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S2EP93. Creating magic with her iconic tinsel creations, disco shoes and lots of joy & glitter w/ Rachel Burke, Artist & Designer


R achel Burke is a multi-talented artist from Australia who is also a mother. In her Instagram account, Rachel uploads pictures of her colorful, joyous creations, like jackets and costumes made of rainbow tinsel, floral headpieces, wild jewelry, and pompoms.

Her Instagram following is immense. With her clothes and accessories business, Rachel also has a side project called Apomogy, which offers anonymous apology notes attached to brightly colored pompoms.

In this podcast, you will get to know about

  • That In spite of having strict parents rigid upbringing, how Rachel managed to carve out a successful career for herself as an artist and as a designer.
  •  How Rachel’s decision to drop out of school had a significant impact on her vision of herself.
  • How Rachel came up with the idea of her famous art project Apomogy?
  •  How Rachel’s shift from one career to another has impacted her life and made her who she is today.
  • How did Rachel, as an artist, deal with all of her insecurities and challenges?
  • What values she has brought to her art by collaborating with renowned names such as Disney.

Follow Rachel

imakeyouwearit@gmail.com

https://instagram.com/imakestagram?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Charuka Arora, Founder of Arts To Hearts Project

https://www.instagram.com/charukaarora/

www.charukaarora.com

Arts To Hearts Project

https://artstoheartsproject.com/

www.instagram.com/artstoheartsproject/

Automated Transcript

00:00.00
charukaarora
Oh my god hi Rachel welcome to the podcast. Oh my I you I don’t even know I am so so excited to have you, you’ve literally made me smile so many times of a day i.

00:01.80
Rachel
Hi Great to be here. Thanks for having me.

00:10.92
Rachel
Um, who through.

00:17.61
charukaarora
Like I am so obsessed with the work that you do and I think you have the you literally have the best job in the world I feel. Ah, what do you think.

00:23.50
Rachel
Ah, ah thank you you. It’s taken a long road to get to this point that’s to show. Yeah.

00:29.10
charukaarora
Yeah I’m sure I’m sure I’m sure per oh God likelitters and like like oh my like you know this was the stuff that we as children like I Ah, at least as a child have always fascinated and like. To make a living out of a career like this did you ever think this was possible.

00:51.68
Rachel
Ah, no, never did I ever think that this is where I would be um at 33 years old still playing with but and limestones and things out of the pantry. But yeah.

01:05.38
charukaarora
Exactly I’m like like being covered in clitter and like having these like color and like everything that made you like makes some makes you smile as a child. As a 33 year old still feeling the same. How does even feel like you pinch yourself in the morning and get a vote. This is what I get to do for a living.

01:31.82
Rachel
So I feel like it’s funny because as much as I loved those things as a kid I still feel like every day I’m kind of on a new journey and I’m still finding that I love and that I find exciting about the things that I’m working on.

01:40.36
charukaarora
Yeah, new.

01:47.51
Rachel
So as much as it feels nostalgic and like something from the past that I’m celebrating. It always feels new every day. So ah yeah, um, but I definitely I Love what I do So um yeah, and I definitely feel very lucky yeah to be doing it. Yeah.

01:52.78
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

02:04.42
charukaarora
Okay, I’ve already gussed a lot about it but let’s say if I am sure a lot of people who will a lot.

02:06.90
Rachel
Um, like this I’m a leeburn way.

02:18.60
charukaarora
I’m sure all people are listening to this episode already know what you like what you do who you are but let’s just say for the sake of it. Can you introduce yourself who you are and what you do.

02:25.36
Rachel
Yes, sure. So um, my name is Rachel Burke um and I like to say that I’m a multidisciplinary artist and designer. Um and I have a real focus in wearable art and sculpture and installation work. Yeah, so that’s me.

02:40.47
charukaarora
Um, smart and it sounds pretty serious. It’s it really sounds serious I Love how you look So it’s like a good contrast of um.

02:44.00
Rachel
Yeah, yeah I like to make it sounds here. Yeah yeah, like the branding Yeah, ah.

02:56.78
charukaarora
How things look like versus how you put like you know how you’ve just explained it. Ah, okay, okay, tell me a little bit about yourself Rachel I’m really interested to learning like to know more about you who you are and learning about your journey tell me firstly let’s let’s talk about where how let’s just start in the beginning.

03:03.95
Rachel
Yeah.

03:19.81
charukaarora
Where were you born. How were you as a child I’m really interested in your childhood like how how did it look like.

03:22.14
Rachel
Yeah, um, well, it’s interesting because I feel like it’s a real contrast in some ways because um so I grew up in Melbourne um, and my background is ah my dad’s australian but my mom is Maltese um.

03:40.16
charukaarora
Um, okay.

03:42.14
Rachel
And I mentioned that my mom’s mal tease because she has just like she is kind of the opposite to me so she is like so lean and so streamlined loves marble and like very serious mental things and like she’s very classy lady. But yeah I mean yet, she’s opposite to me. She’s a class.

03:47.86
charukaarora
Um, okay.

03:54.82
charukaarora
Ah. Um, yeah.

04:01.97
Rachel
Lady but um, you know our household growing up was you know she took such pride in her house. Um, my mom grew up and didn’t have a lot of stuff. So um, when whatever she had as an adult she really prized and wanted to have real pride in her home. So I you know it was like.

04:17.74
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

04:21.00
Rachel
You are not messing up my house my house my rules and um and you know I yeah, but I have always been this way like so I just remember always trying to smuggle things into the house and um and trying to do my Artie crafty things but mom was always like nope nope. Save it save it for school get out, get out. Um, and ah but yeah ever since I was a kid I remember particularly in the art room at school like because I really didn’t have much access to like particularly materials. Yes I always had like coloring in books and that sort of thing and.

04:43.95
charukaarora
I.

04:55.11
charukaarora
Is.

04:58.51
Rachel
Liked that but it just wasn’t what like lit me up but I remember when I started to like get access to those like you know gems and pipe cleaners and sequins and all that stuff that you play with as a kid. Um. Something lit a fire in me I remember stuffing materials into my little art smock in year like None um and those memories then of trying to infiltrate my mom’s house with this stuff. Um, and just the shenanigans that would ensue like accidentally spilling. A bucket of Mint Green glitter all over the carpet like trying to put it all back in and getting in trouble for stealing someone’s glittery leaf and then the teacher calling my house just like so of anything you being a magpie. Um. Is what I remember about growing up as a little Yeah yeah, yeah.

05:47.78
charukaarora
Oh My God you know I So I I can even recall like even when I was growing up My Mom was a big time like she was a creative like herself. She really enjoyed that but she was also a big time Clean trade like. I am super messy, super messy like like as long as I like to be like organized like I like to be organized and it comes to work but when it really comes to my surrounding like when I work like you know in this studio I like to spill everything over and like you know like I need to feel that even.

06:19.43
Rachel
Yeah.

06:23.98
charukaarora
Brain a lot of people ask me? how does my brain function like if there’s so much mess and I’m like that’s exactly how my brain functions because I have to have.

06:27.68
Rachel
Yeah I Yeah I find my living environment I can I can be much more organized and clean. But when it comes to make even when I try to organize it and I just like things are all I often will.

06:35.76
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

06:42.24
charukaarora
Um, same.

06:44.76
Rachel
All over while I’m making stuff I will trip on something like slip on Chell or because everything is everywhere no matter how I try organize with it. It just can’t happen. It’s very collage I feel. So maybe you’re doing collage in real.

06:51.60
charukaarora
Everyone. Yeah, Oh absolutely I Love that.? Ah I Love that? Um, that idea of Colaji like because also I feel like those happy accidents also happening then I’m not trying to control everything too hard like I’m like.

07:11.97
Rachel
Ah, absolutely yeah, yeah.

07:16.43
charukaarora
When I when it’s like when trip over something and I’m like oh my God What did I just trip over and I’m pick up something Oh my God I was looking for this for so long or like oh I could use this somewhere.

07:20.94
Rachel
Yeah, it’s like and you can often find that like your little scraps or like the way you’re wiping your paint and stuff like that can end up looking like cooler and freer than what you’re actually working on sometimes I think it’s interest. Um, just like the accidents.

07:34.80
charukaarora
Now.

07:40.30
Rachel
Have something to say yeah.

07:42.19
charukaarora
I agree even my mom was like you know when I I was going up in my room she would like she would say like I had a bed sheet so she had a bed you she would never add like a beautiful spread on my bed like a nice bed that everybody else got and I had this like 1 full cupboard.

07:54.80
Rachel
When people. Yeah.

08:01.63
charukaarora
Which was only about crafts like like I would have glitter and like stuff like that and whenever she used to walk into my room and she would just freak out and she would be like this room looks like I smell greater I Feel liter like I excuse to get So yeah, she was like.

08:02.10
Rachel
A yeah.

08:11.43
Rachel
Um, he could feel it. Yeah yeah, yeah.

08:18.41
charukaarora
I’m not going to get this like this betches is never moving from here because I’m not going to let you you know spoil any other vy for like again.

