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Rachel McQueen runs Creando Pensamus creating illustrated notebooks and art prints.

We spoke to Rachel about her motivation to create and the proudest moments she’s experienced so far.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business.

My name is Rachel McQueen and I run Creando Pensamus. I have created custom hand-painted notebook, art prints and some other little creations. I am a geography graduate, currently working as a receptionist in a dental practice and doing Creando Pensamus on the side. I am passionate about simple beauty and nature which hopefully comes across in any work I create.

What or who influences and motivates you?

I find new inspiration all the time, either in the natural world or through others on social media but it is important to develop your own style, which is something I am hoping to work on more.
I love seeing how people use colour or restricted colour palettes. Stella Maria Baer is an artist from Santa Fe now living in Colorado who creates pigment to paint with from the rocks and dust around her, meaning her work is a beautiful mix of earthy, warm tones. I love that, how she is able to create artwork from earth. Mostly I am drawn to minimal or simplistic styles though I do love more expressive or modern pieces, like the work of Heather Day.

Motivation is a whole other area for me. I find it really difficult to get motivated, or more so, figure out what direction I would like to take my art. I don’t want to do it just for the sake of it, I want to have purpose in what I do. I have lots of different ideas that are always changing, I suppose I should listen to those closest to me who tell me to just go in a direction, any direction, to take a step. Really motivation needs to come from within myself otherwise I find it difficult to keep going, especially because Creando Pensamus is my side project and not a full time thing.

What has been your biggest hurdle proudest moment or accomplishment in your career?

a. biggest hurdle
My biggest hurdle is probably honestly myself. I have had so many amazing opportunities through Creando Pensamus and I know there is potential for more, I have never really pushed it that much. So yes, myself and my own motivation continue to be my biggest hurdles.
b. proudest moment/accomplishment
Like I said so many great things have happened through this, meeting so many lovely people, having my work sold in some brilliant shops and being part of Belfast Design week. I have had some artwork printed in local magazine Turf & Grain that I have loved helping with over the past few years. It is amazing to have recognition for something you have created. My most random accomplishment though was an order for over thirty hand-painted notebooks to Hawaii. The shop owner came across my work on Instagram and sent me an email (which my dad told me to delete because he thought it sounded to good to be true), which is pretty amazing, just wish I could have delivered them in person!

Could you give some advice for any young, emerging designers?

I would say be friendly, be open, take opportunities and just create what you want to create. You can so easily get caught up in creating work for others that you don’t take time to just enjoy it or work on some personal projects. That is something I am hoping to work on this year too.