From painting workshops to large-scale murals, there’s no doubt Perth artist Rachelle Dusting is on the rise. We chat with the talented Rachelle about her work, her start in the industry, juggling multiple job titles and what inspires her in her every day.
Where did it all begin?
I started art making when I was in my pre-teens; mostly hobby art, making and selling greeting cards to spend down at the local deli on weekends. I also really got into bead/jewellery making in high school which made me think Id like to study some sort of trade.
I ended up finding out there was such thing as studying art at uni, so I applied for my Fine Arts Degree at UWA, where I completed my Bachelors and Honours over 4 years. I was creating works for family friends on the side, and eventually built enough commissions and teaching content a few years ago to launch into art making full time.
Where did you start? What have been your greatest challenges to-date?
It was a gradual progression- I was teaching for a few years at University and with a few different art stores and organisations. Eventually I created enough content to teach in the areas that I felt most passionate about (realistic drawing and painting) that I branched off on my own in November 2015 and thats kind of where full-time artist began!
Most of the challenges I think come down to the everyday hustle, and navigating the amount of different hats youve got to wear. Im an artist, but I am also a manager, an administrator, the girl from accounts, the hype girl (aka the branding, social content creator and comms girl)the list really does go on!
Whats a typical day for you look like?
A typical day.hmm. Thats a tricky one! A typical month might work better, which looks something like me in the studio working on private commissions (usually portrait paintings), on sites across the state working on mural projects, in schools running incursion workshops with upper school students, me at my computer desk replying to emails/invoicing/filling out my taxes!
How do you differentiate yourself from competitors?
I think the great thing about art making is that it isnt too dissimilar to a fingerprint; its unique to the person creating; there are always intricate differences. Art is expressive, conversational, and most of all specific to the creator. My work is unique to the hands which create it- my artistic voice is probably most recognisable for realistic fleshy photo-like portrait paintings, and whimsical illustrative mural designs.
What would you say has been your magic moment / proudest achievement to date?
Oh gosh- the past year really has brought so many privileged moments. Painting portraits for and of Perthinalities such as Jarrad Seng, Liza Harvey, Cam Cranley and Luke Shuey come to mind! But my current project is my largest canvas to date (a large scale mural in the City of Canning) which Im incredibly humbled by!
What is the best piece of advice you can give to others looking to start a business based on everything you have learnt?
Hold the vision. Trust the process. And always, always, create. Creativity begets creativity. Keep creating- thats what stirs your inspiration and activity, which will lead you down paths yet to be discovered and to content just waiting for you to produce.
What do you love most about what you do?
Getting to meet the people I do. Such a huge variety, from business owners, students, retirees, personalities and other artists/creatives- you name it!
Whats one thing that always makes you happy?
A stormy day, a warm studio and a blank canvas that says COME. AT. ME.
Another business / start- up I like is .
My girl Lucy Aboagye. She is constantly re-inventing herself; fashion designer, social worker, ceramicist. Lucy inspires me not to put a cap on my creativity.
Whats your mantra?
Never let disappointment determine your response
Who inspires you?
My parents. They are my mentors and go-tos for anything and everything; relationship advice, small business advice, spiritual advice. You name it!
Last awesome book read?
Keep Your Love On by Danny Silk
Are you a dog or a cat person?