things that kind of evoke a story or emotion or yeah, give of color.
[00:10:12] So yeah, definitely floods into to everything that I do. So as you became more confident as an artist, do you think you became more confident as a woman and as a mom? Yeah, definitely. I, I think when. You know, reflected upon what is it that I really wanted? It made me identify what is it I want from life?
[00:10:31] And, um, yeah, as a, as a, as a woman. I know you mentioned, um, separation things. So I, I'm like a divorced LA lady and, you know, I'm confident with that. I'm okay and I've gone through. Big life changes and I think just knowing that, you know, I really defined one area in my life as in my career and confidence and artist did give me that thing, Well I can do this too, you know, and, and also, you know, um, being a mom as well, I definitely think it is given me more confidence, but I love the fact that.
[00:11:04] Particularly in the, in recent years, I've really focused around having freedom in life and work and you know, yes, I want success, but my definition of success is having freedom as well, is having the flexibility to work at night. Yes, absolutely. Or if I can around the school holiday or you know, around my little boy.
[00:11:21] And sometimes I work really long hours, sometimes short hours. And I think that's given me confidence, you know, as a mom as well. And just, yeah, just, you know, embracing that. Not everything is perfect. You know, there's, I'm, I'm not the best cook or baker or anything, but that's okay. I can, I can do great art with my songs, so, you know, so yeah.
[00:11:43] So, you know, I'm still learning and, and, and trying to improve always, but I think just knowing that I've. Achieved diff, you know, done difficult things and achieved things that I totally didn't expect I could ever do that I would think, Oh my gosh, there's no way I could do public speaking or write for a magazine or something, or even write a book.
[00:12:04] It just make me think, actually I can do the hard stuff, you know, and to trust myself a little bit more because I have had phases of, of self doubt and worry, and, and, and now I just have to think, Gosh, you have done these things. Yeah, absolutely. You can reflect back on them. You know, the next time you're feeling a little bit of self-doubt.
[00:12:23] Well, you know, I have students in a hundred damn countries, , you know, I just wrote a book where, Can you say that to me? I'm like, Oh, wow, that's me. Yeah. Sometimes you don't realize that's what you've done. It's kind of like Exactly. You do these things and obviously you're grateful for them, but it's, it's when someone writes it about your bio, you're like, Oh, that's actually me on my page.
[00:12:43] Wow. . Yeah, I don't feel grown up enough sometimes to have these things written about me. I'm like, Oh, yeah, that's totally normal. I think I, I think all adults feel that way. I, I, I've come to realize that my body is aging and obviously my brain and my spirituality and all that stuff is I maturing, but mostly I, I feel like a big kid in an older body, you know, like I feel like I'm still 32.
[00:13:13] Not 54, you know, like, well, you don't look 54. Whatever you're doing, keep doing it. Cause you're making young, you look good. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Um, you know what, I, I love listening to you. Uh. reminds me of all, of all of the different segments of your book. When I was looking through it and reading it, I jotted down all sorts of quotes and all sorts of things from each little segment and, and I can see how very much this book is you Ah, good.
[00:13:46] You know, you start with, follow your weird, you know, if we dream small, we act. Yeah. Um, how can we, uh, uh, you talk about vision boards and do I need to evolve? Yes. And growth can be com uncomfortable and painful, but al also necessary and beautiful. And it's a process. Mm-hmm. You know, you talk about collaboration.
[00:14:09] Um, you, you talked about journaling, be as kind to yourself as you are to other people. I mean, self-compassion is everything. Yeah. Something I'm still learning now, um, and asking for. Combats isolation and getting help. What did you say? Getting help and rest are power, not weakness. Yeah, definitely. It took me a long, That is a mic drop moment right there.
[00:14:35] Yeah. It took me a long time to realize that and then, you know, after it was some tough years when Ben out or feeling like a shame, needing help or admitting I was struggling with something and then realizing. I was just draining myself and I should be focusing on the bits that I'm good at, that I know I can give energy too.