08:23.53
Rachel
Yeah, know for an obsession. Um I it was in my family of like yeah, not like I get not ruining things because we we were I guess they would trying to teach us to cherish the things we had everything I totally get it. But I’m also like yeah.

08:34.59
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

08:40.15
Rachel
My mom was so focused on like preserving everything like immaculately but I just never I Really just never got the memo on that because everything inside me is like use everything mess it up, get pain on it. Get glitter on it who cares like and that just my mom is like like yeah.

08:55.79
charukaarora
And.

08:59.29
Rachel
Yeah, she she hates? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah I be.

09:01.12
charukaarora
My mom was good was like as long as you keep it clean. Do anything just don’t make it dirty and I was like I don’t know how to make how to make anything without being messy. Okay, but tell me some of him once you started? yeah.

09:13.41
Rachel
Yes, that’s why my mom you knew that that would be the case so she was like get the mess out. Um, and when I was older though they they were really supportive I will say as much as Mom didn’t love the mess. Um, they were supportive um and eventually they gave me the garage to work in I can work in the garage.

09:29.81
charukaarora
Ah, the best place to be.

09:33.21
Rachel
But still not in the house. Yeah deal breaker here. Yeah yeah outside. But yeah, yeah.

09:35.77
charukaarora
Ah, at least there’s a middle ground but will you tell me something when when you started like when you were growing up then what did you think you were what were you interested in them. Did you feel like you were in being. Like Economics. Did you have any creative influences. How was it then.

09:57.47
Rachel
Ah, well it was very much um like I totally grew up with the starving artist Smith I will say I like no one in my family is anyway connected to the arts. So.

10:06.40
charukaarora
With him.

10:12.36
Rachel
Um, all I would say is that my grandma like long history as well Given European background of like housewives I Guess um so say that there was a crafty influence there like my mom always would talk about how how she like gave up her crafts when she had kids because she realized she like didn’t have to do it anymore.

10:18.47
charukaarora
Um, yeah, um.

10:31.16
Rachel
And like wanted to like get out of it. But my grandma like would always make lace and make pompoms and and she would let me like rifle through all her materials and things like that. But aside from that it was very much like you know the idea of like home economics. So the thing it was like things that you um to keep your hands busy.

10:44.88
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

10:49.63
Rachel
In between making dinner for your husband is the energy I will ah ah yeah, yeah, and what is my met that was my grandma much more of like you’re just keeping your hands busy treading water in between important stuff. My mom was very much like.

10:50.98
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, oh my God This sounds I like a very typical Indian to umminize is that how it also feels there.

11:08.81
Rachel
My girls will be educated because she got pulled out of school when she was young when she was like year ten So it it made in her an insecurity that like her daughters you know, might not get a proper education or something. So I think that my love for the arts.

11:11.75
charukaarora
Young.

11:24.83
Rachel
Kind of triggered something in my mom that meant I wasn’t going to get a good education and always from an early time had a fear that I was just you know all the classic stereotypes because of course my 2 main passions growing up was performing an art. So I um I actually.

11:27.93
charukaarora
Yeah.

11:40.69
charukaarora
Okay.

11:44.78
Rachel
I loved art and I always had a pull through school all the whole way through of loving though musical theater as well. So um, my dad used to me and my sister to shows and stuff growing up like he took us to see all the great musicals. Um, and would play them in the car I don’t know why he liked them so much.

11:52.51
charukaarora
That win.

12:01.75
charukaarora
Um, a while.

12:04.55
Rachel
He also probably has like some trapped artist inside him. He definitely does um, but that’s None thing and then of course as soon as I started seeing these shows I was like this looks like the most fun ever I want to do that when I grow up. Um, so in in school I would always like. Want to get involved in musicals and stuff. But again mom being very strict. She was always like no, you’re like not allowed to do them so I would just like sing show tunes in my privacy of my home do my illegal craft and really that was um.

12:28.78
charukaarora
Um, okay.

12:42.57
Rachel
It was all like I felt very um, inhibited like growing up and I think that ah I are in school. Um, but extrariculs were out of the out of the question So any like wants that I had to like sing or dance or anything like I just.

12:46.80
charukaarora
Um, moved yeah.

13:01.44
Rachel
It was just like not on the table. Um, because it just like made all these anxieties came come up with my parents I think about what my future would be um and Mom was like be a teacher like have a safe job So when it came yeah to the end of school that’s.

13:02.63
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

13:09.71
charukaarora
Um, yeah, save job.

13:18.99
Rachel
What I ended up actually enrolling in was education. Ah because I thought that was the only way that I could um actually start to do some performing and also I kind of knew like I knew I wasn’t going to be a teacher but I was like this is gonna buy me some time to like what.

13:21.78
charukaarora
Um, okay.

13:33.78
charukaarora
Um, sometime.

13:36.82
Rachel
How to be a person in the world too because as well very strict I Just it was like quite a like sheltered um I guess I didn’t know how I’m painting it but like my I had a very strict household so you know I didn’t get out much like I I think my personal.

13:53.62
charukaarora
Did he.

13:56.23
Rachel
When I was 16 but and I was a Christmas ball ball painter and then I started to emerge world. Yeah that I do know yeah that all cooked up inside me. Yeah.

13:59.20
charukaarora
Um, over over I have 2 very important questions. 2 very important questions I Want to know I don’t know I mean these are hinges that I have right now when I’m just while I’m listening to you? How are you in school I know I don’t know I don’t know is just stereotypical or like like for me when I was growing up i. I Never fitted in like I would always think like read I would the best I was in a class like even curriculum was arts and nobody care about I My favorite class was art Class. You.

14:35.51
Rachel
Narrow it was a particularly in the 90 s like art was this fuckinging off class in school like no one was that interested in it I feel like artsy is so much cooler at the moment. Um, but it would not like that back in the day back in the day.

14:46.54
charukaarora
Yeah, no, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes like I would like I would dread going to school all throughout the week and we would have this like 2 hours out lost on a Saturday and.

14:54.66
Rachel
It was not yeah now I feel you there? yeah.

15:06.41
charukaarora
On or a Saturday I have never missed a Saturday school and half of my class would would be missing on a Saturday because nobody who wants to show up for an art class like and all my all my like childhood. Um I also had like a like a brother we we drew up together.

15:08.68
Rachel
Um, yeah, yeah, well.

15:21.94
Rachel
Um, so.

15:24.10
charukaarora
So even like when I saw people really enjoying into a lot of things. Um, academically and I felt I had a huge like learning disability I never felt valued enough like I never valued myself enough because I was never able to fit into that definition definition of academics and.

15:34.19
Rachel
Yeah, yeah.

15:40.47
Rachel
That.

15:43.23
charukaarora
Like you know if you’re artsy or if you took art So like I I Never even had the option to take art but let’s even say it was like because you were not good at something. How are you like I hope you understand what I’m asking like how are you.

15:46.23
Rachel
I. Yeah, yeah, no I I 100% um, he what you’re saying because I I feel like None of the things I found so frustrating particularly in high school was yeah this very like hierarchical. Way of like tearing the subjects you know maths and scientists scientists sciences had high value like I actually went to my principal in year because I actually was quite academic in school and I I am competitive person. Um, so my.

16:10.38
charukaarora
Right? but.

16:21.11
charukaarora
Um, really okay.

16:27.36
Rachel
Was very you know she she she’s a lawyer she wanted to study Biomedical science All this sort of stuff so I was like I’ll show you and we would have this little going on um, all the time even though she would always help me. She’s great. Great in that way. But what is um.

16:34.85
charukaarora
Um.

16:40.39
charukaarora
Um.

16:44.23
Rachel
I Knew though that by so I was never good at maths I was terrible and had no interest I had no interest in it I wish I could be interested in science I just wasn’t I loved the Humanities English I I love art drama and I excelled in it. But um.

16:53.10
charukaarora
Um, yeah, meet. Loved.

17:02.60
Rachel
I Knew that studying maths which was compulsory was going to bring down my score. Um and I went to the Principal and was like hey like um, can I Just not do this because it is going to bring me down I’m not good at it I know my brain just falls apart when I’m trying to do it. Um and she was like absolutely not.

17:16.44
charukaarora
Um, not yeah.

17:21.97
Rachel
You can and it did bring down my school but no I I did one thing I moved quite a few times at school because a Martin parents so ruthless every time we move somewhere but that we would move schools. Um, and then.

17:23.77
charukaarora
Um.

17:36.44
charukaarora
Um, yeah, um.

17:39.44
Rachel
Moved to Brisbane which was quite a big move and I think by the time I moved to Brisbane honestly I was so exhausted from all the schools and all the fractured friendships that I just became like a floater but I would say the school I ended up in was quite small and even though they made me study maths. Um.

17:50.24
charukaarora
Um, you.

17:59.22
Rachel
I found it like just quite a relaxed environment and I remember getting very involved in the art and drama um sectors there and and and I do quite well in them. But I always just felt so frustrated because there was always like ah there was a there was a glass seal to the extra.

18:04.44
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

18:15.26
charukaarora
Um, yeah, but.

18:17.98
Rachel
As to how far I could push it like um I kind of knew something would be waiting hopefully um in the future I no idea and I want I was just going to say one thing I struggle with having no one in my family involved in the arts too.

