The Artist

My name is Rachel Lye. I'm a 28 year old large animal veterinary surgeon based in West Cornwall. I started The Kernow Creative in 2021 as means of therapy to recoup from the demands of my job. Here is the story behind how it came about: 

As a teen I studied art only up to GCSE level. At this point my focus became solely on getting into university to study Veterinary Medicine. The next 10 years that followed I did not once pick up a pencil/paint brush or get creative in the slightest. My life was completely consumed by the world of veterinary. 

Becoming a vet was a life-long dream of mine and I am incredibly proud to be able to say that I achieved it. I love my job and it was 100% worth the incredibly hard work and perseverance required to get here. Sadly, like with many careers, there is a negative side. The hours are long and unpredictable at times, your emotions and resilience are pushed their very limits, it's very physically and mentally demanding and when you're on shift you can never switch off. A lot of vets fall into the trap of putting their patients and clients needs before their own. You constantly feel like you have to be everyone's hero and when you don't succeed it is your fault. For many this leads to burn out and mental health struggles. 

During my third year of work I too found myself struggling with my mental health. This ultimately lead me having to take time out of work to focus on myself and to recuperate. It was during this time that I re-discovered art. My parents neighbour was involved in art as therapy. I spent some time with her experimenting with spray paint and for the first time in a long time my mind felt relaxed. I continued to spend the remainder of my time off experimenting with different medias. I was proud of the art I was creating and decided to post it on Instagram. I felt vulnerable doing so and so created the alias "The Kernow Creative". 

I started therapy with an incredibly talented woman who is in fact a part time therapist and part time artist; a perfect fit for myself! After a few months I felt enough confidence to share the Instagram page with family and friends and was overwhelmed by the response. I was most surprised to then receive requests for commissions. And it was from there, as they say, the rest was history! 

I have since gone on to turn popular pieces into prints, explored other medias (including acrylic, watercolour, ink, gouache, candles) and continued accepting commissions. I have broadened my online presence to include Facebook and TikTok as well as Instagram. My following is growing beyond family and friends. But most importantly, I have learned the importance of work-life balance; how to look after my own wellbeing whilst still succeeding as a vet.

I am now entering what feels like the next stage in the evolution of The Kernow Creative by creating this website. So follow along with me on this adventure and experience the world of The Kernow Creative!