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About Me

I’m Rachael, I’m 35-years-old living in Essex, UK. Before this, I was a Senior Zookeeper at Colchester Zoo, overseeing a diverse array of species within the bustling and highly visible Farm section. It was a role filled with both joys and challenges. I had always aspired to become a zookeeper since I was a child; the dream materialised in my twenties, and though I was elated, it proved to be physically and mentally demanding.

While I struggled to find time for hobbies during those zookeeping days, I occasionally dabbled in sketching and drawing. Regrettably, I never delved deeply into this passion. My teenage years had seen me passionate about drawing, but my teachers’ discouraging feedback, whether delivered to my face or scrawled on paper, had sapped my confidence. 

My journey into drawing began in March 2020, shortly after the birth of our first child in early February. Unbeknownst to us, I was grappling with postnatal depression and anxiety. It took several months to receive an official diagnosis, and the day I picked up a pencil for the first time marked a turning point in my life. The act of drawing brought an unparalleled sense of calm and serenity, a feeling that continues to provide solace, a priceless gift for any parent. Amidst nappy changes and sleep schedules, I seized moments to grasp my pencils and immerse myself in the world of art. I firmly believe that this creative outlet helped me navigate the challenges of the first year of parenthood Within five months, I took on my first commission, and by the end of the year, I had clients from all corners of the world entrusting me with their beloved animals’ portraits.

It’s no surprise that my artwork and business gravitate towards horses having owned 2 beautiful horses in my time and a huge history within the industry. From the very outset, I rooted my business within the equestrian community, and while I create a wide variety of animal portraits, horses will forever hold a special place on my canvas.

In 2022, my devoted followers nominated me for the prestigious Equine Service of the Year award as part of the esteemed Equestrian Business Awards. Much to my astonishment, I was not only nominated but also secured a place as a finalist. The pinnacle of this exciting journey unfolded at a grand black-tie event held in October, masterfully hosted by Sam Gerrad-May.
The anticipation was palpable as the awards ceremony commenced, and the first category announced was none other than my own. Facing formidable competition, I found myself overwhelmed with nerves. However, as fate would have it, my name was called, and the resounding applause and cheers from the audience rendered that moment surreal. It took me a brief moment to collect myself before I could rise to accept the award, accompanied by a heartfelt yet slightly unsteady speech that I had diligently prepared but struggled to retrieve from my bag in time.

I am immensely humbled by the unwavering support and recognition from my incredible followers and clients, who believed in my work and put me forward for this remarkable award. In 2023, I have the honour to be an official judge for the Equestrian Business Awards, contributing to the evaluation of entries in the Equine Service of the Year and Social Influencer of the Year categories. It is a chance to celebrate and support further successes in the dynamic world of equestrian business. 

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