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ARTS AND CULTURE: Rustic Rachy – Rachael Sanders

Rachael Sanders (Submitted photo)

Artistic Style: Arts & Crafts

Location: Ironton

How did the project start?
I began painting and drawing in junior high and stuck with it in high school. After starting college, I started an Etsy shop as a fun little side gig that has blossomed into my full time gig.

Walk us through your creative process. Does it vary, if so, how?
I typically paint on wood, so I always start with a painted white background. Usually, I can picture the ideas in my head and just start sketching them out on the white background. Then I grab my paints and go to work! This is pretty much the process I follow for every single one of my pieces.

How has you art evolved since you started?
My art has evolved in so many ways. I started out painting on canvases and now I think I have painted on pretty much any surface out there! My preferred medium is wood but I also love fiber art. I incorporated some fiber pieces into my Etsy shop and I would say I work with fiber just as much as I work with wood.

What is your favorite creative tool, and why?
Doodling. I doodle on everything and lots of my products have come to fruition from random doodles!

What about being an artist fills your cup? Why should others take interest in the arts?
Being an artist is incredibly fulfilling as I get the opportunity to share my work with the world. Although not everyone is interested in pursuing the arts, I would give anyone who is even slightly interested the advice to just go for it. There is so much opportunity out there and so many people all over the world are interested in supporting artists today.

Any advice for new or struggling artists? 
Don’t quit when you’re struggling. Don’t stop when it’s slow. The main thing I believe is the key to success for artists is to keep putting your work out there. Things will be slow sometimes, it will be hard trying to promote yourself, but you can do it!

What upcoming project should we look for, and where can we look for it? 
I will be showcasing some of my work at The Vault Market on Saturday. We will have a vendor event that day around the fountain from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. with several other local makers to celebrate The Vault’s 2nd birthday.

What question do you never get asked that you would like to be asked? How would you answer? 
One question that I never get asked but would love to be asked is: What is it like to create pieces that people can hold onto forever?

I would answer that question by saying I love that feeling! I create pet portraits, memorial pieces and family portraits so it’s a great feeling knowing I have created a tradition for a family and a piece of my work will live forever.