Art, Life, and New Beginnings: A Conversation with Lottie Rae

Art, Life, and New Beginnings: A Conversation with Lottie Rae

We're thrilled to introduce Lottie Rae, a talented artist and from rural NSW. Lottie's journey to becoming a full-time artist is nothing short of inspiring, marked by bold decisions and a passion for creativity. Join us as we delve into her life, artistic process, and the inspirations behind her vibrant work.

Hey Lottie! Let's jump in – can you share a bit about your background and when you decided to pursue art as a career? What inspired that decision, and did you always want to be an artist?

I live in a tiny little town in rural NSW called Trangie (population 1,000). I was born here and after completing my schooling in Sydney at St Vincent's College and traveling to some beautiful places around the world, I found myself right back here in central west NSW.

My parents are farmers, but my mum has always been incredibly creative and is also a super talented artist, so I was exposed to the arts from a young age. At school, I was more focused on my social life than my studies and I actually failed art! While I always loved creating, I had never really considered it as a career, and at that point, I don't think my teachers would have recommended it either (LOL).

After school, I moved to England for a gap year and, upon returning to Australia, I moved to Canberra to begin a degree in town planning. Why I applied for this, I will never know—it was recommended to me by a careers adviser, so I just followed their advice. Sure enough, three months in, I stopped going to uni because it wasn't for me, so I returned to the central west.

Fast forward a few years, I was married with two little boys, and I purchased a property in Trangie where I opened a retail boutique and espresso bar. I ran the store for eight years and it did really well. While running the store, I continued to dabble in my art but didn’t have the time to go full steam ahead. To be honest, I was worried that there might not be a full-time career in it for me (financially at least).

At the start of 2024, I decided to throw caution to the wind. I boldly put my business and building up for sale and declared to the world that I was going to paint full-time. The business sold at the end of March, and I'm now 12 weeks into my new life as a full-time artist!

Hats off to you, Lottie! Your boldness definitely transfers through to your art. Can you tell us a little about life in Trangie? What does a ‘week in the life’ look like for you now that you’re a full-time artist?

Trangie is approximately an hour’s drive west of Dubbo, so life in Trangie for the most part is very relaxed. My husband is a cotton and cereal farmer on our property, so a lot of our life revolves around the farm, and we’re lucky enough to spend a lot of our time outdoors (especially in summer, when we love water skiing!).

Now that I am painting full-time, so much has changed. Prior to going full-time as an artist, I owned a café and retail boutique, so I am LOVING the change of pace with my new career. Especially working on my own and not relying on staff is a really good feeling.

I also have a lot more time now to spend with my kids. I’ve got two boys, Ted (8) and Jimmy (3), and the freedom I have to be with them now is priceless.

Nonetheless, life is still chaotic—just more manageable. My weeks include producing new work for myself, working on projects for customers and clients, and collaborations. At the moment I’m particularly busy, but I wouldn’t change a THING!

How would you define both your art style and your fashion style? We're thrilled that you're a Kinga Csilla customer – how did you first discover us, and what's your favourite piece in your own Kinga collection?

My art style is contemporary, heavily influenced by my own life and experiences. I love painting with a '90s flair, giving a nod to my childhood. I'm a huge dreamer (Pisces) and love reflecting on the good times. I like art that is fun and a bit bold. I'm a big believer in art that starts a conversation, and I always aspire to have that in my works.

My fashion style has definitely evolved over time, and just like my art, I've embraced the fun in my style now too. I first discovered Kinga Csilla through borrowing clothes from friends, and I fell in love with the "cool without trying to be" vibe of the brand.

My favourite pieces from my personal collection are my Kivva Check Mascali Dress, which I adore to this day, and of course, my Dragon tee!

What inspires and influences your creative process? Can you describe your typical workflow from the initial idea to the finished piece?

My "inspiration train" moves fast, and I'm always jumping and flicking between ideas that I think are cool. The majority of my inspiration comes from real-life activities or experiences. I love to paint subjects that excite me! If I'm painting something that I find a bit boring, I lose interest in it quickly. I like to begin with an idea or a graphic that I like and then completely freestyle the process. If I try to be too specific in the foundation phase, I think my works lose the magic that happens in the process.

How do you overcome creative blocks or periods of self-doubt, and what advice would you offer to aspiring artists?

This happens to me alllll the time, and I think it's really important to be honest about it. I find that chatting with my besties about ideas and getting "vibe checks" from them really helps when I'm doubting a piece or a collection. I also have no shame in walking away from a piece altogether if it's torturing me. Some pieces just aren't meant to be!

This is also why I very rarely agree to do commission work. Commission work is often the hardest for me creatively, as I get in my own head about what the customer wants rather than what the creative flow is telling me to do. Once I set boundaries around accepting commissions (e.g., not doing them), my workflow improved significantly!

Finally, what are your upcoming projects or long-term goals?

I just dropped my solo exhibition "Dirty Cowboy Hits" at Jumbled in Orange, NSW. It's an incredible collection, and I'm so proud of it!

My long-term goals are to continue building my brand and offering fun, original artworks. I'd also love to continue working with other brands. I find collaborations really fun and inspiring!

Thank you, Lottie, for sharing your journey and insights with us! Your passion and creativity are truly inspiring.

You can check out Lottie’s art here or give her a follow on Instagram here.

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