Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Mars.
Rachel, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I spent a good chunk of my life trying to do everything people said you should do. Go to college, get a corporate job, and the rest of the American dream should follow. Except I didn’t fit that norm. I ended up in miscellaneous jobs from office administration to marketing and finally spent eight years in finance before I “dropped out” of that life. I started my own dog walking business and began hosting social painting events at night. None of which had anything to do with my college major and everything to do with people giving me a chance. Each of these opportunities allowed me to add to my toolkit. I’ve always been the type of person who says “let me try and I’ll figure it out.” My art experiences have been approached in the same way.
I looked too close at art. I wanted to know how it was done, I’d lean in to see brush strokes in the corner of a painting, often setting off alarms at museum exhibits. I wanted to experiment, figure out how to accomplish certain things with art, I did, and with practice as well as some advice from other artist’s I’d met along the way, my work evolved. But then, especially as someone who knew absolutely nothing about the art world, I had no idea what to do with it.
It took me exactly two art shows to figure out what I was missing. Coming from a family with strong females, I craved a community, a sisterhood, to share experiences and encouragement with. I had that with my family, but I needed other artists as well. At the time I could not find anything like that to join. So, I decided to start something on my own. I wanted to create opportunities not just for myself, but for others trying to break into the exciting yet daunting creative world. Everyone needs someone behind them saying “you can totally do this,” and by organizing it, I found I was both giving and receiving the positivity that was missing.
Hear Me Roar is a group of female artists whose medium, experiences, skill, style, subjects are as diverse as we are. We celebrate one another’s accomplishments both in art and without. Seeing this connection come together and the slow yet organic growth we’ve achieved remains the most incredible aspect of my journey as an artist so far.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My preferred mediums are acrylics or oils, but sometimes it’s just whatever is around. Not always, but often I build the frame, stretch and prime the canvas I paint on. There is something about being part of the full process that I really enjoy.
Most of my work is figurative and portrait art with abstract backgrounds which I believe allows the viewer to piece in their own part of the story. It becomes a way to give back because it’s people who inspire me; their vast differences in personality, emotion, color, their triumphs, and pain. I couldn’t possibly be more drawn to the story behind someone’s portrait.
I use art as an emotional outlet as much as anything. I think that creates something tangible that can be taken from each piece. In the case of my nude paintings, the aim is to create a body positive-comfortable in your own skin-type of feeling. We are all so different and I think that is something that should be celebrated, not criticized. Women are particularly critical of themselves and unfortunately each other as well. Confidence is sexy and you are beautiful the way you are.
Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
The biggest thing is getting your work seen. I think we need more places willing to display original works. Support from our community is important, we are business owners as well and need to be visible to succeed.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I currently have a mural and another commissioned piece up at Savvor Restaurant and Lounge Boston, MA. There are also a number of Hear Me Roar events scheduled for this year where I will showcase in person alongside many other female artistic talents. Event location and dates are up on my website and are posted in our social media accounts for the Hear Me Roar collective.
- Website: www.rachelmars.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/rachel_mars/
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/RachelMars.Artist