We had the good fortune of connecting with Rashelle Stetman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rashelle, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The idea of working for someone else’s dream was hard for me to settle for, I have my own dreams to hunt for.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My artwork has a broad range of styles. I was taught to try to stick to one style more when I was in Art school. But the problem with that as an Artist, is you put yourself in a box. You tend to not explore all the things you are capable of. I very much enjoy to experiment with different mediums and styles. I have created Western artwork, reflecting the ranching/ski town I grew up in of Steamboat Springs, CO. I’ve created many tattoo designs for clients in micron pen with a more graphic style. I quite frequently create pet portraits for clients in color pencil. It is a struggle for me sometimes with the colors of the fur because I am color blind. That is why a lot of my work is in black and white. But what I love most is my large scale female portraits. I love the feeling of drawing and painting on wood. The grain provides this extra added bonus of originality in my opinion. Each panel of wood is so different and from there, the stain, the sanding and the overall manipulation of that surface sets those pieces apart from all other paintings. I love the idea that no panel is the same, while paper remains simply, paper, each piece of wood has its own history and grooves, it has movements before touching the surface. I love drawing huge portraits, some have reached 5 feet in length. I love the feeling when your entire body is being used to create something. The moments when I find myself laying on top of the piece in my studio just to reach and area gives me an “Artist high. It makes you feel like you achieved something that really made you work for it, not just creatively but physically. When those days are done your entire body is sore. Its actually kind of funny as I am writing this, I am thinking I sound so weird. But that’s no secret Artist’s are a different’ breed of human.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh man, I have never had so many visitors come to see me until I moved to San Diego. It really is paradise. When my best friend comes to visit we love going to the beach. Usually Oceanside, but I also lived in Ocean Beach for a bit and we would spend the day there. I love taking friends to the Piers, doesn’t matter which one they are all great. Ruby’s at the end of the pier in Oceanside is always fun. I love to fish so seeing what people reel in on the pier is hilarious. I saw a few sting rays and its just so cool. The SD Zoo is always fun, I swear its impossible to actually see the whole Zoo in one visit its so huge! That is the greatest Zoo I have ever been to, puts others to shame. Obviously, I take anyone who visits to In-N-Out, its always a hit. I have always really been interested in North County- Encinitas, Oceanside, Cardiff. Those are the places I like to cruise around it with friends and check out the beaches, window shop and obviously hit the coffee shops, which are all awesome. Depending on how long guests stay Joshua Tree is so rad to see. I think everyone should see it in their lifetime, for me it felt like nothing I had ever seen before, so beautiful and different! The last place I love to take people is Belmont Park. After hitting the roller coaster (I think its called the Big Dipper) its hilarious to cruise on Bird scooters down the boardwalk along the beach in Pacific Beach. I remember laughing so hard with my best friend trying to jump them off things, which I know, you aren’t supposed to do, maybe that’s part of what makes it so fun.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are many clients to thank for their support and believing in me and my work over the years. One that helped put me on the map has been creating for Actor, Chad Michael Murray and his wife. These are two of the greatest people, so kind, so humble and trust in my work so much they commissioned a second piece years later. It means a lot to have returning clients! I always love the feeling when clients come back for a second or third piece. Recently, I created for Trust Me Vodka and they have brought some new eyes to my work from their audience. They not only commissioned me to create two paintings for their latest “Artist Bottle Series” but they frequently tag me and posting the bottles. It’s been very flattering for my work to be seen on a new product out for sale in addition to feeling like as a commissioned Artist, you are part of something bigger. This wasn’t a typical commissioned project, they wanted me more involved, had me tour the headquarters, meet everyone and get all the feels. It makes a huge difference to feel the personality of a company. and theirs is so good. Very genuine people stoked on art. The relationship between Trust Me and I is so good, it feels like family. And for me, that is everything. Having worked with them, I am now a shareholder in the company which was new for me, but that’s how much I believe in them too. It’s a super rad company to work for, and I feel very honored to be part of the group of Artists selected for the bottle series.
Photo of me captured by Zach Rawles IG: @zachrawles