Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
I like to describe myself as: Sculptural Ceramic Artist of raw organic styling celebrating the wonders and beauty of nature in a man-made world.
I focus on raw, organic artworks inspired by the natural world often incorporating found objects and natural materials. These works can range from small jewellery items and ceramic vases, to large outdoor sculptures. I sell online and at markets. I do custom orders and work on commission tailored to the clients specifications.
I also dabble in a bit of nature and animal photography.
Who (or what) inspires you to do what you love in your Art business?
To do what I love… The fact that I know, in this day-and-age, that I can do just that, ‘Do what I love’, and I will be supported by all that I love and hold dear, is what inspires me. It leaves no room for doubt.
Where do you get your inspiration from when you create/paint?
From the natural world. Mother Nature has created such a beautiful place for us to live in and it’s a shame that we are bent on destroying it. The natural world that surrounds us I believe is a vast play ground that is yearning to be explored, just waiting for you to expose its secrets. Open your eyes, there is so much to see.
What are the five words that people who know you would use to describe you?
Creative, Honest, Hardworking, Smiling, Warrior (Yes, one of my friends actually says this about me, and others use synonyms of such a word)
Tell us about your very first job and what path have you taken since then?
My first job was as a Check-Out Chick at the local Coles Supermarket. I was determined not to work in a fast-food outlet like many other high school students. It was a great little job while I was studying, and as I was getting older I progressed up the ranks, I learnt the importance of hard work, but I was itching to get out of there and try something new. In the end it was no longer challenging. I moved on, went travelling, began working in my chosen field (The Arts), became an Art Technician in a college in England. It was there that I really started to embrace my art as a career, and showcase my artworks. Leading me on my journey, the path that I am on now, to become an artist in my own right.
Describe a typical day in your creative space?
A typical day… Slowly get out of bed (I am not a morning person). A bit of ‘me’ time, some exercise. Then I get stuck in to it, whether it be a day of creating, working on the computer, or envisioning where I want to go next. There is usually a break of around an hour when I watch my favourite TV program, then I am back in to it. I’ll then throw in a random day of hiking in the Blue Mountains, or a day down on the beach, just to reinvigorate the senses and creative juices.
As an artist, what is your biggest frustration?
My biggest frustration. I hate to say it, but when artwork is underappreciated. What I mean is, the general public not understanding why artworks are priced as highly as they are. Why you cannot get a genuine artwork from an artist for say $20. Such prices are reserved for $2 shops where the artworks are massively reproduced prints, not one-off unique works of art. When you think about it, the artist has to pay for all their materials, which do not come cheap. You then need to think about the time it has taken the artist to create said artwork. One full day at $20 an hour (a low hourly rate for an artist) easily equates to $160. Depending on the artwork, it could take several days to create. And artists need to make a living too and before you know it, you could be at $500 for a painting.
That’s what frustrates me. OK, rant over.
Tell us about how you prioritise your studio work.
I make lists. I am a lists person. You will find my little hand-written lists all over my house and studio space. I look at these lists each day and recognise which tasks is most important and needs completing first, then work my way down, until I have completed all tasks for the day.
How do you connect with other artists, and your clients (i.e. how do you network)?
Social Media is the big thing isn’t it. Everyone is on the internet now sourcing what it is they need to fulfil their wants and desires. So obviously I have my Facebook, Twitter, and other Social Media accounts. I’ve also just started sending out a monthly newsletter (you can subscribe on my website under the Subscribe tab at www.rachelsheree.com). I find it is also important to go to artist networking groups, my local council holds one every few months in Camden, and ArtSHINE also have their own little groups. I then try to attend art galleries, exhibitions and openings, talk to people and connect that way.
Tell us about your experience exhibiting at the Australia Art Show, Sydney last October.
Exhibiting at the Australian Art show in Sydney was a real eye opener in to the Australian Arts industry for me. I had been living in London for almost 4 years, and found readjusting to the Australian culture difficult. The Art Show in Sydney allowed me to see and connect with other Australian artists and grasp how they were managing their business. It also put me in contact with the right people to help me get properly started, and other artist groups and organisations around New South Wales and Australia.
What advice can you offer other creative people who are just starting out and following their passions?
Don’t give up! Get yourself out there, build up your confidence. NETWORK. And never doubt your talent.
What dreams do you still want to achieve or fulfil in your life?
To become an internationally renowned artist and exhibit at the Venice Biennale. I also want to travel and see more of the world.
What is your proudest moment so far?
It’s a tie. The first, being Highly Commended at the Blacktown City Art Prize. That was my first ever award as an artist, so it was very exciting for me. The second, was having the opportunity to exhibit some of my artworks at The Brick Lane Gallery in London a few years ago. Just being able to say, as a young Australian Artist, that I exhibited in London is amazing to me.
Highly Commended at the Blacktown City Art Prize 2013
Who do you most want to meet and why?
Tough Question! I never know how to answer this one… There have been some amazing people throughout history, people that have done great in the world.
But, you know what. I would love to have met my biological grandfathers. Not that both my parent’s step-fathers weren’t great, they were/are lovely men, and I love them deeply, but I would have loved to have met the men that gave my parent’s life. Learn what types of men they were, their likes and dislikes, all that stuff.
What is the most important lesson in life that you have learned?
To be true to yourself and not to worry about what other people think of you. What is important is how you see yourself, and do you like that person that you see.
What book are you reading right now, and do you have a book you would like to recommend?
I just started reading The Devil’s Diadem by Sara Douglass, an Australian writer. I’ve read other books written by her and I really enjoyed the fantasy world she portrayed.
A book to recommend… hmm. That’s hard. I didn’t really enjoy reading until I found the Science Fiction / Fantasy niche. But I do also believe it is important to read the classics. Not just books like ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen, but also books such as ‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley, ‘1984’ by George Orwell or ‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelly. These books portray a frightening world of what could happen to society if they lose their humanity. It’s a scary thought, science and technology taking over our senses, losing touch with nature.
Where do we find you and your product? (list stores, links websites)
My artist website is www.rachelsheree.com. You will find links to all my various pages and shops there on the ‘Contacts’ page. There will also be an online shop on that website up and running by the end of February this year at the latest.
You can also find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RachelShereeDesigns