18:24.68
charukaarora
Um, yeah I know you this something? Sorry good.

18:34.20
charukaarora
Being.

18:36.85
Rachel
I was that I actually I had no idea the different pathways that would be available once I left school like I had no clue that you could make a career Oh many different professions studying the arts.

18:39.10
charukaarora
Um, what?? Yeah yeah, yeah I think even not that I think as a creative the emotions and the experiences that we feel. Ah I mean it’s It’s so different. It’s It’s always helpful like like someone who gets you like you who like you can tell someone like okay this is I Want to go this like a lot of things like Imp Posto like finding a voice. So like these are even very mature terms that I’m saying but a lot of things that we feel.

19:09.52
Rachel
Alright.

19:17.87
charukaarora
But and we are no no matter where we are in our Journeys actually and like you know like you just said that um you were saying that like you felt more involved than you were in a smaller space I don’t know. There’s a connect between that. But I’m going to study about it. But I do feel like a lot of artists like flourish in spaces that are of course safe but also like slow so that we can identify who we are and I don’t know if there’s did did that make you feel that way.

19:48.17
Rachel
No I really I really agree with you because I think that’s actually why I live in Queensland and not in a bigger city. Yeah, it’s like quite a slow pace here I love traveling to other places.

19:54.73
charukaarora
I don’t know even I feel the same.

20:03.24
Rachel
But there’s something about the very like everyone who comes here from me says always like Wow like it’s really like laid back and I’m like yes it is and as a result I feel like the pace is slower and it’s more of a blank canvas to kind of just do what you want and it was the same in high school at Daggy high school that was like.

20:06.39
charukaarora
And.

20:15.90
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

20:21.85
Rachel
Um, it’s Smalls like small and daggy. It was just like a place that you had the freedom.

20:23.95
charukaarora
Yeah, and I think lesser distractions like I think what I really felt like I grew up in a small town then I moved to a bigger city even like I too older and then I wait came back to the pandemic like and I I felt this experience in my own life and I feel like. The bigger town like you know when you’re in between I feel like when I’m in between too much noise for some reason it’s hard for me to connect with my own voice and hear what I am saying to myself like what is that my heart wants What is that this creative in me wants and whenever I’m in a place where I can like there’s more quiet around.

20:46.63
Rachel
Um, a.

20:56.32
Rachel
Um, yeah, and yeah.

21:02.98
charukaarora
It just makes it I can know myself so much more I connect with myself so much more and starts making so much more sales otherwise in too much noise I feel like I need to do this that like you know the noise around me makes a lot of impact and could be completely me but I don’t know I just felt like.

21:16.14
Rachel
Yeah, welcome to um, producing on the internet as well I feel like right now I think I’m really struggling with that in that the internet like social media particularly with the addition of O It’s so noisy like ah.

21:23.82
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah, yeah I agree.

21:34.16
Rachel
Instagram was like pictures mainly but I’m finding that I something about killer all I mean some of it is so entertaining and I mean a lot of it is very entertaining and obviously addictive and interesting. But it’s so much noise and I’m fine. It’s hard to.

21:43.99
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah.

21:51.23
Rachel
Sometimes like that’s way it’s like you’ve really got to pull yourself out of the vortex in order to like and clear thinking like with what you’re saying because it’s just impossible to even have a thought up. It’s all that night

21:54.17
charukaarora
Um, yeah. Yeah, like if this is a reaction chain that we fall into like people like you know when you put it out some something put out there. You see someone else and like you’re constantly reacting to things around you instead reacting and making things within you like I do agree and definitely okay.

22:08.99
Rachel
Um, yeah. Um, yeah.

22:18.88
charukaarora
Another question part 2 of my question which is were you like a dreamy like I also feel like this is a common element. Especially I don’t know I’m just perceiving this giving on like my imagination of your world were you also this lick like you know we all tell stories and i. Like when I grew up I would always like I felt like I was always in this bad and really funny because I never like I had a hard time associating to my reality while I was growing up like because I never felt connected to who I never felt fitted in so I felt.

22:42.89
Rachel
A yeah yeah, a.

22:50.91
charukaarora
It was safer for me to mentally build another space for myself where I would become who I wanted to pick up. Did you have like but this is a pattern I’ve seen in a lot of interviews Also were you also like that.

22:52.61
Rachel
Yeah, oh I gosh I havent really thought about that. But absolutely um and I feel like I’ve always had I think I think of it as like delusions of Grand ju.

23:10.67
charukaarora
Um, yeah I.

23:11.54
Rachel
Like I’ve always thought that I didn’t know I’ve always thought there’s something amazing out there and there’s and you know even when I was a little kid I was like when am I getting my fairy wings when am I going like.

23:23.35
charukaarora
Um, oh wow.

23:27.64
Rachel
Any day now I am like obviously magical and I will be taken away like I was like forever waiting for my letter not to hogwarts but to some other dimension. Um, and I felt like I feel like also you know when you’re a kid you always are getting told when you grow up when you grow up like it’s gonna be so like.

23:44.90
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

23:47.50
Rachel
And I remember thinking like my idea of what an amazing future reality obviously is very different to I mean it’s pretty close to what I’m doing now. But for the general adult experience. You know, um it doesn’t compare to to the imagination. Um, and.

23:55.99
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

24:05.75
Rachel
Yeah I guess all I would say about those dreamings is it. It never had anything that would have been tied to a career or anything like that. But I definitely um, lost in my imagination of just I guess like hopes and dreams for the future and like of all using things that you could like.

24:11.25
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah, absolutely. Um, yeah, um.

24:24.24
Rachel
Bring into reality and also like yeah just I particularly like thinking back to like little kid dreams like that where I was just like so sure that you know some other magical dimension existed and just thinking like in how I was going to fit into it and I was pretty mad when that happened. But.

24:35.58
charukaarora
Um, that oh I I’m I think you are creating that role of us in ourselves a lot of times. Okay.

24:43.89
Rachel
I make my own or a absolutely. Ah, um, yeah.

24:53.72
charukaarora
Um, this is so nice to hear okay tell me something then when you figured then you came out what happened what brought you where you are today. Let’s let’s hear that.

25:00.78
Rachel
Yes, sure. Um, so all what I will say is that the musical journey sort of like got got some steam. Um, once I left school I like started doing the education degree. Um at uni and um. And then I joined like a theater group there and like None thing led to another I started doing a lot of singing um joined a band was performing in shows show after shop show I ended up um I did like I did. Well at uni in those for that first year and then the next year I just was like attending no classes. Um and just like fully full theater mode. Um, and I loved it. I loved it so much side by side to that I was like making costumes though. So for the role that I was like.

25:47.44
charukaarora
Um, okay.

25:51.52
Rachel
Performing I would like make some of the costumes. Um for ah yeah for myself. But also for other people. So if any if something someone dropped out somehow I just had like the bare bone basic skills to cobble some things together but like some things were quite cool like I was but you know set.

25:52.33
charukaarora
For 1 self. Okay.

26:10.46
Rachel
Experimenting a little bit. Um, so ah, but it was never something that I was like this is this is what I want to be doing and I will say I did experiment with a little bit of wearable art in my finally year in high school that kind of sparked something. So um, so that was kind of hovering around though in the background. I ended up auditioning for a fancy musical theater school here in Australia um, it was. It’s in Melbourne called victorian college of the arts I got in which I don’t even know still how I got into that. Um, but I as I mentioned quite sheltered um upbringing ah me getting it.

26:38.84
charukaarora
Um. Um, yeah.

26:46.22
Rachel
School coincided perfectly with me becoming finally a bit of a naughty um party party gal and I had my None piece of freedom and I was like let’s go to the clubs i.

26:56.16
charukaarora
You like? ah.

26:59.91
Rachel
Very disciplined with my jazz tap and ballet none time living out a home even though it was with my grandparents but you know they didn’t care what I did so um, you know I was just having a very good time ah and was not focused like I don’t know what happened to me in that year I had done. So much work to get into this school. Um I had tried so hard. It had been such a dream for me I was like I’m gonna go to this school and then I’m gonna go to Broadway and all my dreams will come true. Ah, but um, at the end of the first year I was just like this isn’t it like something so deep within me was like no.

27:20.75
charukaarora
Um, okay.

27:39.60
Rachel
Turn back? um to the point where I I literally just dropped out I just called my professor at the end of that first year I can’t believe I did this still thinking back on it I actually have like some weird I still have to get in touch with those teachers and say sorry because I just fully was like.

27:40.14
charukaarora
Shifted now.

27:46.85
charukaarora
Oh god.

27:55.28
Rachel
Coming back even though it was I can’t tell you what a process it was to get in. It was massive. Um and but yeah I just was like no this isn’t it and then I think I just had to come to terms though I didn’t realize making that very like blunt decision that I was gonna have to come to terms with.

27:58.71
charukaarora
Um, of um.

28:14.83
Rachel
Like not having my like core dream anymore. Um, and that had really defined me of being like the musical theater girl. Um, you know everyone was like oh my god like you’re at Vca and I’d be like oh no like I dropped out you know, suddenly that was my narrative of like being a ah dropout and I think people.

