An Interview With Rayn


Welcome to my artist interview series Rayn! I'm so excited to have you here, and I can't wait to learn more about your artistic journey and what inspires you. The goal of these interviews is to provide a platform for artists to share their stories and experiences, in the hopes of inspiring others to embrace their creativity and pursue their passions.

First,  I'd love to hear a bit about you and what makes you, well, you! Care to share some fun facts about yourself, or maybe something interesting that most people don't know about you?

As an artist, I work mainly digitally these days, but I also love a bit of crochet and traditional art (especially watercolour). I paint in a semi-realistic style mostly but I also love simpler illustrative pieces. Here’s a few fun facts about me:

♡ My partner and I collectively own over 1500 books, our house is a bit of a library (and moving is a nightmare)

♡ I have a pet frog, his name is Odo, he’s a rescue, and he’s 19 years old.

♡ I did a charity skydive once but I found it a little anti-climactic, I want to try bungee jumping one day.

♡ I’m Autistic and two of my special interests are marine animals and the Lord of the Rings.

I'm curious to know what first sparked your interest in art and made you want to pursue it as a career. Was there a particular moment or experience that made you realize that art was something you wanted to pursue?

Art has always been a constant in my life, but for the longest time I really doubted my own skill and didn’t think it could be a viable career. I ended up dabbling in a collection of art related careers like face painting and makeup artistry—I even tried acting— but they weren’t what I really felt drawn to, painting and creating art.

Can you tell me about a time when something happened that completely changed the course of your artistic journey? Maybe it was something unexpected, or maybe it was a gradual realization. Either way, I'd love to hear all about it.

Honestly, Autistic burnout—and let me tell you, that is not a fun way to change the course of your life.

I’d been working part-time and full-time jobs for about eight years straight out of school and I just reached a point where I couldn’t do it anymore. Every single day consisted of: waking up, going to work, coming home and crashing for hours until it was time to do it all over again. My days or weeks off weren’t time to relax and enjoy, they were days to attempt to recover until it was time to go back. There was no energy left to do anything, especially not art.

I ended up having to leave work, I’m so incredibly lucky to have the ability to do that in my life. Finally I had the time and energy to create again, I rediscovered my life-long love of art and I decided it was time to take it seriously and turn it into something.

As an artist, I'm sure you've faced some struggles and challenges along the way. Those experiences have probably impacted your work in some way. Can you share a bit about those challenges and how they've influenced your artistic process?

Oh Gods, where do I begin?

I think the biggest struggle has always been my own energy levels. I was initially a traditional artist working mostly in watercolour but also trying out oil painting but I don’t think a lot of people realise the amount of energy it takes to get all of your painting materials and tools out before painting and then to clean up after. The thought of doing that stopped me in my tracks, there are so many pieces of art that I never got to make because I couldn’t face that energy drain. Discovering the world of digital art was a life changer in that regard! I still paint traditionally but I now have the option of just sketching on my iPad if I don’t have the energy to paint that day. It gives me so much more freedom to express my creativity.

It's often said that artists put a bit of themselves into their work. I'd love to hear about your personal connection to your art. Do you draw from personal experiences, feelings, or ideas when you create your work? How does your art reflect your own life?

When I decided to try selling my art, I started with art that I thought people would relate to. It was a collection I called “Beautiful Bodies” that celebrated all body types and I’m still so proud of that collection and I know there were so many people who loved it but it wasn’t the kind of art that really resonated with me so I lost my passion to create it pretty fast. I realised at that point that I needed to continue creating the art that made me feel the drive to create it, even if it wasn’t the stuff that would sell easily.

I can’t pinpoint a specific experience or feeling that connects to each piece I create now but I see them as an amalgamation of who I am.

You've probably had some profound or meaningful experiences that have impacted the way you approach your art. Could you tell me about any experiences that have shaped the way you express yourself through art?

I spent sooo long, like many other artists, trying so hard to “find my style” but eventually I realised that’s not how it works. Your style comes to you in bits and pieces, it shapes itself through your hands and it doesn’t happen all at once. Even when you think you’ve found it, it still morphs and changes as you grow as an artist. Now I let myself paint in the way that just feels right, the style just happens on its own.

For many artists, art isn't just a career, it's a way of life. It can be a form of self-expression, a source of joy and fulfillment, and a way to connect with others. In what ways does art impact your life beyond being a career? Can you share some examples of how it enriches your life?

In the periods of my life where I haven’t been creating art, I’ve felt empty somehow. Art is something that allows me to express myself, to be creative. Would it be nice to make a living from my art? Of course it would, it would be a dream come true! But that’s not why I make it. I make art because of the joy it brings to myself and to people who see it and love it, I make it because my soul needs me to.

Feedback sometimes can be hard to take, especially when it's about something you've created with passion and hard work. How do you approach feedback and criticism about your work? Do you find it helpful, or is it sometimes difficult to hear? I'd love to know how you handle it.

I think it can be a difficult topic, I appreciate feedback or constructive criticism but only where it’s offered with kindness and when it is asked for.

