create (a life): Rachel's Ink (& Giveaway!)

By freshlyplanted - 10:34 PM

Picture by Rachel King Birch
I was first introduced to the beautiful work of RachelInk by receiving one of her cards. It was her little cradle card, in blue, and I had it hanging on my memo board forever. It made me smile each time I looked at it, which made me eager to share the love. Her address labels have become one of my favorite anytime presents and her cards, well, speak for themselves. I was curious about what led her to become a designer- and to actually sell her designs instead of locking them away in a drawer. Here's some Q&A with the talented Rachel King Birch, stayed tuned for the giveaway at the end!

Cassidy: Myself and many of my readers are interested in nurturing a creative spirit in our children. How did your parents inspire and encourage you artistically while you were growing up?

RachelInk: My parents were both extremely supportive of my sister and me (and they still are) in our artistic and other endeavors.  They were both teachers, my mom taught art and my dad taught high school math. They are also both makers - and I think this is where I got a lot of inspiration both as a child and as an adult. Their house is filled with furniture made by my dad and art painted by my mom. Instilled in our upbringing was the understanding that most things were better if they were handmade.  Handmade birthday cards, cake always baked from scratch, chicken soup, pajamas, jewelry boxes... We also had a lot of unstructured time as children, especially with summers which were spent camping - no tv, lots of books, cards, board games.  I think that the quiet of not having much to do (being bored, even) helped to foster our creativity.

Cassidy: I love the simplicity of your work! As an artist I've realized the simpler the image, the harder it can be to create. How did you get interested in design? 

RachelInk: I have always loved drawing, though I don't really consider myself an artist. I went to school to study architecture because my high school drafting teacher told me I "had a good hand", and I was good at math.  I love composition, order, history, and the way buildings come together through their detailing. While I do love to design, I also love the actual drafting of the details.  Architectural drafting is peaceful to me, and comes together similar to the way a complicated math equation can be extracted down to one number. I find drawing my little drawings to give me that same peace of mind.

Cassidy: Every time I visit your shop, I'm always amazed at the myriad of images you've collected in one place! Where you do you find inspiration for your work?

RachelInk: Though it may seem a random collection, the drawings in my shop are essentially things that I love, or made for people who I love. The skylines are inspired by my love of the city, buildings and their details. My husband is a writer and collector of old and [mostly] beautiful things - books, typewriters, old radios, fountain pens, cars, (did I say books?) and many of my drawings are inspired by things in my home. I draw fishing cards for my dad, and flowers for my mom. I spend a lot of time with my kids, who are 4 and 7, and they are very inspiring. And some things are just fun to draw, like bikes!

Cassidy: Speaking of your shop, often artists struggle with the transition from just creating art to creating art and selling it. What helped you to make this leap?

RachelInk: I've never really made drawings with the intention of them being "art" -  I've always just made cards for my friends and family.  So when I found out about Etsy it seemed like a good venue to see if people would buy some of my cards. 

Cassidy: What would a day of bliss look like for you for Valentine's day?
RachelInk: I would love to find a poem from my husband, construction paper valentine's from my kids, a meal prepared by someone else, and a little dark chocolate would be nice too.

Picture by Rachel King Birch
Rachel's cards can be found in stores around the world- Philly, Knoxville, TN and Victoria, Australia to name just a few. She's also designs for pingg, the online invitation store. See her store, RachelInk, for venue details as well as more of her beautiful work!

And now for the giveaway! Rachel is graciously offering a set of these beautiful tulip bike postcards to one lucky reader:

Picture by Rachel King Birch
(Five postcards with five envelopes)

To enter today's giveaway, please leave a comment (one entry per person, please) in today's post. I'll close comments by 9pm EST on Monday, February 4th. Comments closed. The random number generator chose #3 which is Crystal who said, "I love the colours and clean lines of her work. I send correspondence around the world, and these would be sure to brighten up anyone's day!"  Thank you for your comment Crystal, enjoy your beautiful cards!

Thank you RachelInk!

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