28:16.92
charukaarora
Um, okay.

28:30.70
charukaarora
Um, yeah, it is yeah.

28:33.55
Rachel
Assume that I got kicked out or something went really wrong I wasn’t enough you know which are also like I was not good enough like you know like I knew that it just wasn’t right? Um, for me. Ah, but that was really really difficult time and so I would say that me then.

28:42.70
charukaarora
Um, yeah, um.

28:50.36
Rachel
Coming into this next creative phase was like a real time of like desperation like I was actively like what can I swear what the fuck am I going to do um because my mom and dad were freaking out. They were like we had just yeah yeah, like they did not.

28:57.20
charukaarora
Um, yeah, absolutely.

29:04.50
charukaarora
Um, because yeah.

29:09.81
Rachel
To start with. They didn’t know want me to go to Vca. They didn’t no want me to leave my it and then I did um and mom yeah as she was just like what are you doing like and then I was like I am going to be a writer and she was like excellent another well paidid profession.

29:11.14
charukaarora
Um, and then you date and then call out.

29:23.88
charukaarora
Oh wow.

29:29.50
Rachel
Perfect. Ah is this a long story I have to say so so there from but many little skipping stones. All I can say is like nothing has been linear. It’s just like ah well I.

29:30.61
charukaarora
Um, oh my God go do it I’m always. How did lighting come into place then okay.

29:47.87
Rachel
Always like writing I’d written a few short novels in my youth because I was a shut in ah and also I should play like during that time where I was at Union I was working in a bookshop at borders. Do you remember that you remember that still um.

29:54.60
charukaarora
Ah. Okay I was I was in I was in India I don’t even know if it was here I think.

30:07.36
Rachel
Waters was a great show. Um, and it was worldwide like it was all around but then it went into administration shut down very sad but I was there for 5 years loved reading love writing and I was like I am going to study writing and in doing so first time ever in that first six months I heard about blogging.

30:19.15
charukaarora
Okay.

30:25.60
charukaarora
Um, okay yeah, that.

30:25.95
Rachel
Ah, had never heard about the and blogging was just starting to have its moment. You know this was like 15012 um and first time ever I was like oh my god you can tell your a story people are gonna tune in bye forever so I drop great.

30:41.90
charukaarora
Ah, yeah.

30:43.55
Rachel
Mom and dad are poing out and I remember thinkly going for a walk and being like what could I make a blog about and I was like well I like making clothes that’s probably my only other skill that I have left um at what if I like and another thing I’d kind of be doing was like my friends again would be like can you make.

30:49.25
charukaarora
Do.

31:03.30
Rachel
This can you make me that and I would love to like have some wines like oh they were all hodgepodge like I was up cycling like you know someone might have a dress and I’d pull it apart and redo it and I’d like add se.

31:05.12
charukaarora
But what kind of clothes were you making at that point.

31:16.30
charukaarora
But it wouldn’t be the ones like the one the tinsel jackets like stuff that you’re doing now. Yeah yeah.

31:20.74
Rachel
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, that is like so far and away from what I was doing. It was very big of collage. It was very that my skills were not very good. They were like it was very patchworky. It was very naive. Um, it’s so.

31:34.16
charukaarora
Yeah, okay, where you started Yes, how it it’s like it’s we don’t him like I think if the good pardon like the best fire bow looking back is like when we think like how little actions but we think we’re not moving but.

31:38.21
Rachel
Now to think back on what those things were um, yeah.

31:50.44
Rachel
Ah, and and every incremental decision and and I keep still look back to this time because it was the greatest lesson I have continued to repeat and it works every time and that is just making.

31:53.14
charukaarora
Had you not done that you wouldn’t have been able to be ah.

32:09.44
Rachel
Your own opportunity and I was and I didn’t really doing that at the time when I made a decision that led to an opportunity and then there’s just decision opportunity decision opportunity and just continuing to deliver on that exchange ongoing because that’s all it was I’ve like um so I started.

32:09.69
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

32:18.30
charukaarora
Yeah.

32:27.77
Rachel
And like I can’t I should send you a photo of some of that earlier stuff. It was you know the like it’s quite bad or but it was just like it was just you know I wasn’t so bad it I bad it was just actually now I you say’s quite cute like it was just really, um, just an expression.

32:29.10
charukaarora
Um, yes, please.

32:36.79
charukaarora
I’m not sure about bad I think.

32:46.40
charukaarora
It’s the beginning. Yeah, it’s beginning of something that makes you today.

32:47.37
Rachel
Yeah, and I had no proper sewing skills. So it all just had to be what it was and as a result I was like learning on the go and like making decisions based on my skills which invariably led to like something maybe a bit unique.

32:52.61
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah.

33:07.37
Rachel
And then from doing that. Um I was I started this blog and it just was me making dresses on my friends and then we’d go out. Um and take photos of them and I was like hey I could raise my charity and like so I did my None project was making a dress every week for twenty weeks and then it culminated in a big.

33:15.71
charukaarora
Okay, okay.

33:24.20
charukaarora
Um, okay, a while. Wow.

33:26.88
Rachel
Party and then I raised $5000 for this really nice charity here called Napkin and it was great because it was like the None thing honestly that I had finished since I’d like dropped out and. Quit so many things and I had really like lost faith in myself I think over that time. Um and it was the first thing I’d kind of finished and was like oh my god like I raised this money. Um I’d gotten some really good press from doing it and I had by the end of the twenty weeks you know if I say the none little things I made were pretty average. By the end of the twenty weeks I had some like cool stuff. Um, that really speaks to you know, just that repetition and that practice um led to an outcome and then again because I had ample time. Certainly no children at that stage. Um I was like um, rest day for a year and blog about it.

34:02.34
charukaarora
Um, coursea.

34:20.63
charukaarora
Um, oh vow.

34:20.66
Rachel
Which I did. So yeah I made a dress every day for a year raise more money for that time. The Starlight foundation and um, that no I was still just like.

34:29.83
charukaarora
And you were not making anything for yourself from that at that point like as a living you thought this could be a cardio as a living. Um, winging it.

34:40.80
Rachel
Let’s see where this goes like I still knew my skill to scratch I definitely had some key fights with my parents at this stage because they were like Okay, now you’re a designer all right have you taken a blow to the head because where is this coming from what is happening but I there must have been.

34:48.15
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

34:57.76
Rachel
Something in me that was like this is the right path because I was very much like shush. No no, no, no no I’ll just be in the gara. Yeah yeah, leave me alone. It’s all gone to shit it. So let’s just see what happens. Um I just worked my butt off. So what happened then that really like kind of gained me. So.

35:01.49
charukaarora
Um, I know what I’m doing man now.

35:16.59
Rachel
D I guess was a couple of designs like you know I’ve kind of unlocked a few really cute designs. Um, that were quite unique. People started wanting to replicate the designs that I’d been making and then I ended up starting a little brand My first you know, googling out of brand. Ah.

35:31.52
charukaarora
Um, okay.

35:36.26
Rachel
Started this brand ended up stocking your boutique with it. They placed huge orders and I would literally just Sow all day and all it was called Yellow cake when it first started. Um, yeah, it was my boyfriend who is now my husband um he.

35:41.94
charukaarora
Um, what was it called? Okay yellow cake also cute. Oh.

35:54.20
Rachel
Um, never forget sitting in the car at Mcdonald’ and I was like if you had a brand name. What would you call it and he was like yellow cake like the uranium and I think that’s cute. Let’s do that? Um, yeah.

36:00.62
charukaarora
Um, said Okay, then why what were you making with that brand.

36:12.92
Rachel
So that was really um, it was like cute flowery headpieces. They were having a real moment back then too. Um, so I was making flowery headpieces and these like very um, they were starting to become I think now I will say quite gorgeous um dresses they were.

36:18.42
charukaarora
Okay.

36:31.70
Rachel
Um, you know there was a white tool dress with all these like pastel pompoms all over it. This is where I first started that experimenting with like putting. Definitely I’m making up for my lack of sewing skills with embellishment. So I’d be like oh that looks ugly we’ll stick a pompom on it. Well you know. With gems and suddenly something that looks like a $5 dress is $200 you know, um and just experimenting with like what’s sold the stuff would sell out from this boutique that I was stocking so much they ended up hiring me as their in-house designer and then look at me.

36:53.65
charukaarora
Yeah.

37:04.98
charukaarora
Um, oh Wow world. Yes, oh wow.

37:07.56
Rachel
Ummbling into like the professional fashion world which I ended up working in for 7 years it became head design over really big street brand so crazy. Um.

37:18.63
charukaarora
But that must be so different. Um, like where you are I’m sure that world looked fairly different.

37:22.73
Rachel
Oh yeah, that was a whole nother world and it was such an amazing experience because that that’s literally that what I did for my job until I went out on my own to do all this stuff. Um I went to China like 25 times I traveled the world. Um i.

37:29.00
charukaarora
Again.

37:38.26
charukaarora
Um, around.

37:41.00
Rachel
Really let the ins and outs of the garment industry and then was like by forever. Yeah, ah yeah.

