Welcome to our ongoing Q&A feature, where we introduce a member of the Artfinder team to our community. This time, we speak with Rachel, our Senior Support and Operations Advisor.
Q: Could you start by introducing yourself to our community?
My name is Rachel, I was born in Zimbabwe and now live in the UK. I'm an avid reader, a fighter, and a lover of all things creative.
Q: How long have you worked with Artfinder and what is your role in the company?
I've worked at Artfinder for a year now (and how time has flown!). I'm a part of the Support & Operations Team, so we'll probably have interacted at some point as I help artists with all things related to selling on the platform.
Q: What have been your highlights of working with Artfinder so far?
The first is definitely an overall highlight: working for an ethical company alongside colleagues who are passionate and really care about what we're doing and trying to achieve. Everyone is so incredibly hard-working, and we're always working to the best of our abilities to ensure that the service we provide is in line with our values. It's also fantastic working for a company where you are able to bring your whole self to work. Other highlights include some of the processes we've brought in over the last year, as well as the video some artists contributed to at the end of the year (it was amazing seeing your lovely faces).
Q: Do you come from a creative background? Do you engage in creative activities yourself?
I consider myself an overall creative, I studied art to college level (as part of my International Baccalaureate) and went on to study English Language and Literature at University. I love looking at art, and hearing about people's creative processes. In terms of creative activities I engage in myself, I write fiction, and over lockdown really got into embroidery. We also had a creative workshop with the amazing collage artist Emma Bennet, and I think it helped unlock the visual artist inside me :)
Q: What does working for a B Corp mean to you?
There are many companies who put forward an image which portrays themselves as being ethical, when the reality is actually the complete opposite. Working for a B-corp means working for a company who are not just about appearances, but are about how we can actually make an impact. We're not perfect, and don't profess to be, but we're always striving to do better and better. Our goal is to help more artists make a living from art, as well as making original artwork more accessible for people, and I think that's a really worthy goal.
Q: What do you like doing in your spare time?
I'm a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and I do MMA as well, so when I'm not at work (and we're not in lockdown), I can usually be found at the gym. I also read a lot, so if I'm not at work, and I'm not at the gym, I can usually be found with my nose in a book haha. Over lockdown, I spent a lot of time in nature, going on hikes and for bike rides, and I think that's something I'll try to continue to do.
Q: How have you been coping with the recent Covid situation and do you have any words of advice for anyone who is not coping well with it?
I found it really difficult for a long time - I wasn't able to see my partner, or family, and didn't have the outlets which I usually have to help with my mental health such as going to the gym. While I made time to speak to the important people in my life, and also had lovely colleagues I spoke to daily, I felt an immense loneliness. I asked a therapist about this, and some of the advice she gave was invaluable: Take the space to let yourself feel what comes up when you reflect; if you're sad and you need to cry then cry, if you need to rant out loud or to a friend, just let it out. Then take action - be creative with interactions when you can't see people in person. For example, you could both read the same book and then discuss it, or cook together on a video call. Finally, it's important to remember that it will end.
Q: If you could take only three items with you to a desert island, what would they be?
That's such a tough one! I'd take a Kindle, the battery lasts for ages and I can put lots of books on there. I'd also take a really big notebook and a pack of pens (does that count as one item?) so I could finally write my magnum opus.
Q: Finally, do you have any message for our community?
You, as artists, are at the centre of what we do, and it's amazing seeing the passion with which you create and put your work out into the world. Keep doing what you love, and remember the impact that art can have on people's lives.