Rebekah Steen is an artist and style icon whose unique blog, Goldfish Kiss, and tropical beach-inspired lifestyle have captivated our interest for nearly a decade. Rebekah has built a beautiful life from her many creative passions – art, graphic design, acting, modeling and blogging – and makes it all look effortless as a mom, wife and inspiring creator.
We are thrilled to collaborate with Rebekah, whose nature-inspired watercolor paintings are now featured as the gorgeous swimwear prints adorning our latest collection, FLOURISH 2023.
What inspires you most as a blogger, designer and creative? Where do you gather energy for your ideas?
Nature and places that make my soul feel alive! Ok, if I had to be specific, the beach and ocean. It's crazy how much beauty and "brain butterflies" they can provide - think about it, the lighting, the smells, the surroundings, and just the general feeling of gorgeous badassness. If I ever feel in a funk or a creative rut in need of influence it's a sign of needing to get back to a beach or on a wave.
The ideas come from being there or looking at pics I took while in those places, or vintage photography and then figuring out how to make it feel like I was there. Sounds weird when I try to explain, but the craving of a place is quite energizing.
How has becoming a mom influenced your work and creative process?
It was the catalyst in it all. When I had my son, Levi it forced me to stay pout and be grounded, and my art was my daydream or my escape when I couldn't be as footloose and fancy free as I used to be. But being forced to focus made me focus on my art and it's grown in such a way that wouldn't be possible if I hadn't become a mom. Plus, it made me cherish and crave time to be creative, especially now that my son is 7 and he asks to paint alongside me, which rocks my world. *Fun fact I hide a little smiley sun in every painting I do for him to find, he's getting really good at finding them, but it's a fun ritual.
How do you stay centered while juggling with your many talents and passions, career and family?
I am finally realizing there's no way to balance it all - I have to have my focus shift depending on life, or else my output isn't as productive and fulfilling as it can be. It all comes in waves, too, really. I don't have the ability to do it all every day, so when inspiration hits I embrace it. When I have something to write/post about I do it. I'm over the forced content and putting stuff out there to just keep up with it all. That's exhausting. When my son needs me, that takes priority - you only get one shot at each phase of his life and I don't want to miss any of it. When I get a chance to go on a surf trip or have some time with my husband I soak that up and am as present as possible. It's all an ongoing and constantly growing experience. Ok, sometimes I don't have that luxury of balance, wish I had a clone, and I have to get shit done. In those cases, I just don't sleep and do as much as I can at night after everyone's asleep. So coffee helps. Especially if it's from Costa Rica. And If I don't work out every day I go nuts, That mental break paired with endorphins is everything. So not trying to do everything all at once, coffee and workouts. I guess that's my quick answer.
What do you find challenging about life as an artist/creative?
The ups and downs, and being my own harshest critic of every single thing I do. You'd be amazed at how many things I talk myself out of, or procrastinate simply because I'm playing massive mind games with myself. But I guess that's part of being an artist, you're never truly satisfied, and there's nothing scarier than a blank page that has a gorgeous idea in your mind but you know it won't be filled up unless you make that first stroke...and then you wonder if it's going to look like crap.
I guess the pressure on artists now to make videos of everything is a bit of a struggle for me lately, too. Art is pretty darn intimate. As much as I like to think I have an inner rock star I love it when all I have to think about is me, the paper in front of me, and paints.
What do you find most rewarding?
Seeing a final painting or product, and hearing someone say "your art speaks to my soul." I think that was one of the most mind-blowing compliments I've ever received and is so encouraging too. Seeing the progression of my art over the past decade has been incredible for me to look back on, too. Feels good to have my own messy, colorful style, and will be fun to see how it keeps on evolving. Ok, and partnering with rad brands is the icing on the cake.
Do you have any advice for other women designers and bloggers?
Get out of your head, away from a screen, and just start creating. Stick with it and it will be incredible to see where it takes you. Also, be confident in who you are, your voice, and what you're doing. Your uniqueness is your superpower and it's ingrained in you. Just give yourself time and grace to grow. And, of course, get out in nature, and on some waves as much as possible too. It takes your mind and soul to some rather magical places.