On a mission to draw every band she goes to see and give them the original copy, Rachel desires to give back to those who give the gift of music to their fans.  Reciprocating passion with passion, bands are in awe of her talent and generosity. Rachel’s drawings and paintings inspire whoever encounter it to share your art and spread the love, no matter what your medium may be.

Backstage at The Werks show at the 8×10 I spotted a colorful painting that the band was passing around.  Seeing the smiles it brought to every member’s face, I decided to catch a look for myself.  It was a painting of the band, and I didn’t know the artist until I boogied with her on the dance floor.  Her colorful energy sparked a conversation between her and my husband, which is how we came to discover that she was the artist, and has been creating works for bands for a couple of years.  A relationship was born and I knew I wanted to spread her gift to all that I could.  Communicating almost every day on Facebook, I got to know Rachel a little better and smiled every step of the way.

Rachel has many favorite bands but swears by seeing music live. “There’s nothing like live music, so many great bands become instant favorites after we see a show.”  Some of her favorite bands include Soullive, Lettuce, Zach Deputy and The Werks.  When asked how her love of music relates to her art, since she is so compelled to draw these bands, Rachel answered “Music is art, the movement, the feeling, the emotion behind it all, hearing that note when someone puts everything they have into it… it gives me the chills! Everything creative has a feeling behind it, and when someone can get it out so beautifully there’s just nothing like it.”  A band that she would love to present a drawing to, but hasn’t yet, is Taj Mahal, who she’s met now on two different occasions.

Traveling to around 30 shows a year, Rachel certainly keeps busy. While her hometown is in New Market, MD, she enjoys such Appalachian venues as State Theatre in Falls Church, VA and festivals such as All Good Music Festival in Masontown, WV. State Theatre is where the idea began to start presenting portraits to the band, since she discovered it’s possible to meet those that make the music.  Now she always tries to bring art with her when attending a show there. When traveling for the sake of scenery rather than music, she enjoys going to Harpers Ferry, trails near Brunswick and Catoctin, which is only a little ways away from home.

Her favorite visual artist is Chuck Close, who’s photo-realistic style is a challenge to emulate, but keeps Rachel ambitious. She enjoys trying many different styles, however, and experiments with the other side of the artistic spectrum by creating colorful and abstract works as well. Portraits are certainly her strong suit, but she has recently become very interested in sacred geometry. The creative process is what she treasures the most, as opposed to just the finished product. “What keeps me motivated is love…. my love for it and seeing others get into it. I would guess it’s the same kind of feeling for musicians… if the crowd gets into it it only inspires you to put that much more into it. Nothing but good vibes!” Her talent runs in the family, with her Aunt Tina being a major inspiration to her growing up.  Tina also makes artwork in a photorealistic style that Rachel considers amazing to look at. Always remembering the importance of the soul, Rachel says “She also has such a great spirit. [She is] fun, funky, and has a lot of heart.”

Pursuing your dream as an artist in society can be difficult and not often encouraged.  Rachel keeps an inspiring mindset that serves to motivate others that are struggling for their passion. “There’s so many things that hold people back, with art you just have to let it all go and do what you feel.  Art is emotion, if you’re not in the right mindset for it you can’t force it or it could end up being disastrous for you, your confidence, and your art.”  The inexplicable pull artists feel towards their creative lives and the infinite happiness that comes from it can be described simply in Rachel’s words: “It’s all about freedom.”

While she may sell some portraits here and there, she mostly considers art a gift.  The happiness it brings to the recipient is often payment enough for her. All are welcome, though, to visit her art page on facebook http://www.facebook.com/RachelBrownsArtNSoul, and send her a message if they are interested in purchasing her work.

written by Elise