37:47.00
charukaarora
Now’m when we go on my but then how did you get into like did you double into painting. Did you like what I’m trying to understand that today your work lies and I saw your transition in your I I love that picture of yours that has like these I don’t know if it was a staged award.

37:54.50
Rachel
Yes.

38:04.63
charukaarora
Like I mean it was a conceptual thing or that was a part of your process like you had these paintings paper paintings on the background and on the floor. So I’m just trying to understand like you know like let’s say for me because I’d never I didn’t.

38:11.13
Rachel
Yeah, yeah.

38:21.50
charukaarora
Like we all and we nobody knows like this path like how I also had a lot of craft influence like because India is culturally very rich with craft and I for some I can’t take carway from myself like it’s it’s a very big part of my own existence I was also into fashion. So like.

38:22.54
Rachel
Um, want you.

38:28.42
Rachel
Yeah.

38:33.76
Rachel
Then.

38:39.82
charukaarora
You know, texture embroideries and Indian em employeeries and all of those influences and fabrates and text has huge huge influence on me so like traditionally my work like I when I came like when I thought okay artist meant first I was a designer then I felt like okay I wanted to be an artist.

38:42.30
Rachel
And so beautiful. Yeah I know.

38:57.63
Rachel
Um, yeah.

38:58.29
charukaarora
Didn’t know what that meant for me that meant I needed to get away from the definition of what the designer meant and for me at that point that only meant that I I wanted to make something as an expression and not only solve a problem because as designers you’re always taught that we need to make something that is utility and that serves the purpose and as an artist you are. Creative Expression is your primary Objective. So I was like I just want to make what I want to make I don’t know what that is but that’s what I wanted to have in my head. So I further bent down and I figured like I want to be I want to pink and I figured Okay I Want to include embellishments and that you know those pieces that start calling out to you but there was a.

39:18.59
Rachel
I.

39:34.15
Rachel
Yeah, yeah.

39:37.51
charukaarora
Pointy like I didn’t know where I fitted in and I feel like with your book and also I like probably where I came from like this like for an authors like this this blend between craft and art like I didn’t know if it was it I into the crafts was I into art. Um where I belong and like you know. I still I think I don’t care about these questions anymore. But when you get into something um and you have no knowledge about it. You start asking these questions like today your work like you’re a multidisciplinary artist designer and your work transcends from so many different mediumes.

40:05.31
Rachel
Yeah.

40:14.78
Rachel
Um, yeah, okay I know what exactly I know what happened? Yes, So so what happened was when I got into this actual like.

40:16.96
charukaarora
Like can you can you talk about that. How that happened like your ah did you had that struggle now. Um, yeah.

40:27.67
Rachel
Garment Job world and I had all these dreams at that stage being like okay this is something that’s worked I you know I want to work for top shop I Want to work as a like proper designer I started to learn very quickly though that I was losing something from myself. Ah, and ah it ended up.

40:39.79
charukaarora
Um, yes.

40:45.70
Rachel
That I felt like I felt like an outsider in this world that was trying to make me I wasn’t because you know there were lots of pressures even to like be a certain way dress a certain way. Be cool. Um, and I just like suddenly started to just really realize that.

40:48.75
charukaarora
Um, name.

40:54.32
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

41:05.40
Rachel
Either I was going to go down this path and that was it or I was going to need to keep what I was doing alive at home. Um, and I doing that and literally I would do it every day when I got home because I was like I remember saying to my partner I was like I just can’t I Just it’s not creative like it’s not creative. We’re like it.

41:07.10
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah.

41:19.40
charukaarora
Um, start Yeah um, fun. Yeah.

41:24.45
Rachel
But it’s formulaic like you’re saying I’m I’m I’m serving a purpose it like you say with design you know I am I am trying to make something that is going to sell 500 units I’m trying to work out the formula of a fast selling product I’m not you know it actually has nothing to do with yeah with nothing to do.

41:32.66
charukaarora
Um, yeah. Um, yeah oh god absolute I started a business chart that business it wanted a half year as a fashion designer I was like this is not what I signed up for.

41:43.92
Rachel
Yeah, yeah, yeah, no, and that’s I was like I but I had no idea again because I never studied fashion like what that that was about again quite naive.

41:53.70
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah I mean again, that’s actually what you like I think that is what also I didn’t come from an art school. So I never knew like there was no expectation of what an art schooler an artist meant so I was like I will just figure it out.

42:01.54
Rachel
Um, yeah, yeah, um.

42:09.74
charukaarora
And I think I Really like that now because I don’t have any pre notions I don’t know I’m breaking any rules I don’t care because I don’t know but when you come from like I came from a design school I felt like okay this is how things were past is the real world was so different and I felt like I don’t know what to do because.

42:25.49
Rachel
Yeah, yeah, yeah, and I think that was a sense of like I’ve I’ve with this the last job that I had I was like I Just don’t feel like you know my creative expression like yeah I knew and.

42:28.51
charukaarora
I Don’t feel belonged.

42:38.44
charukaarora
Um, yes.

42:41.40
Rachel
Match So I was like it’s either going to die or I’m going to keep exploring it at home and really ah, my ah was really born literally from that I would just practice every night I would get home I would make something and I would just keep my clothes.

42:44.75
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

42:53.44
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

42:57.11
Rachel
But then it it started to progress out of just making clothes and and I guess to a space where I call these pieces wearable art I guess because like you’re saying there has been. There’s a sense of like self-expression and storytelling that.

43:10.65
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

43:13.42
Rachel
Started happening with the work and it started moving off garments to paper to just like this crazy frenetic like Exploratory like kindergarten style work that just I mean hold out of me at different stages I will say um I feel like it.

43:25.89
charukaarora
Um.

43:32.67
Rachel
It often will happen at ah at a big time of like a crossroad almost or like of a time of frustration where like I feel like the work that I do on paper. It doesn’t always come to me? Um, but I remember some of those none nights particularly when I would start to move more into like paintings and you know like you’re talking about the scribbling all that stuff. Like I was doing it on the walls like I put up these huge sheets of butcher’s paper night out always like around midnight just painting and seeing what happened and sharing it on social media and I guess like as things like would get feedback I would also like again like a good designer translate.

44:08.33
charukaarora
But.

44:11.90
Rachel
And into like what I was exploring I guess as well. Um, so um, so yeah, and then from that I guess I I ended up meeting some really cool people along the way one girl that I really connected with um she she’s in a band here.

44:13.00
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

44:28.73
charukaarora
Um, okay.

44:29.59
Rachel
And we ended up like hitting it off and I started making her costumes and like we super connected love for nostalgia and made a massive pompom jacket I made her my first Jacke um, and that was just I was like something that was going to have like a real wow factor on stage.

44:33.59
charukaarora
Um, oh wow.

44:39.57
charukaarora
Um, food. Wow.

44:48.53
Rachel
I had like a box of like Christmas stuff and I love repurposing materials and things like that. So I was like ohh this could be cool like I’ve got some tinsel lametta. Um, and I remember just sending her a photo of it and she was like yes like let’s just try it like it was such a great.

45:02.70
charukaarora
Oh wow.

45:05.45
Rachel
So encouraging. We’re still like such good friends I’m literally saying it more? um but and and we continue to just like collaborate throughout the years and she’s had like her name’s patience. Um, she’s fab and um, we ah.

45:09.23
charukaarora
Um, hello.

45:19.52
Rachel
We’ve done so much stuff together now all about like you know craft and I think I also got really involved with I don’t know if you’ve seen the Magazine Frankie Magazine have you seen that? Yeah so I ended up a lot.

45:26.98
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah I saw an interview on their website olds I think.

45:33.36
Rachel
Yeah, yeah, I’ve worked with them for a year. Oh like I worked with them for a few years ago and now I like do things on and off with them. But um I and I was styling their fashion editorials I ended up doing that for about 2 years um and that was another huge learning curve but also.

45:39.60
charukaarora
Like this.

45:47.41
charukaarora
Cloaking.

45:50.48
Rachel
I would read those magazines religiously go to the craft markets go to things and it’s just something about the tactile materials that yeah I just continuously have found myself like experimenting with and it has not to use the word organic but it has all happened very organically 1 thing leading to the next.

46:07.99
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

46:10.70
Rachel
And I guess with me mentioning like storytelling and just even just over the years like you said to like realizing what you can do with art and in the real world how you can translate it into a career I feel like I’m still learning about like the possibilities that live interest is sorry within this.

46:23.33
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, and every everything’s changing like they’re all like every day. The possibility is only getting better.

46:29.25
Rachel
Yeah, yeah, wait press. Why yeah yeah, and and you know and plentiful like there’s so many different that you can be doing um but I think now it’s about like focusing in on like though, what really lights you up because there’s so many options It’s about real like.

46:35.89
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

46:44.20
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

46:48.69
Rachel
Constantly a kind of reflecting and being like okay is this just what’s cool or is this like what I actually want to be doing. Um, yeah yeah.

46:56.65
charukaarora
That’s such a good question. Okay, tell me something how did you finally hone like like I feel like in this ah in this ah in this conversation. We spoke a lot about you as a designer you were navigating that versus today your identity and your work.

