The Origin Story. It sounds like the beginning of a grand fable or how the universe was created. Our origin story began in a different type of way, mainly because we are still on our journey.
I’m so excited to talk to you today about what has inspired my practice and why I decided to create Mother Muse community with my friend, Kirra Kimbrell. Kirra and I both graduated from St. John’s University in New York with Fine Art Photography degrees. While Kirra focused more on the fine art side of that title, I was interested in the documentary, social justice aspects of what photography can be for society. After graduation, I moved back home to Baltimore, MD to photograph Freddie Grey protestors (which is still an ongoing project which has formed into something else), and Kirra moved to a completely new place, Newport, RI. We loved the communities we created in New York City but wanted a change of pace and lifestyle for ourselves. After we moved, we still constantly stayed in touch through email, text, call, Instagram, Facebook…any means to keep supporting each other as critique’s of new work but as support teams in each others lives. We were on two very similar paths, but the only problem was an 8 hour drive.
We loved our connection and made sure to keep conversation constantly flowing, but we realized something was missing. We realized that exuberant support system that we cultivated in New York was pretty non-existent at that point. We graduated from college which meant no more weekly critiques, we also graduated from the International Center of Photography which also meant no critiques or material use, and no group of creative friends in our current towns we felt we could go to for support or advice. At that point, we both felt like we wanted more from our creative practices, so while not putting down our cameras, we turned our gaze to new practices.
I wanted to keep my productivity going after I graduated college, which was deeming near impossible at my office job in 2015 so I created my Etsy shop, EaarthBones. After moving out of my childhood home then back in, I realized it is so important to surround yourself in an uplifting sanctuary, decorated and designed to help yourself on your journey. My interest in creating, psychology, helping others, and connection with the earth turned my gaze to what we surround ourselves with in the home. I was going through a transition from student to post graduation and felt disconnected from the world and spaces around me. I realized the more I surrounded myself with my handmade wall decor, jewelry, and crystals, the more I felt at peace and at home, no matter where I would be. The concept for my practice then became love your home to love yourself, incorporating color psychology, materials from the earth, and custom made pieces geared towards one’s interests, needs and personalities. My practice became inspired by cultures and beliefs that put importance on the individual and the energy in the objects around us to not only to adorn our homes, but to be used as a tool used to connect one to our home and in turn, ourselves. My practice, which started just as an effort to stay inspired without my school community, became a mode in which I uncovered where my practice wanted to take me.
My creative journey after college was wild and filled with a myriad of twists and turns I could have never anticipated. I moved to a new place, found my dream job as a farmer, fell in love, and became a mother quicker than I ever could have imagined. To keep up with those life shifts, my creative practice went from a fine art based photography practice where I loved working with film, experimental processes and developing and making prints to a much more organic and fluid practice that better fit my new lifestyle. The themes that had always interested me – our environment, connections, mythology, symbols – became more important as I began to explore mixed media pieces and creating work that was less straightforward and more engrained in the beauty of the everyday. My practice has become much slower and more meditative than it used to be – I no longer rush myself to creative pieces but rather find balance and enjoy the steps each piece goes through from inspiration to completion. I take the lessons and patience I learn while farming and incorporate those into my creative work. The journey to this point has had many points where I was filled with doubt, anxiety, stress – but every bit was leading me towards a more fulfilling and creative space from which to express myself from.
As much as we loved discovering new things about ourselves, we were in desperate need to talk to others, especially women who are on a similar journey. As humans, we are designed to be with people, in tribes or communities. We crave support and others to walk with us on our journey. We had this thought, both of us working through trials and errors most people working for other corporations and businesses could not understand. We started talking about how we need something that can really connect us as creative women to other creative women, not only because women are extremely underrepresented in the creative world, but maybe to help other women who felt as we did. These creative women in our heads were artists, entrepreneurs, teachers, farmers, movers, and shakers in their given field. Any women who felt the desire for a supportive community, run by creative women for creative women.
We didn’t see anything like that anywhere else on or outside the internet realm, so the idea took off from there. We still have our separate, and sometimes collaborative, practices, but our real focus has turned to creative a global community of women creatives for support, critiques, and even new projects and collaborations along the way. There are so many ideas we want to come to fruition through Mother Muse Co, both on and outside of our site. We are excited to see how this community grows, through shops, real life meetups, print…the list goes on.
We are so excited you have found us and look forward to having you in our Mother Muse Community!
xoxo Rachel + Kirra
Have a story about the origin of your practice that you would like to share with the community? We would love to hear! You can submit your story and images to us on our website or email.