The magic of life is in the details, and it's artists like Rachelle Dusting (@rachelledusting) that are keenly familiar with aesthetic fine print. The Perth-based oil painter focuses her studio attention on realism—and her representations of the human form keep us lingering in a space of appreciation for life, beauty, and human connection. Her studio practice is a testament to her years of discipline, and it's an inspiration to anyone looking to build a successful creative practice or a flourishing entrepreneurship.
We celebrate women in business, and we're honored to share this interview with the artist from her warm, sunny studio in the Australian winter season.
Rachelle Dusting's studio / Perth, Australia
You specialize in realism—an art genre that’s highly detail oriented. Can you talk about how mode of painting has influenced or informed your personal style choices?
Realism is most commonly known as a traditional form of painting. It’s classic, effortless and usually appears highly refined. I would say these aspects have strongly influenced my personal style, as I tend to lean into classic wardrobe items that aren’t too fussy, but lends themselves to be looked at over and over again with new perspective— pieces that naturally compliment (and not compete with) my artworks.
We celebrate successful women in the business world. Art is well, art, but you’ve made it your professional practice—and you’ve been successful in it. Any words of advice to young women looking to make it in the art world.
My mantra is “don’t let disappointment determine your response” and stay committed to the purpose of your craft. There will be times where you want to throw in the towel from your art being rejected, your proposal being denied, your campaign release not being given the credit your worked so hard to receive. But these are the places that anchor you deeper into your why, and cause you to lean in harder into your purpose in creating. A few years ago I wrote a manifesto/ vision statement for my life, which I come back to often when I need reminding of who I am and, as a result, what my work is about.
What are some of the barriers you’ve had to overcome in order to be successful?
In my first few years of running my business, I had to shift my mindset very quickly about what it is to invest wisely. A mentor of mine once told me there is always going to be a cost— be it the sacrifice of time, effort or money. So early on I knew I needed to change my mindset to see the cost as an investment. This made it easier to say “yes” to opportunities which would help me grow, and “no” to the things which most 20-something year olds were doing. I had to commit to things wholeheartedly and be unwavering in my pursuit in order to rebel against the “starving artist” stereotype and be reaping the benefits now at 30, to what I was sewing a decade ago.
Billie Wilde is about the poetry of jewelry. We see painting as a poetic expression. Can you speak to your own experience of jewelry and what it means to you?
Jewelry holds a special place in my life. From a young age I remember going to my grandparents and the first thing I would do was run to my Nan’s room and play dress ups from her jewellery box filled with pieces from England and Burma. Gold encased stones of ruby, amethyst and jade. Some genuine, some less convincing. Over the years I’ve been gifted with pieces from her and my Mum that I will one day pass on to my own. Jewellery is legacy; and art is also a form of legacy. Both enable moments of remembering, and are the acknowledgement of something meaningful and significant. I love the crossover of how art and jewellery are markers of beauty, but are also the representation of someone or something beautiful.
Another part of our brand ethos is caring for others. Can you talk about what that looks like for your in both your professional and personal life?
One purpose within my art is for it to be the vehicle of storytelling. I love the power of sharing stories of the human experience. I believe Jesus was the ultimate storyteller and living a life hope-filled and with great intention loving others. This is what inspires me within my personal life which is an overflow into my professional life. Within my art, I hope to capture the same sense of intention through elevating and sharing people’s stories through portraiture.