47:07.16
Rachel
Yes.

47:13.45
charukaarora
So much more than just being the designer I think you you are a you your identity as an artist is based on a more prominent your work. Um, you’ve showed your work all of the you’ve showed in Brisbane in Australia so many other parts of the world museums galleries like. And you’ve had such amazing amazing collaborations disney lego like oh my god like a lot of things that ah that a lot of artists like Rudy Chase for and dream about um I think my question is um, how did you finally hone that identity of. Being an artist and then did you like let’s none talk about that and then I want to ask you did you struggle with or there was any any kind of contention that you felt like you know these places like calaries and like all of this where a lot of serious artists shown like because a lot of artists we as are like. People who come from down the traditional path like you like I love what you’re doing because I love the challenge like I want to see more of this in the galley space because it just widens the definition of what you can be as a creative. You don’t have to have like you all can have on our stories so can can you talk about that.

48:24.66
Rachel
Um, yeah, sure. Um, So I Always forget about this project but the None proper like art project that I did along the way was again. It’s still all connected back to that time when I left vca. Um I feel like and that time where I was like. You know, ah becoming a bit of a like crazy kid. Um I Felt like that time I like burned a lot of bridges and like was just like not myself and had just made some like you know, a lot of friends had dwindled a rat away and I feel like I had a lot of regret about that time. So Um, because I love pompoms and. Things it just I don’t even know how it happened I can’t of remember now but I ended up making an apology on a Pom Pom. Ah and I started then sharing them online and they were just my personal apologies and then I was like leaving them around the suburbs and stuff and um.

49:09.57
charukaarora
Um, for love.

49:22.58
Rachel
People started contacting me being like can I like submit one can I do it and I was like yeah of course then I started like a little janky website where people would submit their anonymous apologies through it. Um, and I ended up collecting None of and then so I would like make the pom pom to match the note um and then i.

49:31.23
charukaarora
Um, okay, wow.

49:41.18
Rachel
It was called Apomy. Um, and yeah, yeah, and I yeah I ended up showing that Um, that’s one of the shows I’ve just showed all around um and that that got some amazing feedback ended up doing a ted talk about it. Um, and.

49:41.76
charukaarora
Um, oh wow.

49:56.13
charukaarora
Um, ah.

50:01.50
Rachel
That was the None thing that I was like oh I actually like really love this um side connecting with people in this way creating not only creating but then I would show people how to make the pompoms and do workshops and things like that.

50:06.43
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

50:18.28
Rachel
Um, and really started to like engage with the arts community. Um, and that was like kind of I guess I did that for a few years and it just kept growing in scale. The last apomology project I did was um. Ah, and no wonder it was my last I just got so burnt out I made 2000 pompoms over None ars Ah and we it got set up in a big gallery here in Brisbane um, and then ah now I kind of like take on the pompom as a more conceptual symbolism within my work and and.

50:36.35
charukaarora
Oh goodness.

50:49.48
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

50:51.93
Rachel
What it means because I’ve done the apologym projects So many people don’t not so many people but I think lot don’t know that that was me that did that project because often people will set me and feel like you’ll like yeah I do is that my project like.

50:54.53
charukaarora
Um, yeah, um, okay.

51:04.66
charukaarora
Um, that’s my project.

51:09.00
Rachel
Um, but yeah, you can see over here like I’ve got a massive pompom swing. Yeah um and that like a swing all about like reflection and um and time and all this sort of stuff. But um I guess yeah apology was the None thing that I was starting to actually like take.

51:13.25
charukaarora
Oh wow.

51:28.79
Rachel
I was like oh my God like I have made an art project and actually I Really like this world and space and from there I guess I just started taking myself more seriously and got some more opportunities said yes to a bunch of things did the work is a key thing and. And and have always and since made it a priority to invest that time into discovering that because I think that’s really important but I will absolutely speak to what you’re saying about this. Um you know, not being a traditional art kid. Um, and yeah I mean from that.

51:50.40
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

52:00.24
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

52:04.19
Rachel
Um, you know coming from nowhere probably ah you know where have you come from and then ok spaces and I will say I’ve absolutely faced particularly this year um some you know I don’t even know what the word is I guess just um, like some real nastiness I will say there’s.

52:06.70
charukaarora
Um, right.

52:20.63
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

52:23.26
Rachel
I I actually found it like really shocking because I think it just spoke so true to insecurities that I absolutely had about being an impostor and being not good enough and oh my God they’re going to know that I’m a fraud and I don’t know what I’m doing and.

52:28.74
charukaarora
Um, yeah, um, yeah.

52:39.82
Rachel
Um, that you know suddenly the spotlights on you and I’m naked you know like with you my um yeah, my studio assistant was telling me about yeah I had picked up on a vibe that I had gone to a big opening here in Brisbane and and someone was um.

52:41.93
charukaarora
Um, yeah I get you I saw mean I’m sure everybody who was listening would would really resonate with that.

52:59.66
Rachel
Not very kind to me and was just shooting me some evil looks and things like that and when I asked them about it. They were just like oh yeah, they just don’t like you they like hate your work. They don’t think you should be in galleries, Etc, etc. And I was like holy crap. That’s actually my insecurity is real. Someone is not.

53:02.80
charukaarora
My card.

53:14.68
charukaarora
Yeah, someone feels that way because I think we’re all seeking each other’s approval and like you know the stereotypical definition I think I also had this a hard time when I was I was coming into the art world was.

53:17.94
Rachel
Um, yeah, and I. Um, ah that.

53:31.21
charukaarora
I Felt the intense and that’s what I really admire about you honestly and I really want to say this for you and to you because you need to hear it a lot of times we asked it like you know the constant pressure of being like being serious like some like this constant pressure that wasn’t just about creating but then.

53:34.58
Rachel
Um.

53:43.26
Rachel
Ah. Yeah.

53:50.75
charukaarora
About am I worthy of creating something that other people have to listen should be on the white walls and like it took so much energy out of me and I felt like it felt such your 1 side perspective that not everything um that serious matters.

53:55.58
Rachel
With.

54:06.40
Rachel
You know.

54:08.45
charukaarora
Um, there are several voices on this planet and we all deserve to be heard and creativity comes in different.

54:12.16
Rachel
Yeah, what? like yeah I’m always like and it ended up like this guy this person. Um, you know it got me down briefly but then I just very much was like well ah art is subjective. Everyone can have an opinion I’m like who are you to say? what’s serious who are you who is.

54:24.40
charukaarora
Um, yes.

54:29.79
Rachel
Anybody to say whose story is worthy of being told just because it’s serious and various or whatever like like that’s not for us to judge each other on like whose story is most worthy to be told um in whatever form I Think once you start policing that like it’s a slippery.

54:32.54
charukaarora
Um, yes.

54:46.24
charukaarora
Um, yes, um, yes.

54:48.83
Rachel
Hope to you know it’s just gatekeeping. It’s just gatekeeping. Yeah and it’s certainly not the abundance mindset. Um I Just don’t think that like you know that side of the art world World realizes that the only people that it’s hurting is themselves because it’s making you know.

54:55.64
charukaarora
Um, name.

55:05.13
charukaarora
Um, yes, everybody.

55:07.84
Rachel
I’m of the belief that art should be accessible to everyone. Everyone welcome everyone should feel um, you know I wish there was an art report every night on the news as well as the sport you know you know so it’s like if you’re going to make this like an insular.

55:18.10
charukaarora
Um, oh Wow I Love that idea.

55:26.11
Rachel
You know, don’t come over here. You’re not fancy enough. You know like it’s not productive and I’m like if that’s going to be your mindset good luck with that I’ll be over here doing miscribbles and um and no, but yeah I think that um.

55:28.11
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah, yeah. I Love that.

55:45.50
Rachel
And other thing I’ve kind of realized I guess this is just a comment as I’ve gotten older on your note to being like you know what’s serious and I I think it’s kind of actually like ridiculous in hindsight thinking like you know, even in art school even when I was in theater school. The idea that you’re meant to be dealing with like all these like crazy heavy things like.

56:02.58
charukaarora
Um, crazy.

56:05.42
Rachel
I Mean unless you’ve had some harrowing childhood which you know is intense and like should not necessarily need to be your subject matter because that would that’s a lot of pressure as well. It’s like you live your life. How are you possibly meant to you know, be like.

56:14.88
charukaarora
Um, poor bill I swear. Absolutely.

56:23.48
Rachel
Rothko it’s only now that like I’m growing like you know I’m actually feel like I’m going through more hectic things with having a kid and stuff and grappling with much bigger themes I’m like oh my god now what love is and I’m 33

56:23.60
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

56:34.95
charukaarora
Um, yes, that’s.

56:40.67
Rachel
You know like this expectation that you’re like meant to like know all this serious stuff and you can’t just like explore your subconscious.

56:44.20
charukaarora
Um, holding yeah.

56:50.96
Rachel
Because it’s an interesting thing to be exploring. Oh just like does me and I’m just like so much pressure to know things that are unknowable until like way later and like it’s just at yeah.

56:52.96
charukaarora
Are the.

