rachel austin : artists who blog

This week's guest is West Coast artist Rachel Austin, who just recently had a beautiful baby girl, Adelaide, and hasn't missed a beat! Rachel is very prolific, and creates lovely multi-layered paintings on wood using maps and mixed media. She sells a variety of work in her Etsy shop, including pendants, cards, fine art prints, and magnets all graced with images of her artwork. Catch up on Rachel's latest news on her blog paper and planes and view her portfolio to see a wide selection of her artwork. She was also featured on Etsy's "quit your day job" series, that you can read here. Enjoy this weekend interview!

Why did you decide to start a blog?

I wanted to have a place to write and show pictures of my creation process. Sometimes I think people want to know a little more about the artist and their work. Also, it has validated all the time I spend browsing the internet looking at other people's wonderful creations so I can write about them.

How did you come up with the name of your blog?

Paper airplanes show up in a lot of my map painting series and while my husband and I brainstormed names, 'paper and planes' emerged as a phrase that seemed to fit by being a little playful, but hopefully not too cheesy.

How has blogging effected your work as an artist/designer?

I try to be more aware of my own process and how to translate that to other people. It seems to help me connect people a little more with the process. Also, it has introduced me to a lot of other great sites and artists.

What are your favorite artist/designer blogs? Why?

I like Angry Chicken for all her sewing ideas and projects. I like the new features Modish has added lately and can always find something interesting there.

Why do you think blogs have now become so popular with artists and designers?

It's neat to see a growing DIY community. It seems especially prevalent here in Portland, and blogging seems like a natural extension of that community on a bigger scale. More people are beginning to value handmade items and want to connect with it's maker.

Do you have any advice for artists/designers who are starting a blog?

Hmmm... I kind of leapt in without a lot of ideas of what to write about - it might have been helpful to have a little more focus from the beginning. We have slowed down a lot in working on the blog since we had a baby, but try to do post or two a week. So, having realistic goals is also important.

What has been the most positive and inspirational aspect of having a blog for you?

I've already met some new folks through the blog. It feels really good to get comments from strangers that like to look at my work.

Thanks Rachel for sharing your work and thoughts, good luck with Adelaide, and keep up the amazing work!