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

Hi Rachel, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking is the freedom of life. I think risks give us the opportunity to live fully because we possess the freedom to choose what we pursue and the risks that we take. We also have control over how we let the victories or consequences from our risks affect us, so we’re never truly bound to our failures or stuck in the same situation our entire life. And to me, the fact there’s always room for growth and renewal is liberating.

So this mindset about risk influences every decision I make in my life and career because I’m not afraid to jump for what calls to me. And that has opened a world of opportunity and unique experiences for me. I know that as long as the risks are in alignment with my being I will always be ok.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The goal of my art is to inspire people to seek out the beauty in nature. This doesn’t always mean going to the most beautiful places, but rather finding the beauty in your own back yard. I believe it to be healing and reflective, and hope that leads people to finding autonomy and confidence to live their lives authentically.

My creativity has rapidly expanded this past month, I found a lot of inspiration and excitement from combining my current hobbies, photography, graphic design and music production/songwriting, to create a single piece of art. This is a very new development for me, so I am excited to see where the creativity takes me!

I hope I didn’t make it sound like I am crazy successful in my creative career because the reality is I am not there yet! Although my creative business is still in it’s beginning stages, a big challenge I had to overcome was getting over myself. Like many other creatives, self-doubt and fear of failure held me back from taking chances and growing. My advice to people in the same situation is to just accept yourself, you don’t even have to like yourself, but just allow yourself to create for the sake of creating and the rest will unfold. Don’t allow your fear of failure to cut you off from potential opportunities and growth, you never know what life has in store for you.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am definitely not qualified to answer this question because I spend most of my time avoiding major metropolitan areas! But for those nature lovers out there, Arizona has some amazing parks and sites that you have to check out. Obviously all of the National Parks are a must see, but if you are looking for something a bit off the beaten path, here are a few options.

If you are looking for a beautiful day at a lake, Lake Pleasant is a beautiful crystal blue lake surrounded by desert hills and saguaro cacti and it’s only a 50 minute drive north from downtown Phoenix.

For all the history buffs, Arizona is home to a handful of ancient cliff-dwelling settlements that you are able to walk through and get a feel for what the lives were like for our ancient ancestors. Montezuma Castle and Walnut Canyon are two very popular sites, both about an hour and a half drive from Phoenix.

If you love camping, the Cococino National Forest is filled with clusters of woodlands and forests, sprawling prairies and small lakes. It is known for it’s abundant wildlife and beautiful views of the Flagstaff mountains. It’s a beautiful and peaceful area to have a campfire and spend time relaxing with the people you love.

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 have to shoutout my boyfriend, Graham Roper. His unconditional love, support and generosity has opened up a world of opportunity for us, and I’m beyond grateful to share this adventure with such an amazing person.

I also want to shout out our friends Meesh and Hollis. They are both absolutely amazing photographers and videographers who I have looked up to for quite a while. The have inspired me to uncap my creativity and live as authentically to my being as I can. Thank you both!

Website: RachelAKersten.com

Instagram: rachelakersten

Twitter: KerstenRachel

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.