56:58.75
charukaarora
Yeah, and I think just I think that’s again, the biggest part of winning our voices as artists that I think we all decide. We become an artist the way we decide to become an artist the way we the day we call usaf an artist. There’s no other way. There’s no other death.

57:12.42
Rachel
Yeah, yeah.

57:16.96
charukaarora
Mission We just all have our own and again like anything else in the world. You not everybody is meant to like everything. Not everybody is mine for us mine for everyone and that goes both the ways.

57:23.20
Rachel
Yeah, yeah, and I like to think of it now as like with this person who was like you shouldn’t be here. It’s like I find it a bit punk and a bit rebellious to just do what you want and it’s like okay fine You think I shouldn’t be Ah yeah.

57:36.20
charukaarora
Um, yes, ah the door there are yeah.

57:43.18
Rachel
I’ll be exactly here I would be there and I’ll be over there or not I’ll just my studio like still making art like I’m like if that’s not like you know like I don’t know um to me I’m like if you make an art. You’re an artist like.

57:52.92
charukaarora
Yeah.

57:59.82
charukaarora
Right? I love that? I love that yeah okay last question you’ve had some amazing collaborations. Um Disney I mean oh you that looks like ah like you and Disney’s a match made in heaven.

58:01.10
Rachel
Don’t let anyone tell you like what the parameters of that look like because it’s none of their business. Yeah yeah.

58:19.69
charukaarora
But some really like amazing names and um I think like people that really like a lot of people aspire to be with. Can you talk a little bit about those projects and like how has like how did that like you know, just the idea sometimes I think like you know we ask the self like oh. I am making these pump Po presses or like like I’m sure I mean there’s no denial how hard the backend stuff is like you know the mental process and like all of those things but still like still like the pleasure of having making the work that we really love from a heart that gives you a channel to work.

58:53.20
Rachel
Yeah.

58:57.82
charukaarora
With other um names who are doing so much better like Disney is like the name of um creativity like how did that make you feel and how has these collaborations work for you.

59:06.30
Rachel
Um, um, yeah I guess I mean don’t get me wrong anytime I’ve gotten a club and that is with an ah amazing brand that also like feels very aligned with my value. You know.

59:14.49
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

59:20.80
charukaarora
Um, yes.

59:23.37
Rachel
Things that I love I I get very excited and do a happy dance but it always if I think about like how these things have ever happened. Um and which I think like you know is good news is that it just come like the work and that’s what always really exciting.

59:37.79
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

59:40.76
Rachel
Whenever I’m in a slump or if I’m ever like struggling. It’s like the key lies not in all the noise of like you know where am I going or anything it actually all all that goodness. All that opportunity comes from producing just the work that you love um and.

59:56.79
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

59:59.34
Rachel
It’s not contrived. It’s not you know there’s no reason why my wackadoodle cerial box bags and and even all this stuff like uncommercial theoretically like it doesn’t make any sense and yet I find it’s good news that like.

01:00:06.13
charukaarora
Um, yes, yes, sounds yeah.

01:00:17.75
Rachel
There’s something about I guess that not to my home but like that that authenticity that is connecting with these brands. Um it it just goes to show that like don’t worry about being on trend because if you’re ah friend you’ll stand out because you know.

01:00:23.59
charukaarora
Um, yes. Um, Yes, oh you are a trend Creator home. Yes, Yes, oh my God You like this has blown up.

01:00:34.85
Rachel
Kind of like it’s so hey I am waiting these shoes I can’t wait. Someone is gonna make me know it happens all the time. Um, ah, um, yeah, but that’s why.

01:00:48.44
charukaarora
Literally blown up.

01:00:52.22
Rachel
Literally I see myself like I’m not a designer like I’m not sending these off to get made like I’m just making them for fun. Um, but ah, um, yeah I guess to me I Just like am like I want to then take those opportunities and like run with them because you know.

01:00:57.39
charukaarora
Um, his.

01:01:09.16
Rachel
I think when I first spoke to disney a few years ago. Um I kind of remember what we pitched but I remember I was like we could do this this and this and it was like a massive workload and I had just had a baby. Um but I made um a big installation in Melbourne.

01:01:20.70
charukaarora
What did you do with them.

01:01:27.78
Rachel
And then I did like a 10 piece collection and I’m just working on them now for another mini collection inspired looks part here with Disney um, and but yeah, even like with lego with whoever all I will say but.

01:01:29.62
charukaarora
Um, okay yeah, not with Disney oh wow now.

01:01:43.99
Rachel
Operations is oh my goodness because I work independently I have a studio assistant that comes in one day a week. Um, but it’s so much work like I have to say I have been working every day this week from like seven till midnight til two a m like to finish stuff.

01:01:46.14
charukaarora
Um, yeah, oh absolutely.

01:01:58.96
charukaarora
Oh god.

01:02:02.46
Rachel
Just because it it just you know it is crazy and to fit it in all around you I just say that because it’s like I guess you know it. It is all amazing and I love working with these brands. But um, yeah, it it is hard sometimes you just want things to be so good to like map.

01:02:17.60
charukaarora
Um, so yeah.

01:02:20.60
Rachel
The expectations of the brands and all this sort of stuff that um yeah, there’s just a a yeah lot of work that goes into is what I would say but I know I only ever love working with um brands that do feel aligned like that and of course I feel so lucky that they’re nostalgic like.

01:02:29.70
charukaarora
No denial I’m sure.

01:02:35.65
charukaarora
Um, yes today.

01:02:39.71
Rachel
You know like I’ve work with Barbie and my little pony and like it. It is crazy to me that I’m like it. It’s just um and I will also always see it as a sign that like I’m on the right track if the right brands are approaching me like I’d feel stiff brands that weren’t.

01:02:43.12
charukaarora
Oh yes.

01:02:52.25
charukaarora
Yeah.

01:02:57.63
Rachel
You know aligned with me at all were approaching me because I’d be like hang on what’s my work like giving out like if if you know these brands that I’m not vibing with are getting in touch with me like it’s very much as well about I think a lot of people say this you want to produce the work that you want to continue producing.

01:03:15.20
charukaarora
Um, yes, yesla inside. Yeah right.

01:03:17.59
Rachel
If you want to make installations for Disney make installations for yourself like it always comes down to making the work and and making that first off yourself. Um, because if yeah I hadn’t done any of those things all that was self-tared apom was the none art one that dressed a day thing was the none dress one then nothing would have happened I would have just continued to know. Maybe I’d be I don’t know I don’t know right way. Um.

01:03:39.24
charukaarora
Um, man Yeah, how social media you are a big pig on social media right? Um, can you talk a little bit about and that will go into the app Fact can you talk a little bit about.

01:03:53.90
Rachel
Yes, I’m calling my partner because he’s got his headphones in I can hear my baby um popping up hey Tom Tom Tom Hugo Hugo cry sorry I’m like like in la la like.

01:04:06.22
charukaarora
Um, no from you. Okay, your babyslang no problem.

01:04:11.38
Rachel
And I’m like hey hey so I win again if it’s all right? This is real life. We got ba. We got sausage dogs. It’s all happening. Yeah yeah.

01:04:21.89
charukaarora
Ah, that’s the beauty of it isn’t it. Yeah I mean absolutely okay. Can you talk a little bit about social media. You’re a big thing on Instagram you like you, youre really, you’re a maker of trend people know you you have this amazing energy and invite.

01:04:39.00
Rachel
Are.

01:04:41.47
charukaarora
Um, how has social media impacted a your career as an artist um has it like can it talk a little bit about how has that contributed to where you are today.

01:04:52.32
Rachel
Ah, it’s had an enormous impact. It’s just given me you know for all the flaws that we all know social media has um, it just has given me a chance to have my work seen I Guess by people who never probably ever would have seen it before it’s allowed.

01:05:08.19
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

01:05:10.68
Rachel
Say stylists to send me a message and you know it’s It’s where you know all the brands would have seen my work. Um I guess if I didn’t have social media. It would have been had to be like you know those real lucky breaks where someone on points stumble across your work irl which.

01:05:27.42
charukaarora
Um, yes.

01:05:30.67
Rachel
Know happens. But it might have even put pressure on me to move to a different city or something so I feel grateful that I am able to like remain where I want to be um and can obviously travel where I need to go but I just love that that I can just be in like my little suburban pocket.

01:05:34.36
charukaarora
Um, city. Yeah.

01:05:48.11
Rachel
And then just make like a killer like frock trotted straight then send it to Kesha you know Paul I pop down the local post office and send Miley Cyrus like it’s just so funny.

01:05:55.53
charukaarora
Um, did you ever like Ben you started out. Did you think like you how have all these things happened have they all reach out to you by Instagram.

01:06:06.87
Rachel
What’s happening. Oh yeah, it’s just Instagram even yeah I mean my the chair that was a couple of years ago that was um, yeah, like interior stylists just messaged me was like Miley really wants this chair that you posted.

01:06:12.79
charukaarora
Wow who.

01:06:23.50
Rachel
And I’m like how did she even see it and it’s even amazing too like I’ve been watching Rupale’s drag race I don’t know if you watch that. But yeah, some of my favorite queens I wanted wanted to like make sure that they were um I wanted so I wanted to make sure I was following them and a couple of them I wasn’t but they were following me and I got.

