Creative Living {in process} Interview with Rachel Awes

Hello! Happy Day to you!

I’m back with my second Creative Living in Process Interview! Yay! You might remember the first interview I did in July with Kerri Devine. {Wow, that seems like it was just yesterday—can’t believe it was almost two months ago!}

Well, today, I’m excited to share with you a peek into the wonder-filled creative life of Rachel Awes. The first time I visited Rachel’s blog all i did was listen, I felt a deep breath of expansive spirit, and she just keeps on giving it. Her artwork is like a big window of fresh air {with white curtains blowing in the breeze}, and so I knew her whole life would be too. I mean it. really. So, I thank you Rachel for opening the window wide for us to get a better view of this wonderful life. And now, here is Rachel herself! {Psst: all images in this post were created by and belong to Rachel Awes}.

The Nitty Gritty:

Name – Rachel Awes
Art business name – all i did was listen

Where do you live in the world?
st. paul, mn

Where do you live online?
all i did was listen blog
all i did was listen etsy shop

Tell us a little bit about yourself—what do you do, and how did you arrive where you are today, both creatively and otherwise?

i work as both a psychologist & an artist. i’m also married & we have two sons, ages 14 & 11.
i’ve arrived at what i “do” because i love hearts. i care deeply that people see their inner beauty & live it out.
after being a psychologist for a bunch of years, i couldn’t keep the breathtaking moments of wisdom & beauty i heard all to myself.
it began spilling out of me with pen & paper & COLOR.

As you mentioned, you are both an artist and a psychologist. How do you balance these different vocations? How do they influence each other?

i work four days a week as a psychologist. two of these days has a big space in between clients & sometimes i squeeze in some drawing then.
mostly it’s a lot of back & forth. one inspires the other. all the time. life inspires life. our children say something brilliant & i want to draw it.
i draw something pretty & i want to hug our children. & on & on it goes.

On the topic of balance . . . you are also a mother and wife, how do you find time and energy to be present in all of these ways?

i just want to love everywhere. sometimes my kids say “i know, i know” after the bajillinth time i’ve told them.
time & energy have been especially challenging in the summer when everyone’s home more.
it is all such a lesson in patience, imperfection, & compassion.

You describe yourself as an “art playgroundist.” What does this term mean to you and how did you come up with it?

it feels like recess when i create. the named just plunked in. :)

{a peek at Rachel’s work-space}

Your art talks about the beauty of life with both drawings and words, in a fanciful and unique style. How did you arrive at/develop this style of creating? Can you tell us a little bit about your creative process?

a couple years ago i wrote a manuscript (which someday needs a facelift!) about the beauty i was seeing in my clients. as i was writing, i decided to try to create illustrations for it (although hadn’t dabbled much in art before). i asked myself “what does messiness inside look like? what does holding hands look like?” & doodled out a thousand evolving doodles. since then, in addition to listening to inspiring things my clients were saying, i’ve created individual pieces (prints) from listening to the beauty in people anywhere.
as to the style/i don’t know/somehow it’s just how i look right now.

In addition to your blog (where you share all of your lovely creations), this past winter you opened a beautiful online shop. What made you decide to take the leap to selling online?

i simply did it because people commenting on my blog posts asked me to.
it was never a plan initially.

What does it mean to you to be “living a creative life?”

to risk living my insides on the outside.

What is the most wonderful thing about living a creative life?

it is an honest path & a pretty one.

What is the most challenging thing about living a creative life?


What advice would you give to someone who would like to live a more creative life?

schedule a little window in your week for yourself.
begin with listening to your life & what matters to you/what moves you.
write it down. color it. breathe.
if you do this enough, momentum will start (& so will your beautiful heart).

What keeps you going/gets you going again when you’re feeling down/uninspired?

loving people keeps me going. being the real me carries momentum.
what gets me going involves paradox/it’s stopping/silence/listening…
like if i try to take a nap, ideas plop into my head.

What fills you up?

love letters. friendship. colors. good bread. cheese. chocolate.

What are you dreaming about right now?

new dear friends. a published book. our sons living into their dreams.
loving bigger & brighter. strength & endurance.

What’s your favorite . . .

Color – green & orange
Time of day – 6 am
Place in your home – bed
Word – love
Sound – water hitting the shore
Breakfast food – omelet w/swiss cheese, asparagus, spinach, & tomatoes.


Thank you so much for sharing your life with us Rachel—and thank you for doing the work that you do! And thanks to all of you readers for coming to visit and share the inspiration! Wishing you all armfuls of twinkling autumn {and spring} leaves.

{check out more Creative Living Interviews}


22 Responses to “Creative Living {in process} Interview with Rachel Awes”

  1. 1 K September 7, 2010 at 12:58 pm


    You are awesome! your art inspires me, lifts me up and reminds me to look for beauty.

  2. 2 kolleen September 7, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Rachel is this bright light that just draws you in.

    She makes us look at life a little
    bit differently through
    her words and illustrations.

    “loving people keeps me going”…..perfectly said.

    thank you for this wonderFULL interview.

    big loves to Rachel
    and to Nicole.


  3. 3 Mary Ann September 7, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    You artwork and comments would make a wonderful book of daily inspirations. I love your work, your insights and the gifts that you share. Thank You so much, Mary Ann

  4. 4 athena September 8, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Thank you, Rachel, for a little peek into your beautiful world.

  5. 5 Eden September 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    This is the BEST interview!! I really feel like the questions were unique and I could catch a glimpse of what makes our “Rachel” tick!! I’ve been following her for a few months and she is one of the friendliest bloggers out there!! She comes up with some doozy comments too, that crack me up! Hey, and Rachel, if we ever eat breakfast together you can have my asparagus and spinach!! LOL! … to the playground :D

  6. 6 chrissy September 8, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    is there anything more wonderful than
    to motivate a person?

    rachel is the epitome of the word.
    she gives and gives and gives.
    her big bounteous beautiful spirit bursts right through her work.

    such a blessing she is.

    thanks for letting us peek through the barn doors.


  7. 7 Kerri September 8, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Yay a new creative living interview! This was such a great read, I loved it! Such beautiful joyful art and a beautiful soul too of course.

  8. 8 jen September 8, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    i love rachel, and loved learning more about her. thank you for sharing!

  9. 9 Nicole K. Docimo September 8, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Thank you all for stopping by for a visit and sharing in the inspiration! I am nodding furiously through all of the comments in appreciation of Rachel and her work {as you might have guessed}!

  10. 10 Mary September 8, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Thanks for sharing Rachel with us, she and her art are a breath of fresh beautiful air!

  11. 11 Nancy September 9, 2010 at 6:06 am

    Rachel is a gift and thanks for allowing us to see a glimpse into her world….She’s so full of love for others and it comes out in everything she does…….

  12. 12 Lori September 9, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Oh, I just adore Rachel and this interview gave us such a lovely view into her beautiful world. I love that she said living a creative life means “risking living her insides on the outside.” *LOVE* Thank you for this heartwarming interview.

  13. 13 aimee September 9, 2010 at 7:56 am

    beautiful interview! i love starting my day with a good, hearty, peaceful, colorful dose of rachel. i can’t get enough of her or her art!

  14. 14 Lisa September 9, 2010 at 8:19 am

    I love this interview and how I adore Rachel!!

  15. 15 juliette crane September 9, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    such a wonderful interview! i just adore rachel’s colorful, whimsical, beautiful work! thank you so much for sharing!

    xo, juliette

  16. 16 Megan Coyle September 9, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    I’m a fan of Rachel’s work – thanks for such a lovely interview!

  17. 17 rachel awes September 10, 2010 at 3:36 am

    thanks again for your
    oh so thoughtful questions
    & for inviting me to be here!
    LOVE to you in all your inspiring art & life!!!

  18. 18 elk September 10, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    a very special lady ….

  19. 19 Lindy Gruger Hanson September 10, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Wonderful interview. I love Rachel’s work and I own one of her prints…a little reminder and inspiration that hangs in my art studio. Many heartfelt thanks to you Rachel for sharing the love and your beautiful art! And thank you to Nicole for writing great interview questions.

  20. 20 SheilaC September 11, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Thank you for the wonderful interview! I love, love, LOVE Rachel’s work!


  21. 21 lori vliegen September 11, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    beautiful interview….rachel is the epitome of inspiration!! :)))

  22. 22 Geoff Pope October 2, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    What a resplendent and inspiring person! Thank you, Racheloving Awespectacularly, for being so attractively balanced, blessed.

    My favorite lines:

    “to risk living my insides on the outside.”

    “loving people keeps me going. being the real me carries momentum.
    what gets me going involves paradox/it’s stopping/silence/listening…”

    And I agree with Mary Ann: “You artwork and comments would make a wonderful book of daily inspirations.” I’m a professional editor, so please let me know if you’d like any help with a manuscript “facelift.”


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Hello there! My name is Nicole K. Docimo, and I am an artist and writer from the U.S.A. but currently residing in Zurich, Switzerand. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Some Thoughts

"Be thirsty for the ultimate water,
and then be ready for what will
come pouring from the spring."

{from "Joy at Sudden Disappointment"
translated by C. Barks.}

~This Work ~

Unless otherwise noted, all images and writings on this blog were created by me, Nicole K. Docimo aka Blue Bicicletta. If you would like to share anything you see here for inspirational purposes online, I just ask that you kindly let folks know where you found it. If you are wanting to share/reproduce any of my work in any other way, or have any questions about how you will be sharing the work in relation to copyright, please contact me directly at nkdocimo {at} gmail {dot} com. Thanks!

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