[00:14:56] And yeah, just recognizing that it's, we wear that busy badge of honor so much sometimes and recognizing that we can still be super productive. While still looking after ourself, you know? Absolutely. And that's a big thing I try to strive for now, but easier said than done sometimes, but yeah, of course a big thing.
[00:15:16] Yeah, of course there are gonna be days where all you do is, is catch fly balls. You know, all you're doing is fielding all the stuff coming at you and you've got no time for yourself. That's just normal. But I think over, over the big picture, over the long haul, if you, you have. I, I should practice what I preach here, Rachel, you know, , I'm just like learning how to unwind things from my childhood that keep me from taking care of myself.
[00:15:46] Yeah. Um, I don't really think that I have done the best job that I could do, and, and that's changing, you know, haven't done the best job that I could do yet. Right, right. Yeah. Um, and so, especially women, especially moms, I think that the, the society just. Tries to tell us that yes, we can have it all and we can have it all at the same time, and that we can do everything and we have to do everything in order to save face, in order to be respectable or whatever the, the, the thing is.
[00:16:20] And that's not true.
[00:16:26] Okay, so changing tax a little bit, what is a vision board? So a vision board is a way to document. What it is that you want. So I'm a big fan of encouraging people to do like a professional one and a personal one. Cause I think often we get so focused on like the work goals because I think they should, you know, feed into each other.
[00:16:45] Mm-hmm. . So you can do it by, you know, Scrapbooking magazine, images, photographs, things that you like, Key words, you know, your personal one. For me, I love travels, you know, things of my family, friends, music, going to live, events, obviously, creativity, nature, all of that. Um, you know, that might be kind of key words on there, like spontaneity, freedom, um, countries I wanna visit.
[00:17:09] And then I'm often, like I said, the fan of doing the two center of my work when it might. You know, wanna do a children's book collection, a fashion line, make time to paint, that type of thing. Um, you know, workshops, but, Visually, um, creating a, a board, whether it's digitally or like a scrapbook, um, and having them around your, a place you can look at them often just really does excite you and motivate you.
[00:17:36] And I am awful kind of manifesting things and, and you know, it, it's really helped me over the years, you know, thinking of wanting something and believing in it and really visualizing it coming to life. And it's happened. I was doing like a shoot for, for a magazine and I was only down for like a few pages and.
[00:17:53] Really before the shoot was like, I'm, I'm gonna ask the photographer to do some shots for the cover. And it was such a big like ambitious thing to think I'm gonna get on a cover. I dunno why I just got this feeling like this intuitive feeling that right, you need to take these photos. And I was so clear in my head and I kind of closed my eyes and pictured what this cover would like.
[00:18:11] So I set up the shot like that and made my, um, um, photographer say it out loud that we were gonna get the cover in Kelly who works at the studio. And, and then basically it happened and that cover happened and then I got a 10 page article. And this is like, yeah, there's just been things like that where I get this little kind of intuitive feeling or, uh, shivered down my spine of something.
[00:18:35] You are meant to do this, and, and sometimes it doesn't happen at the time, it can be delayed or it comes to life a little bit later or in an indirect way. But I, I think because I've seen the power of manifesting things. Absolutely. Um, I, I, I truly believe in it. And, um, the vision boards are just a great tool for that.
[00:18:55] And I also think a vision board is great for. Thinking about what it is we want. I think lot of really clear on that. Yeah. Yeah. I think a lot of us actually don't give ourselves time to think about what we want or we think it's like arrogant or greedy to ask for certain things or I can't possibly travel cause I'm a mom or I can't possibly think I want this car cause I only bought this car a curfew or you know, whatever it is that it is that you are wanting to to do for you.
[00:19:23] And I think we think, you know, by showing it to people or, or getting these images like, Oh, this is unrealistic. It's not gonna happen, but it's such a fun thing to do. It lets you think about what is you want and actually make you realize that it's, it's more achievable. Um, allows you to have visual aid from manifestation and.
