We had the good fortune of connecting with Chelsea Rae and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Chelsea, what inspires you?
I typically work in a state of stream of consciousness so my artwork is very much created in the moment, so what I’m inspired by can change drastically depending on my surroundings. With that being said I always try to have a camera with my so that when inspiration does strike I will be prepared to capture whatever has caught my eye. In most of my work there seem to be a driving force behind what I am inspired by that continuously appear no matter what I am photographing. -light -shadows -colors -textures -shapes -art in all of it forms, styles, and mediums -music -traveling and exploring new places -all manners of flora and fauna -architecture -humanity -my pug pandora -my family and friends -the fundamental interconnectedness of all things -finding the beauty in all things big and small

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a freelance visual artist who just so happens to work as a civil engineer.  Not only am I a civil engineer for the company I work at, I am also the creative director of photography and videography for all creative projects . I am fortunate enough to be able to have a flexible schedule, so that I am able to go out and pursue any of my freelance photographic endeavors. I really try to travel as much as I possibly can so that I may have the experience of broadening my horizons and capturing the beauty and wonder that is within our world. However if I am unable to travel out of the state or country I make it a point to explore all of my surroundings, finding inspiration along every path, all the while photographing to my heart’s content. I spend a considerable amount of time searching for submission opportunities for my photography, I have to make sure that I have all of my film developed and my images edited in time for the submission deadline, sometimes along with the photographs there are writing prompts I have to answer, which can take time to work on, and then depending on what and where it was submitted I will have to get the artwork ready to be displayed  which includes getting prints of the photographs made, framing them, delivering them to the gallery or show to be displayed, and attending opening night. If it is an online show or print publication the submission is all that needs to be provided. I have found instagram to be a very useful tool for my photography and have found that sharing my photographs with the help of hashtags has brought about features on accounts that are dedicated solely to photography and has been able to bring about a larger audience for my work. When I am having a print sale I make sure to do a daily announcement with all of the information about the prices of the prints, what prints are for sale and how many are available for purchase, and my website information to make the purchases. When a sale is made, I gather all of the purchased prints, package them up securely so there is no damage done to the artwork, and then send it on its way via the post office to its new forever home.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We will first head over to the Riviera Village in Redondo Beach to grab some coffee and food before we walk down to the beach. Some of my favorite places are Hi-Fi Espresso, Locale 90 Neapolitan Pizza Market, The Yellow Vase, or Saks on the Beach. I always love to take my guests on a drive along the coast . I love stopping at Point Vicente in Palos Verdes. It has a Lighthouse and Nature Preserve right along the coast making it the perfect place to have take a nice nature walk and enjoy a picnic looking out at the ocean and if we are lucky we will be able to do some whale watching. The next stop I usually make is at the Korean Friendship Bell in San Pedro. We would also head over to Santa Monica to hang out at the pier, find some tasty food to eat, if we are lucky to be there on the right day we can hit up one of the many farmers markets they have, and of course go shopping. Then there is downtown to visit, I typically will take my guests to Grand Central Market, The Last Bookstore, and to the Arts District. Additionally there are the Art Museums and Galleries excursions which will include The Getty, The Broad, Bergamot Station, The Hammer, LACMA, and the Natural History Museum. With the piece de resistance for anyone staying is a trip to Randy’s Doughnuts.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would just like to send the warmest heartfelt thank you to anyone and everyone who has ever supported, encouraged, or believed in me and my artwork. Thank you so much it means the world to me .

Website: https://www.chelsearaephoto.com
Instagram: @chelsearae.photo

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