Meet Rachel of Rachel Brooks Art. She’s a 28 year old artist, wildlife guide and photographer living in Oban on the west coast of Scotland. Having always loved drawing and painting, she expected that was her set career path in college and drafted her first university application for an Art course. However, a summer spent volunteering on a whale and dolphin research project in the Atlantic changed everything for her!
“Living with a group of young passionate conservationists really shifted my perspective of the world. I decided that this was exactly where I wanted to be,” so she changed her application to study a BSc in Zoology at the University of Leeds. Art was then put to one side while she was studying and after graduation, she couldn’t wait to get out and explore the world!
In 2014, she bought a one way ticket to India, which she didn’t realize would turn into a five year trip. She says the vibrancy of India stole her heart and the colours inspired her to pick up her camera again and a set of crushed petal powder paints. After leaving India, Rachel travelled through Indonesia before settling in Australia, the place she would call home for the next few years. It’s in Australia where she decided to become a PADI scuba diving instructor.
Rachel explains “I was never fortunate enough to live by the sea in the UK and being on Australia’s stunning coastline drew me closer and closer to the ocean. I started a career in the dive industry which allowed me to keep travelling and doing what made me happy.”
As a diving instructor, much of her 5 years abroad were spent beneath the water. Rachel was able to live and work in places she had only ever dreamed of visiting. She “fell in love with all the quirky critters and felt so privileged being able to observe them so closely.” All her adventures, from swimming with whale sharks and mantas on the Ningaloo reef to managing a dive centre on a remote island in Sulawesi, have inspired a lot of her creations.
After five years on the road, home started calling and she returned to the UK and found a place close to the ocean and mountains in the Scottish highlands. It’s there where, for the first time in a long time, she picked up her pen again and began to draw some of the wildlife she had met throughout her adventures.
In October 2019, with the support of her partner, an instructor she fell in love with overseas, and family, she started Rachel Brooks Art. Rachel has made her own beautiful website where she sells and showcases a variety of her ocean inspired prints and has even printed some of them on clothing, greeting cards and homewares! (She does commission work as well if you’re interested!).
Rachel truly is a hard working, small business owning Eco-Diver! Having been so inspired by the ocean and wildlife, you can be sure as shell she chooses eco-responsible shipping materials to minimize her impact on our planet! Worldwide 40% of plastic is made for packaging alone, which is used once then thrown away, so she takes pride in shipping her prints in 100% PLASTIC FREE paper packaging, all of which can be recycled.
Rachel contracts a carbon neutral manufacturing company for printing her clothing. Being carbon neutral means that the company offsets the amount of carbon dioxide it emits into the atmosphere by some other means. They also reduce, reuse and recycle where they can. The ink they use is vegan-friendly, 100% biodegradable, free of heavy metals and toxins, water-based, safe for infants and babies AND totally organic! What’s more, the printing process is waterless, which reduces pollution and does not create waste water polluted by inks!
Rachel’s wish is to bring a slice of her wonderful watery world to you and our wish is to share her work and support her small business dream!
Keep doing what you’re doing Rachel Brooks!! You’re a SEA STAR!
And lastly, as always, dive safe and have fun!
“To activate others, to get them to be enthusiastic, you must first be enthusiastic yourself.”
– David Schwarte