[00:19:41] It's just a, you know, a great thing to have to keep you energy, like on those days when you might be feeling a bit rubbish and you're starting off a business maybe and working long hours, or the house is messy, you're really late for the school drop off and thinking like, Oh, why am I doing all these things and doing this to myself and Sure.
[00:19:57] And then it just, yeah, just kind of really fuels you. So it's, it's a big thing that I encourage with a lot of people I teach and mentor and, and I know it helps a lot of people. And it's easy to do. I mean, if you Exactly, yeah. You just collage with things that you, that, that appeal to you, that, that resonate with you.
[00:20:14] Images, words, like you said. Yeah. Colors could be paint, swatches, you know, whatever. Definitely. But you get a good vibe with that, That means something to you. And then I think it's cool. I, I've actually tried that on a smaller, on a small scale. Um, but I, I've got some big thing. Canvases that are paintings that I'm gonna eventually paint over, but I think I'm gonna do a vision board on top.
[00:20:39] Well, that would be amazing. Yeah. Fun. And I think having clarity, I mean, one of the big things in the book is, is having clarity and what it is that you, you want. And, um, you know, and knowing where you want to be. You can be in a certain place now knowing what the ultimate, big, big goal is. And then it's just a case of that's where I wanna be.
[00:21:01] This is where I am now. And identifying what it is you need to get there and it, it's more achievable than you think. And a lot of people have this big dream that is, oh, they think, Oh my goodness, this is so outta reach. But actually it isn't. When you get clarity in what you want and then identify the steps to get you there, you will do it.
[00:21:21] You can create anything you put your mind to. That's from definitely
[00:21:30] Okay, here's another one. How can we use our emotions to fuel our creativity? You definitely can, and I, I've learnt this over the years. You know, um, I, I, most of the time I create my better work when I am feeling joyful and upbeat. However, you know, when we're having those bad days, they can, they can also feed into our creativity in a different way and allow us to explore maybe a different piece of work or a different color palette.
[00:21:55] But I honestly believe, you know, with like the ebbs and flows in life that, you know, we were happy or were sad. Um, if we have to feel those things, because if we were super, super happy all of the time, we, we wouldn't appreciate it. I don't think that raw emotions would've come across. So I try to explore all of the feelings and I always say, you know, feel all the feels and, and.
[00:22:20] Use creativity, you know, to comfort you in a bad time if you feel up to it sometimes, you know, we don't wanna do that, we just wanna sit on the sofa and watch Netflix or whatever, you know, whatever works for you. Um, and then you know, the same if you are good, you know, pouring that energy into your work.
[00:22:36] But I think, um, our emotions can really fuel us trying different things. Or maybe when we're feeling a little frustrated, just being spontaneous and grabbing the paints and expressing ourselves and actually, That piece might be brilliant. And you might think, Oh my gosh, I would never have done that if I wasn't in a bad move this evening.
[00:22:54] Or Right. You know, I've done it where I've kind, um, been frustrated with a design file and knocked something and it's kind bit weird and I've like, Oh, I dunno about this. And then next day I'm like, Actually that's really good. That layer's really nice and I might use that on something. So I think, you know, um, creativity and explore and our emotions just go hand in hand and, um, they compliment each other and, um, Yeah, it's something, you know, that can, can feed into everything that we do.
[00:23:22] Now what do you say to people who say they want to try to to be artistic or they wanna try to create something, but that they don't feel like they have any talent? Like, I can't draw, I've never painted anything in my life. I, you know, I can't do this. What do you say to them? I honestly, I get this a lot and I would say firstly, Try not to safety self.
[00:23:44] I can't. I know it's easier except than done. And we all say, I can't draw, I can't do this. Also, if you're saying you can't draw, Yes, I'm from an artistic background and I campaign and draw realistic, but if you look at my design style, my prints and patterns, the very of, you know, dudely, innocent, kind of naive, um, drawings that develop, Yeah.
