We had the good fortune of connecting with Chantrice Rachelle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chantrice Rachelle, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
I feel like the cliche answer is “never give up,” but what I have learned in just the last year is that sometimes there are things that you have to give up in order to keep going with bigger and better things. I personally think that you have to rely on your intuition- that true gut feeling- as well as whomever or whatever your spiritual beliefs are as far as a higher being (for me that’s God). For me, being a multi-faceted individual, I tend to have so many endeavors that I attempt to take on simultaneously. Being a one-woman team, taking on so much is a recipe for high levels of stress and burnout. Experiencing burnout is when I knew I had to give up some things that I didn’t want to give up on, but it came down to re-evaluating where I was and where I wanted to be, then looking at which of my ventures were essentially holding me back. Going back to intuition and spiritual beliefs- I talk to God frequently about every goal and vision that I have and I pray for guidance. If it is time to give up on something, I pray to God to show me and give me the serenity, courage, and wisdom to give it up. On the other hand, I know to keep going when there is something that fuels my soul and feeds my spirit- something I can’t stop thinking about in a positive way. For me, this has been art and my visual art business. When I have a vision for something and can feel that it’s deeper than just a vision, I know that I can’t give up no matter how hard or discouraging things may get. As the saying goes, “when you know, you know” and deep down I believe that we all know when we should truly keep going or give up…and that is for various aspects of life.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Typically, artists/creatives are right-brained but I think one thing that sets me apart as an artist is that I’m both right and left-brained…and I’m not just an artist. I am also an Information Technology Professional, business savvy, and a former Podcast producer and host, a mentor, and a speaker. To be honest, being all of these things have yielded a lot of stress, but I can say that I am proud to be well-rounded in these various knowledge, skills, and abilities.
Of all of the qualities that make me, art is my true first love. I have been an artist since I learned to use a pencil, but I didn’t pursue art as formal education or my initial professional career because of the stigma of being a starving artist and everything we were taught as children about “getting a good-paying job”. I have a bachelor’s degree in Business and a master’s degree in Information Technology and currently, I work 9-5 as an IT Professional in the corporate world. So, for many years, art was just something I did in my leisure- until 2020. One day I was off work and decided to paint, while I was painting my life changed. It was like a voice told me this is what I have to continue doing often, not just sporadically. I saw a vision of me as an artist with my art being owned/collected by others. I used to say I only created art for fun and that I never planned to sell art or really put myself out there. August 11, 2020, was the day that God told me and showed me that I wasn’t blessed with this gift to just use it for fun.
From that moment to now, this has been an exciting journey but challenging too. Imposter syndrome is something I battle A LOT. I am my biggest critic so sometimes I can spend hours on a piece and not like it at all. I have many pieces I have yet to release because I’m unsure how I feel about them. Then, the words of Erykah Badu, “I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my s**t” is a big fact for me so at times I worry how my art will be received. Evolving as an artist is an ongoing challenge because there are things that I need and want to learn and everything is trial and error. My biggest lesson, however, has been to just give myself grace and go for it and not limit myself due to fear. From August to now, I have grown so much as an artist and overall as a woman because of this art journey. At this point, I’m unsure how I ever went so long without this love because there is no other endeavor that has fulfilled me the way this does.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh, we’re going everywhere art-related! Although I’ve loved art forever, I’m starting to discover more things and places that cater to artists and art lovers so I’d love to share these experiences with my close friends versus going solo. In addition to those, if I’m in my home city, ATL, we’ll kick it at Piedmont Park, Ponce City Market, and any special events that are in the city. In LA we’ll definitely vibe at the beach and maybe go to Runyon Canyon. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
With anything in my life, God gets all of the glory! My parents, of course, because without them, their unconditional love, and incessant support- I would not be who I am or where I am. More specifically, my mama, who always supported my love for art growing up. Everything art-related that I wanted when I was younger, she made a way to get it for me. She probably thought she was just spoiling her little girl with pointless toys/supplies but little did she know (little did I know) all of it was all feeding my inner artist. I remember my very first piece of art that I sold around the age of 8 was a painting on a poster board to one of her good friends.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t shoutout all of my fellow visual artists- over the years I have been so inspired by various artists. In fact, following more and more artists over the last three years is what really inspired me to stop hiding in my art shell and share my gift with the world.
Murray Vision Photography