01:06:27.89
charukaarora
Yes, yes.

01:06:38.70
charukaarora
Um, okay.

01:06:41.53
Rachel
Very excited like some of them found me on social media and then came and visited me when they were here in Australia when I was so heavily pregnant. Oh my god kimchi naomi small yo and we hung out. Um, and yeah, it’s just like so it’s just it just makes things more. Um. Yeah, easily accessible I guess and connects you with things and allows you to see what other people are doing as well. I guess I mean with that obviously comes some negatives like your work being stopped um and no credit being posted and all sorts of things and a light social media addiction.

01:07:09.54
charukaarora
Um, yes.

01:07:16.16
charukaarora
Um I like buying an unpaid job. Um.

01:07:20.13
Rachel
Yeah, yeah, yeah, oh my God that kills me that that I think that’s the thing if I’m most annoying about having your work stolen is it’s like sometimes when I’m um, a dark day. It’s like am I just making this stuff so that someone can come and take it and make lots of money from it like that’s just not the vibe that I’m trying to put out.

01:07:32.60
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

01:07:37.76
charukaarora
Um, it’s a part of the process.

01:07:39.86
Rachel
No, but it’s also like whatever I’ve become and about it I swear I used to be very like copyca now I’m like whatever I’ll only call someone out if they’re massive and even that now I can’t be bothered I did my last one this year and then I’m actually done not wasting a single other.

01:07:48.38
charukaarora
Um, no god.

01:07:58.28
Rachel
And from this stuff. Yeah yep, yep.

01:08:00.14
charukaarora
I’m focusing only on my world. This was so much fun Rachel I can’t believe how much like it’s I’ve had such a loss and I I’m just so excited. We’ve had this conversation I’ve had the chance to speak to you.

01:08:13.79
Rachel
Um, now.

01:08:15.86
charukaarora
Totally has given me like a like like a beautiful perspective to who you are as an artist and just more than social media I feel like sometimes social media just does not do social like justice to ourselves as artists. There’s so much more than just sharing pretty pictures and making videos for all of us.

01:08:34.24
Rachel
Yeah, more Thank you! I’m really glad to chat to you? Um, it’s been really lovely. Sorry if I rambled on I can chat? Yeah yeah, yes, yeah.

01:08:35.20
charukaarora
Like we want this like I want this.

01:08:43.37
charukaarora
No, no. Okay None let’s let’s do this rapid fire. Are you ready? Okay, this has to be quick there to write in wrong. Okay, 1 thing you want to can wait for your work in the arts.

01:08:52.88
Rachel
Um, ready quick.

01:09:00.00
Rachel
1 thing I want sorry what I missed that can I get you to repeat that.

01:09:04.41
charukaarora
Um, one yeah one yeah 1 thing you want to convey through your work in the arts.

01:09:10.20
Rachel
Um I want to convey um could ah a sense of play and experimentation.

01:09:17.10
charukaarora
Um, got that that’s impossible. What’s at 1 word that describes you the best.

01:09:28.54
Rachel
Fun.

01:09:32.52
charukaarora
Ah, if you could have a studio anywhere in the world. Why would it be.

01:09:35.57
Rachel
Or I think it would be um, it be in New York I think yeahp maybe in Brooklyn ah, and I’d be eating a lot of bagels and coffee during my artie.

01:09:44.12
charukaarora
Um, oh fairly.

01:09:52.35
charukaarora
Um, um, okay your biggest source of inspiration.

01:09:55.20
Rachel
Yeah.

01:09:59.72
Rachel
Ah, um, my memories.

01:10:04.42
charukaarora
Um, who’s your favorite woman artist any point of time.

01:10:08.31
Rachel
Oh my god helmer afland easy. Yeah, my partner Tommy.

01:10:13.27
charukaarora
But make sense. Absolutely who’s your go to person when you’re in trouble in need of advice. Um, well, okay, this is a little bit more than one part. Can you share None moment I’m sure there must have been many um that just made you that you really cherish and makes you feel grateful for being an artist something that you really. Like you know the moments that we feel oh my god yeah this is this is for real I love this I love what I do.

01:10:43.28
Rachel
Yeah, um I don’t know if this is super cheesy but I think that um becoming a parent. Ah firstly I will say when I looked at my baby. Um I felt like the greatest oddest because I’d made the cutest thing but also I have felt spoken. Well.

01:10:48.19
charukaarora
Are.

01:10:54.94
charukaarora
Um, oh God. Um.

01:11:02.71
Rachel
To be able to be a parent and to be an artist to have this outlet because I think that you know being a parent even I’m so privileged I am living such a lovely life but you know there are so many things that are difficult about being you know Parenthood and stuff like that and I just I feel so.

01:11:04.89
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah.

01:11:21.51
Rachel
Grateful that I can have this little neck of my woods that is just filled with my sense of child and my sense of play and I love that my kid can come and interact with my art. But also I just love that I can exist in this space as me and not as. Ah, mother as a you know I am still all these things as a wife you know, but I am also just me in my space I think um and I feel so great I can um you know, hold all these roles but have this like to me my studio is a sacred space.

01:11:45.39
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

01:11:55.51
Rachel
Of like Discovery and play and freedom. Um that I just cherish and I that’s when I pinch myself is just being able to do whatever I want. Yes.

01:12:03.84
charukaarora
Um, ah, that’s so beautiful. Oh god if you were to meet younger v 2 today. What advice would you give her.

01:12:14.34
Rachel
Ah, look I would say I would say don’t let that man cut your hair off but I was a real turning point for me I had very short hair for a long time because I agreed to be a hair model when I shouldn’t have.

01:12:20.20
charukaarora
Um.

01:12:33.22
Rachel
Um, and and I would just I actually don’t think I would give I wouldn’t want to take me off course because I think every little thing that happened um, led to where I was going. So maybe I would just say keep going what you’re doing.

01:12:51.55
charukaarora
Love that Okay, shout out to an artist currently you loving on social media someone. So on, you’re someone who’s killing it on the internet.

01:12:52.76
Rachel
Yeah, yeah.

01:12:57.55
Rachel
Oh oh, who’s killing it on social media. Oh my gosh I I should know more people on social media who do I love oh I’m gonna give a little shout to my Brisbane ga pal Bonnie Hisslop who makes really cute ceramics and you know we’ve been going.

01:13:07.26
charukaarora
Um. Um, okay.

01:13:15.99
Rachel
Art things lately together which has been really nice. Um, yeah, she’s got a nice practice too. Yeah, yeah, yeah I know that that loves her too. Yeah.

01:13:18.42
charukaarora
Um, yeah I will linker in the show notes. So anyone who’s interested can go and take it out. Okay, 1 last question. Ah yeah, always she. She’s a resource shadow.

01:13:35.97
Rachel
you you I love her work too. Danielle she makes beautiful thing her journey so grateful. yes yes yeah

01:13:38.31
charukaarora
Like a gold digger. Yeah yes I loved her last show. Yeah so beautiful. Okay, last question. As and woman entrepreneur Creative Entrepreneur Artists. What’s that one piece of advice that you would like to give to people who are listening to this episode coming. You know, just building their parts. What is that you have to share with them.

01:14:01.47
Rachel
I would say um, don’t be afraid to make your own opportunities. There’s no time like the present don’t be afraid to along the way invest in yourself and upskill in anything that you like and that could just be something like being a pottery class or.

01:14:15.59
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

01:14:19.85
Rachel
Go into a drawing class or learning photoshop. Um, and I would say um when you get to the point where you feel like your art practice is also becoming a business treat it like a business um and then don’t ever be afraid to outsource those parts of your business like a bookkeeper.

01:14:30.57
charukaarora
Um, yeah with miss.

01:14:38.55
charukaarora
Um, yeah I Love that.

01:14:39.32
Rachel
Um, that you don’t do um and yet they don’t ever lose sight of the work. Um and making things that are true to your heart and it can’t go wrong.

01:14:52.43
charukaarora
Um, no wow wow! Thank you so much Rachel this was so much fun whilea think anyone who’s listening to this episode I’m sure most of us follow you already gush over your work which is why can people find you support you or a pat.

01:14:56.40
Rachel
No way.

01:15:07.42
Rachel
Yeah, ah so you can find me on Instagram and I Instagram I think I’m also on Tiktok as I Instagram if you’re Tickdy talking. Um and that you can find me yeah shop Rachel Burke Dot Com is where you can have a look at all my wares and projects.

01:15:14.35
charukaarora
Um, yeah I make it.

01:15:24.84
charukaarora
And you know fantastic maps website as well. So anyone who wants to even treat their eyes. Go visit a website. Thank you so much. It was so much fun. Thank you so much I really had an amazing time I don’t even I think time flew by I like.

01:15:25.71
Rachel
And things.

01:15:31.40
Rachel
Thanks! Thank you This lovely.

01:15:42.38
Rachel
Um God I can chat for a love. Yeah, and yeah, awesome How he’s by.

01:15:44.92
charukaarora
It’s just been so much fun talking to you I’m sure we do more of these. Thank you so much. Bye.

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