[00:24:05] You know, yes, I have an art, um, background. However, if you look at my sketchbook drawings, you wouldn't think, Oh, she's got a design degree in this or campaign painted like this because I don't wanna do that thing anymore. I'm very into the doodle kind of style and, and all of that. And I've, you know, got all of these things on best selling license ranges and collections and stuff.
[00:24:25] So you can draw, everyone can draw. It's finding. , you know, the style that suits you. Mm-hmm. , we all draw differently and you know, if, if you're someone who struggles with, um, realistic kind of style drawing, why not go abstract or why not use procreate on work? A graphic style, you know, Or same with painting.
[00:24:46] Um, if you are not sure what to paint, If you could start with abstract pieces using colors that you like, maybe it's textures, spots, and tri stripes, a piece of wall art for your home. I would say the main thing is, is to get going. Try not to compare yourself to others and think, Oh, you know, I'm creating a print today that I might.
[00:25:06] Um, screen print on fabric, but I'm looking at print designs out there, and I'm not them yet. You are not them. And they've been doing it for years, but they were also once a beginner. And if that artist hadn't put their pen to paper or paintbrush to his canvas, that they wouldn't be where they are today.
[00:25:22] And. I've honestly got students in our community who are retrained. You know, we've, we've got people who have maybe had an interest in the arts with no art training, who are, say an accountant who took the courses, and then I've gone on to be like, amazing licensed artists, you know, or working for great, really cool companies.
[00:25:38] So you can do it. You just have to start and kind of, um, drown out those voices and mm-hmm. any negativity and just get going and create, and. A lot of people, um, who I teach it are there as color. Cause I'm like so confident with color. But I honestly say, Well, it's just color. You know, what's the worst gonna happen?
[00:25:57] If you don't like the color, you can change it or repaint it or change the color on your wall or, and if color's something you struggle with, why not grab your favorite scarf or dress out of your wardrobe and use that inspiration. Um, you know, I, I. Creativity is such a gift and a blessing and we should enjoy it and have fun.
[00:26:15] You know, it's, it's an important thing that we do, but I'm not doing kind of like open heart surgery or something like that. So I think, you know, it's creativity. It you'll be fun. And that's why I was around myself when I'm getting stressed with like a creative deadline, I think, gosh. You're great. It's like, stop worrying.
[00:26:30] Like you should be enjoying this. You know? And, and I think just, just go for it. And, you know, I, I, sometimes I think people think I'm super, super confident, but I've always had to think of what's the worst that can happen? You know, It's, it's, it's, I say that to like, not that I wanna dwell on what the worst that can happen, but it's like, You know what?
[00:26:48] So what if it doesn't work out? Doesn't matter. Next thing. And I try and where possible have that approach. Easy said than done sometimes, but it's like if I get in there or it doesn't work out, big deal, I'll kind of move on, you know? And it just goes to the next thing. So I've tried to have that mentality over the years and encourage people to just, just.
[00:27:07] Go for it. Cause you just never know what's gonna happen and, And I think creativity is a gift and you've got to explore it. Absolutely. Absolutely. And I mean, I see things all around me that inspire me to try something and I'm always like ripping things outta magazines or taking pictures of things with my iPhone and just saving them for a rainy day when I need a little inspiration.
[00:27:29] But there are so many paintings that I have started. Oh, I wanna try that. And I'm like, Oh no, I don't like that. You know? Mm-hmm. And so you whitewash it and start over again. Definitely. And I think, I think trying things feeds into other things. So even if something doesn't work out, that's a, you know, you experimenting that will lead you onto another idea as well.
[00:27:52] And that's what I love. I mean, that's how I figured out. I paint mostly more exclusively at this point in acrylics, and I, I was, I do mostly landscapes and, and, and. And abstracts and I've been doing, like you see behind me, some neurogenic art lately, which I find very meditative and, and super relaxing. But there was a time, a couple y a bunch of years ago where I was trying to blend color and I couldn't figure out how to get the color to transition from want from a deep intensity to a lighter intensity into another.
