*Talented artist paints a name for herself
Francistown-based contemporary artist, Rachael Hutton, was introduced to art in her formative years.
However, the gutsy 24-year-old creator would later pursue accounting and not her first love, fine art.
While her generation grapples with its biggest challenge – unemployment – the young entrepreneur has instead elected to thoroughly commit to the business of art, painting and selling her masterpieces to corporates, collectors, and curious eyes countrywide.
Voice Woman chats to Hutton about her influences – local maestro, Wilson Ngoni, and Dutch painter, Vincent van Gogh, and discusses the equally skillful genius’ fastidious eye for detail, her creative process and unapologetic fixation with tigers, which is in evidence throughout her work.
For those who have never read or heard about you, please introduce yourself.
Rachael Hutton is a 24-year-old contemporary multidimensional artist based in Francistown who at the moment does art full time.
She focuses on art that serves to impress, inspire and evoke; where it’s all about the viewers.
You studied Accounting. Why that and not Fine Arts? When did you start painting?
I studied and worked in accounting in 2020.
I left my job and focused on art full-time.
Before that, I had been doing art part-time, commercially, from 2018.
I’m a self-taught painter but I did art in school where I only learnt about using pencils and crayons.
You refer to yourself as a “contemporary multidimensional artist”, what does that mean in simple terms.
In simple terms contemporary means modern or happening in the present, multidimensional meaning my art involves many ways in which I do my art works; I tap into all sorts of art styles and don’t limit myself to one style.
What inspires you as an artist and is that inspiration pronounced in your work?
My passion for art inspires me and I want to believe it’s quite obvious in my work because the viewer can see how much work, passion and dedication was put into one artwork.
Walk Voice Woman through your process of creating your art…
I start by doing some research on certain objects I want to paint, and then I look at how other artists are doing theirs, just to be inspired.
Once I have gained all the inspiration, I meditate on that idea for maybe a day or two, trying to figure out how I’m going to explore my concepts.
Once I decide to start my work, I don’t stop until I finish.
You’re bold in terms of your use of colour, scale and composition of your pieces and choice of subjects.
And you did share that you’re drawn to tigers especially.
Let’s talk about all that…
Like I said, my work is to evoke, so I believe use of colour contrasts does the job for me.
And I’m in love with large-scale paintings, but I have recently toned it down a bit on size just so I can accommodate the multidimensional part of my work.
I wanted to explore working with tigers more, that was to feed my obsession with them.
I get I might have bored a lot of people with focusing on one thing for that period.
But I’m proud to say they did sell well.
Do you paint from observation or memory?
I paint from observation and I style my work from experimenting.
I love the funky customised sneakers, how did the idea come about? What other bespoke items do you do?
Well, my clients inspired all the customised sneakers, and I came up with the idea of doing those because my one particular cousin always pushed me to do his sneakers because he believed I was that good.
So, since I discovered I could do such, I decided to do it commercially.
And what’s your preferred medium or tool?
I prefer acrylics on certain objects but oils on painting people.
Locally, which artists influence your work?
Wilson Ngoni inspires me and influences me to be consistent in my work.
As a young adult, would you say your style has changed in the last few years?
I don’t think my style has changed a lot; it has surely become more consistent than before.
I still explore colour, there has been much improvement, though.
One of your Facebook posts reads, “Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.” Do elaborate…
It’s a quote by Claude Monet, it simply resonated with me because people pretend they know the meaning of your artwork, they think they are pressured to know what it all means, when that shouldn’t be the case.
All I need is for people to love and appreciate my work.
I know an artist’s mind is always at work. What are you currently working on or experimenting with?
Currently, I’m meditating on an idea I came up with a few days back, and other ideas I have in my head that I want to explore.
There’s always something I’m exploring, either working on commissions or my ideas.
What’s the most expensive piece you’ve sold so far? How do you determine prices?
I’ve sold a piece for P20 500 in corporate.
The time I take, the content, the material used and the size determine my prices.
Besides the recent Jameson Connects event, where else have you exhibited your work? And apart from social media, where or how do you sell your work?
I’ve exhibited my work at the Gaborone whiskey-tasting festival, Green Jam Sundays, Roots Live Sessions, Sphala Sunday sessions, just to mention a few.
I sell my work through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Who’s your all-time favourite artist, and work of art?
My favorite artist of all time has to be Vincent van Gogh, accompanied by his Starry Night.
What lessons would you share with up and coming artists?
My word would be to be daring and explore your talent and your passion in the best way possible.
Attend exhibitions, learn from other artists, and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.