Today I am also very excited to introduce you to my new friend, Acacia Rachel, who is a photographer, artist, and writer. I had a wonderful time getting to hear her story as we "chatted" via email. Without further ado, here's our conversation...
Acacia, thank you so much for being willing to talk to me this morning. Would you be willing to share five fun facts about you?
I can do the splits! I’ve moved eleven times in my seventeen-year-old life. I’ve lived in America, Canada, England, and Australia. I hope to study classical music at a music conservatoire. And lastly? I smell books obsessively.
How did you first become interested in art?
Art — and creativity in particular — is most often something innate; in short, I didn’t choose art, it chose me. However, when I was 7 or 8 I used to get fidgety and restless during math lessons (I’m sure we all do at some point); my mum let me take breaks in between and colour, draw, or paint, which boosted my energy and replenished my study skills. I guess you could say at that point did I realise that art was something worth investing in and that I was interested in it.
What life experiences impacted your art?
Moving. Because I’ve moved around a lot and have had to leave so many friends behind, art has been something I’ve gone to when I’m feeling lonely. I can connect with colour, images, and thrust myself into a world of beauty regardless of where I am situated.
What is your favorite type of art to create why?
*Sigh* I’m an eclectic artist; I like so many different types of art for different reasons. But one of my favourite ‘types’ of art has to be painting and using watercolour in particular. Watercolour can be delicate and light or vibrant and bold — there is this wonderful sense of tangibility and euphoria in the leaking, water-based colours.
If you could describe your artistic style in three words, what would you say?
Eclectic, honest, emotion.
What/who inspires you?
Amy Borrel, Inslee, people who say they love my art, God, my parents, and of course — pinterest (a must for every artist! ;). As for what inspires me — coffee shops, lazy summer days, good food, honest friends, photo-shoots, warm, cosy places, and most of all — travelling.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as an artist? What did you learn from it?
The biggest challenge I have faced — and continue to face — is keeping to a schedule and creating consistently, without 2 month hiatuses! (Drastically) putting off doing art in daily life and spending time on Facebook or blogger is, I believe, harmful as an artist. However, from that challenge (namely procrastinating) I’ve learnt to keep life in perspective and find beauty in the everyday— beautiful washes of colour on the wall, the smell of good food, the crunch of autumn leaves. I’ve learnt not to get caught up in the lives of others (heeelo, Facebook and blogger) and look for beauty in the seemingly mundane, which ultimately inspires me to create. One afternoon I decided to switch off my internet, close my computer, and take a brisk walk around the block with my camera in hand. And hey presto! I created. I took some beautiful photographs!
If you don’t mind, I’ll throw in my advice to get out of the trap of being locked into technology and create…
- Ask someone to hold your phone and computer captive (now you really won’t get distracted by them!)
- Get outside — garden, pull weeds, walk around the block, do 50 jumping jacks, climb a tree, slide down the slide, kick a ball, do a cartwheel!
- Plan a movie or spa night with a friend or two (or your mum/sisters).
- Sip tea (or coffee) and read Cold Tangerines.
- Go shopping or browsing — buy some paints if you don’t already have any and then paint away (not sure what to do? Use Pinterest for inspiration!).
Great question! At the moment, our church openly encourages artists to create, which I find extremely inspiring! Every Easter and Christmas the artists and technicians in the church plan and set up a display for the public — this involves paintings, voice overs, projectors, carvings, and more. Our church has also encouraged youth (who love art) to create creative banners and signs for the church and for help out with VBS crafts. I believe these things not only minister to us as artists but also to the church family and the public.
What are some of your dreams for the future?
Run a successful photography business, blog professionally, travel the world (just a little more!), and — who knows?? — become a wife/mama.
In closing, if you could offer one piece of advice to a younger artist, what would you say?
Don’t let other artists’ work keep you from creating — in simpler terms, don’t compare yourself to others. Do your absolute best where you’re at now and keep it up and you’ll be surprised at the progress you’ve made!
Thank you again, Acacia, for sharing your beautiful heart through words. You've inspired me!
Readers, if you'd like to learn more about Acacia and follow her artistic journey, please check out her blog Acacia Rachel.