Summer Artist Feature: Rachel Denbow

I've been a long time fan of this girl and her art! Who wouldn't love a blog called "Bling on my Sewing Machine"?!? When I found out she was teaching online classes I was all over it! She has taught and inspired me and I know you'll be inspired too! Check out her beautiful art and her awesome story!

1. What is your favorite kind of art to create?
I love sitting down with a pile of vintage papers and maps and bright embellishments and making art journal backgrounds. I love it even more than the process of journaling on them. I also love the feeling I get when I've done something new and it turned out better than I thought. It's the best!

2. What most inspires you?
Hearing about new ways of using old ideas, traveling, browsing through Flickr, indie music, catalogs.

3. What's some of the best advice you've ever been given?
Breathe through it! This will all be over soon! (during labor with Sebastian)

4. What MUST be in your studio/work space?
A large table and lots of floor space. I tend to work on the ground with things spread out around me but I hate keeping things on the ground when I'm done. When it's left out on the table, I don't mind as much. Must have good lighting, music, and things on the wall that feel happy and fresh.

5. Favorite drink:
When I cheat, I love a good fountain coke from McDonald's. Otherwise, I'm an iced, non-fat, vanilla latte kind of girl.

7. Top 5 creative music:
Jenny Lewis, Neko Case, Bon Iver, Old Cuban music, Arcade Fire

8. What is a typical day like for you? When do you make time to be creative?
I get up with Sebastian between 7 and 8 most mornings. After getting mildly cleaned up we eat breakfast and I check e-mails, blogs, etc. while he watches Dora or Thomas on a split screen. He leans on me and spills his cheerios in between us! Then he'll play in his room while I get some online work done or we'll go on a walk or to the YMCA. We spend as much time in the yard as we can when it's nice and then do lunch and some housework before his nap around 2p.m. When I wasn't pregnant, I'd use his nap time to get as much creative work done as possible. These days I try to rest and do online work until he wakes up. By that time Brett is home and the rest of our day is always different. We get dinner done around 7, play with Sebastian at home or go to the park, and try to get him in bed by 9p.m. The rest of the night is spent catching up with each other or work. Brett goes to sleep between 10 and 11 and I usually follow by midnight. The weekends are a different animal but we mostly keeps things working around Sebastian's sleeping schedule. I can sometimes carve out more creative time when Brett is at home or if I'm feeling really good while S is sleeping. Working from home is great because I can be flexible with my schedule and don't have to miss out on raising my son but it can be equally challenging to get things done on time and with the kind of uninterrupted attention a 9-5 job might offer.

9. Why do you create?
It's a really important part of my life and gives me more satisfaction than any other work I've done. I'm not sure what life would be like had I not decided to give so much time and attention to it but I know I wouldn't be the same person.

10. What advice do you have for artists who are just getting started?
Make a list of goals that are reasonable in the next 12 months and then make a list of dream goals to keep working towards. Network through blogs, on flickr, etc. to make important connections that will help you learn from others mistakes and successes. Don't be discouraged if things don't take off right away. Always strive to make your work your own, despite outside influences. Straight copying for profit is ugly.

11. What do you love most about teaching online classes?
I love getting to share techniques and ideas but mostly I love letting people find out that they are capable of making beautiful pages that are not only fun to make but can also allow a little more self-knowledge.

12. What inspired you to start Pony Party?
I was needing to fill our next house with stuff and knew how much I loved vintage. I started seeing it everywhere and felt like I had a good eye and awareness of price points so with a little encouragement from family and friends, opened up shop. It was really fun and I miss everything about it except for shipping. Shipping is almost never fun.

13. What's your newest art adventure?
Once I find out if we're having a boy or girl, I'm going to start crocheting granny squares like a crazy woman.

14. What's your favorite thing about what you do?
I love getting to try out new ideas and receive feedback from readers online and customers that come through the RVA shop. I love have a job that is always challenging me to think of new ideas, new color combos, new ways of seeing old product. It's always exciting, even when it's not.



Nichol said...

Wow. Really excited (and surprised) to open up mywesttexas.com and see this!

i love rachel's blog and her art. thanks for sharing this!


Jules said...

Hey, I love hearing from all the artists who inspire you. It is so fun. Things here have been a bit rough over the last week, but it is getting better. Lessons are being learned, character is being developed, it is all really beautiful despite the moments of discomfort that come along with it. Hope you are doing well. = )

Kate said...

I just love Rachel AND all the Red Velvet Girls. You're so amazing to do these interviews. You inspire me every single day.

I love you! Praying for an outstanding day full of surprises!

Suzanne said...

great feature/interview!
i love hearing about artists' stories and what inspires them!
thanks for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love seeing what inspires artists and how they create and stuff.

For me, Rachel is a very talented mommy and I'd love to be one day like her!

Thank you so much for sharing this!

Jari said...

awesome interview.... she is one of the loveliest people i know! xo!

Jules said...

would love to, just tell me what you want to know and use for it. Honored that you would consider me. = )