What was the deciding factor as to why you got into entrepreneurship?

I guess you could say that it’s in the blood. My dad was an accountant who had his own firm, and his dad was a cattle rancher (yep, I’m from Texas). My brother is also an entrepreneur and has his own accounting firm. When you have a parent who owns a business, it not only acts as model behaviour, but some of the characteristics that fuel entrepreneurs are bound to trickle down to the next generation: independence, self-discipline, and vision.

The evolution in my own family from agricultural to white collar to creative work says something to me about the way the world has changed and how professions that previously only seemed accessible to an elite are now more approachable.

What challenges did you go through? How did you face those challenges?

I’ve been a freelancer since the late 90’s, so I’ve had a lot of ups and downs! Most recently, I had a quiet spell after completing a project in February. I expected to start another long-term project that month, but my client backed out.

I was already developing silkscreen prints from my Faces on the Ferry sketchbook, and I saw potential for it to become a bigger project that could lead to physical products and an art installation, so I packaged it as a crowdfunding campaign. Doing it in this way gave me the opportunity not just to make my goals clear to myself and others, but to tell my personal story as I spread information about the campaign to reach a wider audience.

Who supported you in these periods? What are you grateful for?

I am immensely grateful to anyone who has backed my campaign. I’m grateful to my husband, who not only took over the email outreach for Faces on the Ferry, but supplied the soundtrack for the film from his old band. To my kid, who helped me make and pass out flyers.

My friend Amy Fuller of Egeltje Consulting helped me figure out costs and a realistic budget to make my vision a reality. Friends have arranged for interviews or shared or donated to the Kickstarter. It’s amazing how people will blow you away if you just give them the chance.

What impact would you like to bring out in the world?

I feel very lucky that I work in a field that I’m passionate about — most specifically illustrating books and being a part of the publishing industry.

In the past couple of years, it’s also been more important for me to work on projects that further political causes that I support, su ch as a stop-motion animation in favor of Medicare for All, or a training booklet called Climate-Smart Farming in African Drylands that’s assisting people in crisis in Northern Ghana. I’ve also donated my time and skills to causes like #writersresist and March for our Lives. We all have the ability to make a difference.

You can find more about Rachelle at her website and through her Faces in the Ferry Kickstarter campaign.