Rachel is a graphic designer and illustrator based in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina. Rachel grew up in South Carolina and had the opportunity to follow her passions for art and creating early on. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC. Since graduating, she has worked in a variety of mediums ranging from high fidelity print products, social media graphics, presentations, sizzle videos, logo and identity, and even some TikTok hashtag emojis. Rachel has done design work for established companies such as ThermoFisher, Comcast, and CVS Health, but her passion is helping to shape a brand’s look and feel from the ground up.
When she isn’t designing, you can find Rachel making music, spending time outside in the Appalachians with her partner and friends, and writing poetry.
Q: Would you say that you have always had a clear vision for your life?
A: Definitely not. Not in the traditional sense at least. I’ve never had specific life milestones or goals I wanted to achieve. It was more like states of being that I was after. I wanted love, community, beauty, access to nature, etc. I’m definitely on the right track and very happy with where I’ve been so far.
Q: What art made the most impact early in your life? And what art — any medium — moves you today?
A: My parents kept me supplied with lots of fine art books. The Pre-Raphaelite painters were my earliest inspirations, I think. Their images always felt very dreamy and captivating and are what led me to eventually pursue a degree in Illustration. These days I can get inspired by almost anything (I am a very romantic person). Poetry, fashion, the Appalachians, and music tend to be my biggest sources of inspiration these days.
Q: What’s the coolest part about the cross section of art & science?
A: This is definitely not a field I ever thought I’d be able to touch as someone whose brain does not work very scientifically at all. It’s really interesting to get to see a side of an industry I never even considered being a part of. It’s really refreshing creatively!
Q: What medical science event / discovery / milestone impacted you whether or not you even knew it at the time? And you can’t say Covid.
A: I’m gonna say Covid anyway, because I’m young enough that it impacted my college graduation! I had never seen any medical event of that magnitude, and the impact of it was insane. I graduated in 2020 and was thrown into an industry wrecked by layoffs and confusion and new remote work opportunities. It was a really difficult thing for me to navigate as a new grad.
Q: What have you gleaned from the life sciences industry, and how has it altered your outlook on the future of humanity?
A: It’s helped me keep my burn-out at bay working in the industry. It helps seeing all of these ambitious companies trying to do good work and help to create innovative medicines and technologies and knowing my work could potentially help make a real difference in peoples’ lives is satisfying.
Q: How do you fuel your creativity in other aspects of life?
A: By doing things completely different from my full time work! I’ve been sewing clothes, making music, learning to cook, playing Dungeons & Dragons, hiking in the beautiful mountains that surround me, etc. Ultimately, travel is my greatest source of inspiration and my all-time favorite thing to do. That isn’t as accessible as my other hobbies though.
Q: How would you describe your job to a group of five-year-olds?
A: Hmm… I think I would show them examples of logos, and tell them I make pictures that go with company names to help people recognize them.
Q: Everyone gets “writer’s block” or “creative funk”. What’s your slump-buster method or approach?
A: I’m pretty young, so I’m still trying to figure out what works for me. So far, things that help are getting up and moving some way and/or taking a break from whatever has me in a slump and working on something completely different to jog a different part of my brain.
Q: In a state of creative output, what are you listening to?
A: Could range from shoegaze-y type rock to synthwave to traditional folk to everything in between!