The Story of Rayco Design
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A Passion for the Craft
Rachel Jung is the artist behind Rayco Design, an outdoor inspired design studio based in St. George, Utah. The elements of her quaint desert home ground her, guide her artwork and inspire a life bound by the surrounding stars, cactus and towering sandstone cliffs; here she finds clarity, purpose and intent. Over the years she’s honed a unique artistic style that has attracted the love and admiration of many people and brands. What’s her secret? Hard work.
Beyond the Maker
This series from KÜHL goes beyond getting to know an artist's work and inspiration. We dive deeper into their origin stories and struggles to learn how they cope with failure, critics, and success, yet still find time to do the things they love. Born in the mountains, raised in the studio—these are their stories.
The Curious Case for Working Your Butt Off
Rachel claims there’s nothing special about her. Spoken like a true, humble artist. Yet, what separates Rachel from the crowd of people longing to make a living doing what they love is exactly what keeps most people from doing it.
Work. Work. And more work.
Rachel’s resilient work ethic didn’t just help her build a successful business. It provided the framework and opportunity for her to craft a unique artistic style and look that took more than a decade to develop. She struggled to launch the business after college – watching hundreds of people walk by her art booth without batting an eye.
Despite her self-doubts, Rachel never stopped creating. In the beginning, she even made herself create something every single day. It didn’t matter what it was or how it looked; the practice of continued creation may not produce immediate results in the short term – but over years it helps an artist find what works for them, speaks to them and makes them happy.
Her Artistic Roots
Growing up, Rachel was always drawing. Her dad was an architect, and her mom was a graphic designer. They encouraged her to be creative with fun family art games. They instilled a sense of love and admiration for wild places and animals on family camping trips. She wandered away from art in high school but eventually found graphic design when she enrolled in college in San Diego. She followed her partner who was serving in the Navy to New Orleans and finished her degree at University of New Orleans.
Graphic design didn’t provide the same sense of freedom or creativity Rachel loved about drawing. It felt restraining and too structured for her free-style approach.
After college, she started a small design business as a side hustle. She found work for a van wrap company but it didn’t last long. She’s stubborn, and hates quitting things, but found the pace and rhythm required of graphic design suffocating. Jobless and overwhelmed, she decided to go all-in on her side hustle.
Her decision to invest all her energy into her design business wasn’t just a financial one. It was a mental one, too. Creating is very therapeutic for her. She loved watching her art progress and change as she invested more time and energy into it. Her work is a mixture of emotions she can’t find the words for. Through it, she wants her audience to feel a sense of appreciation for the places her work represents.
Getting her business started took time. While her partner was deployed, she’d have months at a time alone to experiment, create and adapt. She persevered through the loneliness and let healing powers of creation guide the way.
Throughout it all, she struggled with her worth as a creator and her lack of business knowledge. She almost gave up several times. She used the yard-stick of other artists’ success to measure her own but forgot to remind herself those same artists needed to overcome the same obstacles she faced.
The Evolution of Style
Being out in nature grounds and refreshes her mind. Rachel uses inspiration from her hikes, rides, paddles and wanders to communicate with her art. She balances the adrenaline of her outdoor pursuits with a creative and calming space at home to make artwork that walks the line of making you want to pack your bags and hit the road or just curl up next to the fire and fall deeper in love with the people and places that make you who you are.
Her style is an organic evolution of the materials she loves and the places she admires. Her abstract way of observing the world is a great asset whenever she faces a blank page.
During the last year she finally perfected her specific style that she is well known for – colorful hand drawn designs with abstract elements, flora, fauna and animals that represent the landscapes.
Rachel is eternally grateful to be where she is today. While she doesn’t focus on just how hard she worked to make this all happen she was quickly reminded of the journey it took to get here the more we spoke about it.
She has no grand plans for the business other than to let the free-spirited nature that helped her build the brand continue to flourish. She loves working with brands to bring their vision to life and has established a very intentional and collaborative process that gives them a one-of-a-kind design.
Doing what you love for a living is a dream but it also carries the risk of burning out. Rachel uses long road trips, sandy campsites, dog cuddles and laughter to find the balance.
Her truck is usually packed up and ready for the weekends. The road might lead to the chalky white deserts of Baja or the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest. No matter where she goes, her supportive partner and her dogs, Kona and Rexx, will never be far behind.
Keep up with Rachel latest creations, travels and explorations on Instagram - @rayco.design