Feedback can be a great teaching moment to help someone learn to express themself creatively but too many people feel the need to be cruel to young artists who are just discovering their interest in the craft. It breaks my heart to see them stop creating because of hate they’re getting from people on social media under the guise of criticism.

Pursuing an artistic career is often not an easy path. It can involve a lot of hard work and sacrifices. What kinds of sacrifices have you made to pursue your artistic dreams? I'd love to know more about the journey you've taken and the challenges you've overcome.

When I decided to make this a career, I kind of threw myself into the deep end. I thought I needed to have my own website with a shop on there for people to take me seriously. I knew I didn’t want to use etsy but I didn’t know many alternatives so I decided to make myself a website on Squarespace and as much as I loved that website, I wasted so much money doing it. After two years I decided to move my store to Ko-Fi and it was the best decision I’ve made; there’s a community that helps me feel a part of something more. The fees for the shop are so much lower than Etsy, and there are no fees for donations. Since joining I’ve also been made a Ko-Fi Ambassador which has been wonderful because now I can directly help make it a better place for creative people.

On another note, I had to learn how to balance my mental health with social media and marketing. I sacrificed my own energy so much at the beginning, on Tiktok we were encouraged to post three times a day, Instagram wanted ten stories and a post a day, several reels a week. It’s so incredibly unsustainable but I tried to do it anyway. I learned from that, I now have a schedule on my phone for when to post to each thing, I change it up every so often depending on how I feel about it but it seems to be working for me.

There are many stereotypes about what it's like to be an artist. Some people might think that artists have a carefree, bohemian lifestyle, or that they're always starving for money or recognition. How would you address those misconceptions and give people a more accurate understanding of what it's like to be an artist?

I think a lot of people who have that perception don’t realise the work involved in becoming an artist. It’s not just sketching and painting every day, you have to be active on the ever soul-crushing social media. You have to market your work because nobody else is going to do it for you and nobody will buy your art if they don’t know it exists!

An increasing number of people believe that art has no true value in the world, that it’s not “useful” or “practical” but I cannot imagine a world without art. Without art, we would have no fictional tv shows or movies, no beautiful architecure, no fashion, no books. What would we be without art?

Yes, the “starving artist” trope is real for many artists, but that’s because people don’t value art as much as they should.

Creative blocks can happen to anyone. If you've ever experienced a creative block, can you tell me about your experience and how you dealt with it? I'm sure other artists would love to hear about your process for overcoming creative blocks.

Creative blocks happen to most of us, the trick is knowing what works for you to get out of it, and what works for one artist won’t work for everyone.

For me, I like to draw “bad art”. I’ll draw stuff that I have no intention of ever showing to anyone, art that I will never post on social media. This takes off the pressure of always needing your work to be perfect, and I think that pressure is always there these days especially as we need to use social media to market ourselves.

I also love to take part in art challenges, especially “Draw This In Your Style” challenges. They take away the difficulty of thinking of something to draw and instead allow you to focus on your style and way of painting.

It can be hard to balance the need to create art that's true to your vision while also meeting the expectations of clients or an audience. Can you tell me about your own experience with this balancing act? How do you manage to stay authentic while also satisfying the needs of others?

That can be so difficult, I manage it with clients by setting expectations from the start. If someone wants to commission a piece from me I make sure they have seen my other work and style so they know what to expect.

For an audience on social media it can be scary as a creator to want to change up your style or subject matter. You worry that people won’t like your new art and that they’ll unfollow or comment hate but the thing is that if they value your art, they’ll want to see whatever you create. If they don’t you didn’t need them anyway.

Artists often have meaningful interactions with the people who view and appreciate their work. Can you tell me about any interactions that have stuck with you over the years? What impact do you hope your art has on the people who experience it?

I have a Youtube channel, it’s pretty small at the moment but growing. I use that channel to teach other artists and help them discover ways they can express their own creativity and every now and then I get a comment or a message from a young artist letting me know that my video has helped them. Every single one of those messages brings me so much joy because that’s why I do it!

My whole goal with my art is to bring joy into peoples lives and help artists find ways to express themselves so to know that it’s working is such a wonderful gift.

There are so many young and emerging artists who are seeking guidance and inspiration. What advice would you offer to them, based on your own experiences and journey as an artist? What are the most important lessons you've learned?

Patience. I know, I know- that’s not what people want to hear but it’s a sloooooow process. I’ve been creating art for most of my life and I’m nowhere near where I want to be yet!

Don’t rush into trying to make money from your art, take your time learning what your art is and what you want to create first! And yeah, social media sucks sometimes but know that algorithms change and it’s not that they hate artists. Consistency is important but putting yourself first is so much more important; if you need to take a break, do it. Don’t keep pushing through if you’re not enjoying yourself.

If anyone is interested in seeing your work, where can they find it? I'm sure many people would love to see more of your work!

You can find me as @RayncloudArt on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Youtube if you want to see a little more and maybe even learn something.

You can buy my work on Ko-Fi ( ) where I sell prints, originals, stickers, crochet, (and real soon, enamel pins!), my commissions are also over on Ko-Fi. If you want to support me monthly, you can become a member on my Ko-Fi for monthly perks!


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