We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachael Schultz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachael, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
‘Pretty Art Egos’ (PAE) was started by me and my friend/collaborative partner Makenna Groover. For that reason, I wanted to have not only perspective from me but from her as well, so I will be quoting her thoughts throughout this interview. “For me, I never imagined starting a business in my lifetime, but during college I met Rachael who became one of my closest friends and we shared the same interest in life. We wanted more out of this life than just the average 9-5 job, which there is nothing wrong with, but it’s just not what we wanted.” -Makenna When Makenna and I first thought of the idea of ‘Pretty Art Egos’, we did not really have a plan to make it into a business, I had always had the idea that one day I wanted to have my own art show and make it a show that no one had never seen before. “I think a significant moment for me is when Rachael turned to me and said, “I want to have an art show.” I was so happy in that moment because her art is worth sharing and she knew that her art was meant to be shared. She is so passionate about her art and other artists, so I/we began to help spread the word about her to show what she could do. She created her website and got her name out to the world.” -Makenna Makenna had come to me with a venue opportunity and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to showcase my work alone, so we decided to have a show that included multiple artists in Atlanta. “We ended up getting an amazing opportunity to use one of the spaces on “Pop Up Row” in Downtown Atlanta for our show! I remember we were sitting at a Grindhouse Killer Burgers, making plans for the future show, picking artists, sharing ideas, and creating ‘Pretty Art Egos’.” -Makenna We wanted to get more involved in the Atlanta art community and realized that there weren’t many opportunities for beginning/underground artists to display their work in front of others in a gallery-like setting. “I was super nervous to start this new journey of the unknown, but I realized this is about bringing a community of talented individuals together, sharing their work, and making a space that was affordable. We both wanted to create ‘Pretty Art Egos’ to impact lives around us and vice versa. There are so many local Atlanta artists that need to be heard and seen for their work.” -Makenna And from my experience, starting out as an artist, social media was the only platform I had to show my work, but that was also the only platform for thousands of other artists as well. So, curating this first art show was a way for me to show my work in a different light, for us to get our names out there and meet other artists, and to be a platform for young creators to be recognized for their talent and hard work that may otherwise not be acknowledged. Since having major success from our past two shows, we’ve started thinking about what more we can do with PAE. Currently, our thought process behind PAE is that we want to pursue ‘Pretty Art Egos’ as a business and expand on what we’re doing now. Our goals are to continue curating exhibitions, open a space of our own that provides gallery space, a photography studio, eventually provide different types of resources for artists that are affordable, and other future ideas.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Deciding that I wanted to be an artist and have a career and part in the art community wasn’t a clean-cut decision I made at one point in my life. Until the midpoint of my college career, all I had done for most of my life was play soccer and thought that I was going to have a career in the medical or psychology field. I realized I was never going to make an impact doing any of those things, so when I moved on from soccer and started taking art courses at the end of college, I was meeting people that were into the same things as me, like fashion and music and art, and suddenly I was surrounded by people and places that made me feel more like myself than I ever had before. I wanted to dress how they dressed and do what they did and live how they lived because they were expressing themselves and living through the things that they liked. I wanted that to be me, and that’s when I started taking photography and art seriously. The way I dressed, acted, took photos, painted, the music I listened to, all went together. At first, I wasn’t working to be successful or to build a career, I was just trying to get a place where I enjoyed who I was and what I was doing. I take photos because I’m good at it, I know what I want to show and accomplish, and I love doing it. I’m most proud of “Pretty Art Egos” and what Makenna and I have created. There’s so much we want to do and so much room for my work, her work, and everyone’s work to shine through this project/dream and we plan on making everyone see it. We are both extremely passionate about creating a business that can impact people and communities. My art is never going to stop being a work in progress, and one day I hope to get to a place where I can look at what I’ve done and be proud of it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
From the city center, you can drive 10 minutes in any direction and get a completely different scene. If I were to have one of my best friends visit me, I would probably take them to more of the grungier parts of Atlanta. The area I go to the most is Little 5 Points. There’s always people in the square and along the streets selling artwork, there’s vintage/thrift shops, bars, pubs, restaurants, clothing stores, and music shops. Little 5 is known for its diverse people that work and hang out there and I feel more of a sense of community and acceptance there than other areas. I’d also take them to East Atlanta Village where you’ll get a similar scene as Little 5, with good bars for night life, and Ponce De Leon road, which has miles of restaurants, shops, and Atlanta Beltline access. There are coffee shops at every corner in Atlanta as well as in the more residential areas, so we’d be at a different coffee shop every day. And I can’t forget all the thrift shops, like Value Village, Park Ave, or Goodwill, outside of the city that me and my friends go to almost every weekend. “I can’t say that I have a favorite spot in the city but what I can say is that I enjoy the city the most when I’m biking. If someone were to visit me, I would say grab your bike and let me take you around the city to see the life and culture of Atlanta. Biking in Atlanta has really grounded me and helped me take in everything that I need to appreciate the place I live in. By biking around Midtown, Inman, East Atlanta Village, and West Atlanta, you can experience all the spots and art details in one bike ride. Biking for me is very calming and something to appreciate.”-Makenna
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I think an obvious shout-out goes to my family. My parents are the hardest working people I know and without them I wouldn’t have had the motivation to pursue a path that many think is unrealistic. They have always been supportive and wanted the best for me, so I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. My brother and sister have supported everything I do and never questioned any decision or move that I’ve made creatively/in general, so I want them to know how grateful I am for them. My grandparents are also people I want to shout-out because they have been nothing but proud and praising towards everything I have done in my life, and their reassurance has been incredibly comforting. Lastly, I want to thank all my friends, close and distant, for telling me to keep doing what I want to do rather than getting a job that doesn’t make me excited or motivated. Their nonstop encouragement, support, opinions, and willingness to help with whatever I need has made me better and kept me improving. “I’d like to shout-out Kea Beverages, if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have been able to have our first show on “Pop Up Row”. Sean Keating and Keaton Hong create local nitro coffee, fresh pressed juices, and Kombucha. They bring the community together through their local business and products. They were so kind to let us use the space for free. They cleared out the entire space and let us do whatever we wanted to create and make our first art show how we wanted it. The guys were super supportive of what we were trying to do.” -Makenna
Other: Personal Instagrams: Rachael Schultz- @raschultz Makenna Groover- @makennagroover
Photos and graphic work done by Rachael Schultz