[00:28:29] A, anyway, long story short was that I was just playing around with things that I had in. Like, how do I dilute this in a way that gives me the effect that I want? And so I mixed it with water, didn't like it. I mixed it with nail polish remover. That didn't work at all. And then I found rubbing alcohol, like plain medical, rubbing alcohol, and if I put that on my brush and sort of.
[00:28:51] Uh, fli, you know, uh, uh, dance it over the top of the, the paint. It did exactly the blending that I wanted and immediately evaporated before it could run. So it was just like a science experiment, like, what can I mix with the paint to have it do what I want without actually having to leave my house? And, and I just discovered this technique that I love using, you know, and it was cheap and easy.
[00:29:17] I love that. I, I love the, the painting behind you and all of the colors. Of course. It's gorgeous. Oh, thank you. Thank you. Really nice. I, I started this a bunch of years ago. One of the art teachers, I teach high school English by day, and one of the art teachers in my high school knew that I was a painter and, and so on, and she said that I should try neuro graphic art, and I had never heard of it before.
[00:29:40] She sent me on a to a YouTube video and I was hooked, hooked. It's just easy and meditative. Anybody can do it. I teach my, uh, high school English students, they come to English class a couple of times a year, and we do art for a couple days. That's amazing. I love that. You know, I mean, it's another way to express yourself.
[00:30:01] That's all. We're just Yeah. It's just amazing. So you never know. You never know. Yeah. I love exploring experiments and I think it's just so Okay. And you just, just have to do these things. Definit. Put some new piece of music on or have a little wine or something else that relaxes you and just go to it.
[00:30:23] You know, like you said, what's the worst gonna happen? The earth isn't gonna swallow you up, nobody's gonna laugh at you. And if you don't like what you've created, trash it and do something else. You know? Yeah, yeah. And you never know. You might uncover, but like a new talent or fall in love with what you do.
[00:30:40] And yeah, I just think have fun with creativity because we. . Yeah, absolutely. And it helps you hear and slow down to get in touch with your authentic self. I think definitely. You know, for me it taught me patience cuz you can't paint too much at once or it turns to mud. Yeah. You know, you've gotta take it slowly and let it evolve.
[00:31:09] You can't rush the process and there's so much. The, the logic of creating visual art that translated or translates directly into peaceful living, I think. Yeah, definitely. I agree. Beautiful. Hmm. Okay, so each interview, we, um, each episode we end with the six quick question, seven quick questions. Sorry. Are you.
[00:31:42] Ready? Okay. What six words would you use to describe yourself? Oh, energetic, creative, silly, Um, humorous. Oh, emotional and playful. Is that six ? I think so. That's good. It's a great list. What's your favorite way to spend a. Out outside in nature. Um, eating nice foods, a little exercise, gardening, friends and family and kind of lots of cuddles.
[00:32:16] Lots of cuddles. What does your son, He's eight. So he still cuddles mommy? Yeah, he does. He's a real cuddler and I'm just really aware of that. You know this, He holds my hand on the way to school and I'm just like, Oh, you know, I don't want this to stop. So I'm just really cherishing that at the moment. Oh, please do.
[00:32:35] Yeah. It goes by too quickly. Yeah, he's gone so big. He's really tall, so I'm already, I'm like, Oh my goodness. You know? Mm-hmm. , it sucks and things fit me . Yeah. So I'm cherishing all of all of that at the moment. Excellent. Yeah. My son is 24 and he's six three. Lives in another state. And yeah, , I, I would love, love, love, love, love, love to have my kids be like six for another week.
[00:33:05] Yeah, that's it. Just to really appreciate you get that. It was so great. Um, what's your favorite childhood memory? I think, um, performing as a child, I love dance drama. Um, just, you know, getting up on stage, doing shows, expressing myself, I wasn't always the best, but I loved it. And, um, just all the counts.
[00:33:26] Yeah, it just, Just being able to be creative and express myself. And I think my mom just always given me the freedom to try different things. You know, I'm, I'm that type of person that is one week horse ride and the next week dancing the next week. Mm-hmm. , I, I love trying things and it's always to do with like, mainly to do with creativity and, um, yeah.
[00:33:45] That kind of thing. That's great. That's great. That's a good way of looking at it, you know, like I, I did a whole lot of things too. Mm-hmm. and split it around, I felt. I'm gonna rewrite that, Rachel. I felt sort of bad that I didn't, about myself, that I didn't stick with things, you know, that I, I did different things ceramics, and then I was taking guitar lessons and then I was taking ice skating lessons and then I was, you know, like I felt like I was doing all of these different things and I didn't stick with anything.
[00:34:16] I'm rewriting that. Yeah. I, I feel like it, it's made me feel that I've explored life, you know, and, and lived a lot. I mean, I've done that many things in my life that when I explain to people I've done this and that, and I feel like I've lived a million lives where I love all of the bits, you know? Yes.
[00:34:33] Some bits not so good, but. I wouldn't change that. I tried things and it didn't work out or I just love that I tried and you learned something about yourself from every Yeah, and there's different versions of me over the years, but they've all kind of come together and I think I'm just always evolving and I, I, I, even now as an adult, you know, recently like I had to go rock climb and it was absolutely rubbish, but I had to go and it.
[00:34:58] I did it and you know, I will just do random things and I might only do once, but I've done it , so. Right, right. Yeah. I think, I think we're all human collages Yeah. Of different experiences, right? Yeah. Yeah. I'm hard to explain sometimes cause I'm like, why do this and that? But, but yeah, I, I like that. I've done all the weight and Wonderful.
[00:35:19] That's awesome. Mm-hmm. , what is your favorite. Oh, I would say my favorite would be pizza and pasta, but I really have to not have so much gluten, so . Um, other than that, I would say kind of like a Mexican rice dish with like veggies and I'm vegetarian, that kind of thing. Nice. Awesome. You know, most people.
[00:35:40] That I have asked that too on this podcast has said, have said some version of Mexican or tacos, I think the most popular. Yeah. I, I love kind of that type of food and, and you know, things you can hold of your hands and that, that's, I had Mexican last night actually. That's one. Not for a meal. Um, but yeah, that's my, that's one of my go-to things as well.
[00:36:01] It's lovely. That's cool. Um, alright. What one piece of advice would you like to give your younger. To trust the process, um, have confidence and slow down and enjoy the journey. It's a bit more than one piece. I think I was so caught up in things that the, I'll be happy when kind of scenario for quite some time, but I didn't appreciate the now and, and, and to be more present, you know?
[00:36:30] Absolutely. I'm definitely trying to be more present in e in each day as. I love that. Enjoy the journey. That's, it's so important, So important. Uh, what is one thing you would most like to change about the world? That we have a lot more peace. That there's not as much conflict. And I think just that, you know, we look after our planet more and the environment and that.
[00:36:54] Yeah. Peace. I, I, I, you know, the news can be just so upsetting. You know, countries doing things to each other, people doing things to each other. I just wish for that, for all of us, really. More mindful, more peaceful. Yeah. Connected and yeah, to keep our shared humanity at the top of mind and, and less focused on the digital world, you know, as well.
[00:37:21] So consumed and, and you know, I, my son, I think he's grown up. I, I, you know, grew up with. Not being in the social media I use in social media so much. I, I love it and use it for work, but I'm not con, I wouldn't say I'm totally consumed by it, but I know like nieces and nephews and things, you know, they've grown up at high school and social media's so key and yeah, just to not be consumed and influenced so much.
[00:37:48] By all of that, even though it can be amazing. I, I think it's impacts a lot of our mental health as well. I know. I worry about that like my son. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I think you're, you're doing ex exactly the right thing to keep him as digitally free as possible until you can't avoid it. Yeah, exactly.
[00:38:04] Yeah. I try to, yeah. . Yeah. Uh, okay. What TV shows do you binge when you watch television? Oh, at the moment I've been, um, watching, um, the American Office. I love it. Okay. Chitz Creek. That's been another thing. I dunno if I've pronounced that right. Yeah, I'm watching. I I do love a bit of like, comedy. You know, I, I, I like shows that, um, I love things like friends and Stranger Things and.
