In a society that often pins women against each other rather than uniting them, there is a need for women to band together now more than ever before. Artist Alison Rachel felt that need, and in the midst of dealing with her own mental health issues, called to other women for their advice on how to practice self-love. From there, Recipes For Self Love was born — a zine consisting of contributions from women on their self-love tips and practices.
Alison's Instagram account,
@recipesforselflove, is filled with insanely cool illustrations accompanied by even cooler messages that serve as positive reminders to women everywhere. And lucky for us, she also has an Etsy store where you can purchase prints of her art, tote bags, and of course the various issues of her zines.
We had the chance to interview Alison about Recipes for Self Love and what motivates her art. Alison also shared with us her own self-love tips, how she handles tough days, and why she's a fan of Cardi B.
How did Recipes for Self Love get started? What was the driving force?
Alison Rachel: Recipes for Self Love started towards the end of 2016 when I was unhappy at work and struggling with my mental health. I wanted to know how other women managed to feel good in this world and couldn't seem to find a resource so I started one myself in the form of zines. The driving force now is sharing knowledge, truth, and insights with women on the topics of self love, feminism, and social justice.
Where do you draw inspiration for your art?
AR: From all the wonderful women that exist in our world.
What do you hope your followers/buyers will gain from your art?
AR: I hope that my work will serve as affirmation and positive reminders whenever they're seen.
What are your biggest self love tips?
AR: My biggest self love tips would be to see the bigger picture and not get too weighed down by the little things in life that seem to not go your way, and to love yourself through the ups and downs because you are worth being absolutely loved every second of every day.
How do you handle those days where you feel you’re really struggling mentally?
AR: I personally like to do something creative, as someone who struggles with high functioning depression I struggle to sit still (which is sometimes a bad thing) but it helps to be busy with something. I like to work with my hands so making art or doing a craft proves to be therapeutic for me and then I also have something at the end to show for it, like "I wasn't feeling well but look I made this thing and that's cool."
Which other women do you admire for their positive messages?
AR: There are so many women I admire...like Serena Williams for being such an amazing role model and Cardi B for her unabashed refreshing feminism.
Here at Livingly our motto is "live life beautifully" - what does living life beautifully mean to you?
AR: I've been struggling with that word lately haha, at least in the context of women. We as a society seem to have an aversion to things that aren't beautiful as if beauty is the most desirable, important thing. I think there are so many other more interesting qualities to have than beauty. It would be great if we lived in a post-aesthetic society where beauty wasn't really important at all and we could all just be.
Do you have an inspiring woman in your life that you think should be featured on Livingly? We'd love to hear about her! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org