• Rachel Reynolds

Create Your Own Journey

My mantra lately has been “Create Your Own Journey”

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I want my art to mean, what I want it represent - and how to put that meaning into words.

I’m so grateful for my enthusiastic friends that get excited about pretty prints and bright colors (y’all are the best!) but there’s a part of my heart that wants to explain more of my creative journey, and maybe (hopefully) inspire someone to start their own.

Let me start off by saying I’ve never known what I’ve wanted to do with my life. I’ve always thought of this as a blessing and a curse, but lately I’ve just been seeing the blessing side of it. Growing up I remember thinking something was wrong with me. My sister knew what she wanted to do at like age 2 and she did it. She went to college for it, then got her masters, then her PhD, and now she’s just doing the thing. She’s killen the game. I, however, thought it was straight torture that I had to pick something, no ONE thing, to do.

I remember being 17 and I was supposed to pick a major for college and I felt like I was deciding what I was going to do with the REST OF MY LIFE. What. The. Heck. I have multiple passions: fitness, mental health, art, writing, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, nutrition.. I could go on. I felt like whatever I wrote on the major declared line defined me. There was only thing I didn’t want to do - take tests.

To be honest, the main reason I picked graphic design was because it was a project-based major instead of test taking. Test taking has always killed my self-esteem. I’ve always gotten good grades because I can take my time on assignments / projects and get A’s, take tests and get C’s / D’s, and end up with B’s in a class. I know there’s all this research out there that says there’s no such thing as a bad test-taker, but whatever - I am truly no good at it. Lucky for me now, my brain has matured enough to understand that this doesn’t mean I’m a dummy, but that hasn’t always been the case. I’ve spent a lot of my life thinking that I wasn't smart, that I had limitations, that I could never be as successful as I wanted to be.

Enter paint brushes. When you’re putting paint on canvas, there’s no test. There’s no wrong way to do it. You literally cannot mess up, I promise. Yes, you can always improve and you can take classes and all of that good stuff! But at the end of the day whatever you create is yours. It’s something that exists now only because you were confident enough to create it.

That’s what I want my art to represent - confidence, individuality, and creative freedom.

Living a creative lifestyle has totally changed me and has freed me into true happiness. In a society focused on academia and test scores, I’ve found joy by not measuring success in a way that doesn’t make sense to me. So I encourage anyone who feels like they’re not fitting in or they’re not enough - look at your surroundings. Are you trying to fit in somewhere you’re not meant to be? Are you worrying about raises, test scores, and a corporate ladder - when you could be creating a lifestyle with your writing, cooking, or dancing skills? And it doesn’t have to be your career - just spend a few hours a week exploring something new. You never know what you might find out about yourself. Create your own journey, my friends!