ARTBABY—Rachel Ward—is an 18-year-old creative from Washington, DC, who specializes in painting. 

“My style is a mixture of vibrant colors, aliens, androgynous characters and bold lines.” ARTBABY

ARTBABY taught herself to paint in 2016 by going to an art center every day to practice. They would give her materials to use so that she could learn different brush strokes, what paint does and different basic techniques. ARTBABY draws her inspiration from rock stars, like Rico Nasty and Lil Uzi Vert, as well as from the friends and environments which surround her everyday life.

“Creating is more so a personal experience for me. It’s the best way for me to say what I want, show my emotions and how I feel without thinking about other people’s opinions…I really get a lot of my pieces from how I’m feeling, current fashion I like. I just let the work and people around me inspire me,” explained ARTBABY about her creative process.

ARTBABY’s art is special in that it leaves its consumers with a feeling of peace. Her color and subject choices are picked to promote the free flow of emotions, which creates a lasting feeling of release and calm.

“I think my art is important because it lets people chill. The colors give people something good to look at and my artwork is often gifting people with the freedom to relax. My message is just to let yourself feel and be chill.”

However, ARTBABY has also been met with obstacles throughout her journey to create. As the influence of social media has grown, more and more people are self-proclaimed artists. This has allowed from some great artists to be revealed, but also for a lot of fake artists to enter the creative scene.

“Recently I’ve had to battle with being noticed and having my art being looked at as genuine due to art being so popular now. There are so many frauds and so many people who want to be in the art field now because it's a trend and popular. It’s been a struggle to get people to notice that I am genuine. I’m a real artist, this all comes from my art and it’s not for clout or for money. I am overcoming it by continuing to create art consistently. You can only prove how genuine you are through the consistent art you give. People can tell the difference."

As an all-around creative who is interested in several forms of art, ARTBABY has many future goals. She is currently beginning to practice mural work, and she is in the process of planning her first solo art show. ARTBABY also holds painting classes in the Washington, DC area for all skill levels, which she hopes to later expand into her own art center that has affordable painting, dance and theatre classes for the community.

“I want it to be a safe zone for LGBT and provide counseling and healing for my community. I just want art to be a part of my every day for the rest of my life basically.”

You can find more information about ARTBABY, including how to attend one of her painting classes, by following her Instagram @202artbaby and by checking out her website

View more of ARTBABY’s artwork below: