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The Importance of Making Messes When You Create Plus a $3 Trick For Better Photos

Rachel Hinderliter

Chattanooga, Tennessee


Photos: Rachel Hinderliter


What is essential to creating a personal sanctuary?

It’s important to find a space where you can create. And even if you don’t have a lot of space, you can still set up a little corner or area that’s dedicated to your hobbies/ passions/work. Another thing that I like to do is to display some of my favorite tools (which are usually my colorful scissors and paintbrushes) because they inspire me to create. I also like to have a few mementos from some of the work I have done that I am most proud of displayed somewhere I can see them.

Bouncing Light + Great Images

It’s all about good lighting! And you don’t necessarily need any equipment. Some of the best photos I have taken next to the front window of my house when the light is just right in the afternoon. Also I use a $3 white foam board to help bounce light onto my subject. It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes. Use sticky tack to hold objects in place while you’re photographing them.

"Life never turns out like you plan."

Build. Fix. Experiment.

What is essential to nurturing your creativity or what drives your creativity? I have always had a strong urge to make, build, fix, experiment, and create. At different times in my life this desire has driven me to different interests, and I absolutely love learning something completely new. I also think that making messes and mistakes is one of the most important parts of the creative process.

What is something that you wish you would've known when you were 20?

Life never turns out like you plan. Most of the time I’ve found that it’s much harder and much better than you would ever expect. But don’t stop making plans. Just work hard and always be open to new ideas and be willing to adapt and make new plans every day.

What is some of the best advice you have ever received?

“There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do” -Amy Poehler. Although it’s definitely a lot easier to look silly than it is to not care, I think it’s so important to stop worrying about what other people will think if you want to really create something amazing.

Are you always so colorful in real life?

No! As much as I love color and definitely own a lot of bright and bold things I usually dress in more simple colors like gray and navy. I think a pop of color goes a long way and actually stands out more against a more simple background. I’m also almost always working on a few projects at once which means I’m probably wearing a T-shirt, jeans, and at least a little paint.

Tips for designing a nurturing home/space:

Keep it simple!

Stick to a color scheme, but don’t be afraid to make exceptions.

Include objects that make you happy. Maybe find a place to display something your family had on the mantle when you were a child, or a random souvenir you got on a trip.

Don’t forget about lighting. Light totally makes a space and beautiful lighting can completely change the feel of a room.

Incorporate interesting textures. This is a great way to add some dimension to a room without making it too busy. Try adding things like baskets, copper, weavings, or knitted blankets.

Ways to make your space come more alive?

You can always add a pop of color to really brighten a room. Try arranging 3 objects that are all different sizes in the same color around a room. I’m also a huge fan of plants. I may even have too many. But a living growing plant that is constantly changing adds a vibrant and unique vibe to a space.


If you had to design a room in one color, what would it be?

Shades of blue.

Which designers or sites give you the most inspiration?

I love scrolling through Instagram!

What hashtags do you use to find awesome design on Instagram?

The @abeautifulmess hashtags are the best. #abmlifeiscolorful #ambcrafty and #abmathome are great ones.

Where do you start when you remake a room?

First I think about the layout of the room, then a color scheme.

What's the fastest way to shift a space?

Rearrange the furniture. It’s amazing how much of a difference it can make.

One of your favorite quotes:

“Play is the highest form of research” —Albert Einstein

Something we wouldn't know about you?

As a kid I really hated the color pink.

The 411

Rachel is a product photographer, content creator, artist, and creative blogger behind Lines Across. She loves sharing whimsical and colorful photos and she is greatly inspired by her three young kids. This past year she has worked with brands including Michael’s, Oriental Trading Company, Toyota Corolla, and Marvel to help create unique and beautiful photos.

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