[00:38:32] I will re-watch shows and like the American Office and Friends is something, it's a bit like a comfort blanket, you know, like having it on the background. I might be doing stuff, but I often can fall asleep with things like that. Mm-hmm. , I definitely love a lot of comedy and kind of, um, silly kind of things, but then ultimately I can like, you know, thrillers and, and things like that.
[00:38:55] But I, I like quite confident shows. I find the American office really anything that makes me laugh, really, I end up to. I actually have a question. Have you seen the TV show Ted Lasso? Yes. Yes. My partner, I started watching that recently. He got me watching it. He said, I've watched this show, it's really good.
[00:39:13] And we put it on and I love it cuz obviously, you know, someone from the US come to Sure Football team and I love that actor. I forget his name. Um, and it's, oh, it's brilliant. It's so funny. And I've just, How true is that to, in representing British? Um, it's quite true. I'll say a lot of it, you know, the football fans and, you know, the kind of scenes and the pub and things like that, but not, not totally right.
[00:39:38] Some bits are a little exaggerated or underplayed as well. Um, but you know, the way we are with football as a, as a culture, sure. I think it's quite well represented and you know, where you've got the. Kind of good looking footballers with the glamorous wis that's very apparent in this country. And, um, so I, yeah, it's great, isn't it?
[00:39:58] It's just brilliant. I i's so wonderful. I was really tired watching season two, so I need to rewatch it, but, um, It's so good. Yeah. And I love the fusion of kind of, um, you know, the humor from the US and the UK humor and I think the characters just blend well together and they do. It's just really good.
[00:40:17] One of our favorite shows. Yeah. Yeah. And it's, it's a real kind of feel good show as well, isn't it? Absolutely. It's funny, but it's got emotion in it as well and that type of thing is what I love. I love that you've mentioned that you need to, I need to watch, re-watch the end of season two. I think season three is coming out sometime soon.
[00:40:34] I'm not exactly sure when. I know they had some production difficulties, but, um, or delays of some sort. I'm not exactly sure when it's coming out, but it's definitely gonna be the last one. Oh, okay, okay. Because the actor who plays Coach Beard is already. Committed to another project when they would have filmed season, season four, so, Right.
[00:40:54] Okay. I think I, that's what I've read. Yeah. Um, but I wish it would go on forever. I just, I know. It's great, isn't it? So uplifting and yay positive and life affirming. Yeah. Yeah. It's great. It's great. Yeah. And I wanted to talk to some, someone from the UK about it because I, I don't know how consistent it is or Yeah.
[00:41:15] Or they're making it all up or what. No, definitely parts of it are like that and anything. I mean, I'm not particularly a big football fan. A lot of my family are, but you know, people are so serious about it and it can, you know, I think a lot of that is represented on the show and the, the different characters and like I said, like the glamorous girlfriend, and Right.
[00:41:34] Quite funny. Um, Yeah. Yeah. And kind of, you know, the, the, the, the way it is in general, like, I think they've done a good, good job with it. Like a, you know, obviously it's very humorous style and it's, it's great. That's, Well, thank you so much, Rachel. This was delightful. I appreciate Oh, you staying up late for the time?
[00:41:53] Oh, big now. I feel actually really awake and I think the house is so quiet. It's been quite chill. Thank you. I've love to talk to you and you have the best questions ever. Oh, well I got them outta your book really, . Literally we're all out of your book, so, and I love the bits that you noted down as well.
[00:42:10] And um, I think obviously. Because I'm fairly new to promoting my book and things. It, it's just nice hearing what you took from the book and, and yeah, it's, it's lovely to hear. So thank you. It's gonna be a permanent part of my collection. Oh, thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you for being here. It was wonderful.
[00:42:27] Oh, thank you. Thanks a lot. And thanks for having me. My pleasure.