I’m fascinated by the creative journey and compelled to bring those of us who are walking it together.
Art will always be my self-indulgent pleasure, but it’s working with others and helping them grow that brings me the most satisfaction.
Who Are You?
My name is Rachel Bradley. I was born in the UK and spent most of my life in and around London, but now I live in Virginia, USA. I’m incredibly chatty and silly, but a lot more shy than most people realise! I’m constantly (almost pathologically) trying new things and I’ve learned to lean into that and go in whatever direction excites me most. I love sunshine and warm weather, listening to uplifting music (and dancing to it without the slightest sense of coordination), and I’m an absolute fiend for savory snacks. I love exploring and travel as much as I can. When I’m not working or doing any of the aforementioned things, I like to curl up with a video game and a blanket (bonus point for a glass of wine).
What Do You Do For A Living?
I do many things- I create art, I coach, I make reference images, I stream, I write, I make downloadable resources… But, if I were to describe that more cleanly, it’s this: I’m an artist dedicated to helping other artists. Everything I do is centered around expressing our creativity, honing our crafts and living as well as we can while we do so.
How Did You Get Into This Line of Work?
My career path has been a long way from linear!
I went to St George’s University of London to study Biomedical Science, graduating with a first class honours. I loved science, and I was really good at it, but it wasn’t my passion. I pursued it because I (and every adult around me until that point) had been frightened by my real passion: art. I worked hard in school, got good grades, and no one wanted to see my struggling in my adult life. But, upon my graduation, I struggled all the same. Not for prospects, but for peace and fulfillment. I couldn’t bear the idea of spending my life in a lab- it just wasn’t my calling.
I began my career in 3D printing- in my eyes, a more creative career than science, but still not what I truly wanted to do. I built my illustration skills slowly outside of working hours. It took time, but in 2017, I left my job and began pursuing a career in art full time. However, it wasn’t what I expected. Art was just the beginning of my journey, not the end of it.
I realised it wasn’t the art itself that I loved- it was the process and the people and the lifestyle. I became less interested in being an artist-for-hire and found myself instead fascinated by the artist’s journey. I loved watching my peers grow, trying to understand the struggles we all went through and create systems to work our way through them. I started shooting reference photos for artists as a way to help other artists make their art. And, at the suggestion of many close friends and colleagues, I trained to become a certified coach so that I may acquire the skills to effectively guide others.
My job is now a mix of many things. I create art (both for myself and occasionally clients), I create reference and teaching materials, I research and I coach. Even the art I create is with growth, learning and teaching in mind. Art will always be my self-indulgent pleasure, but it’s working with others and helping them grow that brings me the most satisfaction.