We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Kice and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachel, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
Transformation makes me happy. Though much transformation takes place on a canvas, my favorite part of my work is using hypnotherapy to help individuals overcome patterns of anxiety and discover new perspective and freedom. Through my personal experience and the experience of others, I’ve seen that when our minds and bodies are liberated from anxious patterns, we become more present in our lives, connected to our hearts, compassionate to self and others, and available to our communities. It makes me extremely happy to see the happy face of a person who has discovered they are more resilient, expressive, and capable of change than they thought they could be.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
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.
I’ve worked as a visual and performance artist for the past 20 years and recently became certified as a hypnotherapist. Right now, I’m seeing private clients and combining painting with hypnotherapy to create a deck of oracle cards. Each card features an abstract painting of a power-word that I painted while in hypnosis. The images are intended to trigger the viewer’s subconscious mind to reveal or tell a new story about whatever one’s inquiry might be. The resulting deck is like Oblique Strategies meets Tarot. (Insert a big thanks to LA’s own, author Matthew Specktor, for introducing me to Oblique Strategies and thus changing the trajectory of my work).
Recently, I was invited to expand on this series by performing the creation of a “word painting” for the kick-off of Emory University’s Compassion Shift (#compassionshift) project. In this performance, I worked in an action painting style to abstract the word compassion during an eight-minute musical/spoken word piece created by J.Kelly Goolsby and myself.
How did you get to where you are today professionally.
It’s a long story with a Forrest Gump feel. I’ve painted since childhood. My career as an artist started on a dare to paint onstage during a jazz improv performance in Nashville, TN (where I had moved to become a songwriter). By the mid-2000s, I was touring the country, painting on stage as part of a then-popular group called MuzikMafia. We had nice buses and a good run, but the group fell apart by around 2009. Highlights include painting on stage with Willie Nelson and showing up on the worst dressed list in Star Magazine without even trying. Please note: I no longer wear a fake bird in my hair, ever, not even to special events…
Working as an abstract painter and young single mom in the country music industry wasn’t easy, but it also wasn’t hard. No one forced me to do it, and it gave me a place to start that involved using my talents. I had a great enthusiasm for creating art, and I was deeply motived to show my daughter she can be herself– even though I didn’t exactly know what I meant by that at the time.
The challenges— which were mostly business and financial as the group became more successful— felt worth it to me at the time. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t accept the same terms and abuses I accepted as younger women. However, the challenging parts of my experience led me to meet teachers, healers, and therapists who taught me to value myself and my work by cultivating self-worth and a personal, spiritual practice. As both artist and hypnotherapist, my work is now more fulfilling and rewarding than even my younger self imagined it could be.
On challenges: It also helps to have a close friend who can swiftly and soundly turn your trauma into comedic dialogue.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Judging by my most recent bank statements, if you were to visit me in LA, I would take you to Green Leaves Vegan (on Hillhurst in Los Feliz) each and every day. We’ll have the pineapple curry with broccoli and seitan instead of tofu on the days we don’t order the scramble burrito. A hike to the Griffith Park Observatory and the beach are the usual suspects on my Los Angeles tours. My curator and artist sisters— Karen Kice and Lesley Kice Nishigawara— know better than I do when it comes to what’s happening in the arts. They’ll be on call to direct us to a museum or gallery show, and we can swing by SRU Studios to visit James Graham’s flock of artists. If you’re nice, James might show you a hologram. Brunch or dinner at La Poubelle Bistro is also in order. Some of my favorite things in LA— writing classes— are now available online. You don’t even have to visit LA to take a class with Chris Reed at Writing Pad. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My Shoutout goes to people who are committed to understanding, change, growth, and transformation. To Layla F. Saad, author of “Me and White Supremacy,” for shining a light on racism that I (and so many others) could not see. Her mission of becoming a good ancestor has inspired me to approach my personal life, work, and decisions from this perspective. Thanks to her, I speak up where I once was quiet, and I question my choices and actions from an expanded viewpoint.