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Into Chelsea’s Seedpot Paintings Capturing the Natural World with Vibrant Colours and Intricate Patterns

Chelsea Baker, also known as Hello Chelsart, is a contemporary artist with an exceptional vision. In this interview, Chelsea talks about her journey from childhood collecting nature’s treasures to creating beautiful art from seedpods. She shares how different places she’s lived in Queensland, her family’s influence, and her formal studies in design and architecture have shaped her work. We learn about her creative process, the inspiration behind her vibrant, intricate pieces, and how her art invites us to see the hidden beauty in everyday nature. Chelsea’s story encourages us to find wonder in the ordinary and appreciate the small details of the natural world.

Chelsea Baker

Chelsea Baker, also known as Hello Chelsart, is a contemporary artist known for her unique approach to art. Born with a natural curiosity and a love for nature, Chelsea has developed a distinctive style combining seedpods’ organic beauty with her creative vision. Chelsea sees each seedpod as a unique story waiting to be told. Her art captures the essence of the natural world, infusing each seedpod with vibrant colours, intricate patterns, and whimsical imagery, creating what she calls their ‘Second Bloom’. Through her work, Chelsea aims to highlight the often-overlooked beauty and intricacy found in the everyday wonders of nature. Through her art, Chelsea reminds us of the hidden beauty surrounding us and encourages us to pause, observe, and appreciate the intricate wonders of the natural world. Her unique art form fosters a deeper connection with nature, inviting viewers to explore the delicate and magical world within the confines of a seedpod. Chelsea invites us to appreciate the marvels in even the smallest corners of our world, inspiring us to see the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary.

1. Chelsea, you started collecting things like leaves and seedpods as a kid. How did that hobby turn into your art today?

I have always been fascinated with collecting nature’s treasures since childhood. For as long as I can remember, whenever I go for a walk, I collect “perfect sticks,” unique leaves, unusual rocks, and seedpods. I take these prized possessions back home, sort and store them without any particular vision of what to do with them, but just knowing they are precious to me. It’s an instant connection with nature. As I grew up, I retained this bond. Later, when I completed my formal education, it played a significant role in shaping my approach to art.

Chelsea Baker Kaleidoscopic Seedpod Harvest, 2023, Handpainted Seedpods

2. You’ve lived all over Queensland. How have these different places influenced your art, especially your work with seedpods?

I like to think of my seedpods as similar to diary entries. Every experience I’ve had, from where I grew up to where I’ve lived, is somehow expressed in my seedpods. This could be seen in the patterns that I draw, the type of seedpods that are used, or the medium that I use. The places I have lived in have memories attached to them and are expressed in my seedpods.

Chelsea Baker Golden Treasures, 2023, Handpainted Seedpods

3. Your family’s trips to galleries and nature reserves inspired you. Does a specific memory from those trips stand out and influence your art?

One of my fondest childhood memories is when I was collecting large pieces of driftwood on the beach with my mum. After a large cyclone, many pieces were washed up and scattered everywhere. I helped my mother gather some of them, and we brought them home. My father then constructed a chair out of driftwood. My parents taught me from a young age to appreciate the beauty in everyday things and how overlooked items can be fashioned or reimagined into something special with a little imagination.

Chelsea Baker Lavender and Sunshine Symphony, 2023, Handpainted Seedpods

4. You studied Multimedia Design, Environmental Design, and Architecture. How do these subjects help you in creating your unique seedpod art?

Over time, I completed a Bachelor of Multimedia in Design, a Bachelor of Environmental Design, and a Master of Architecture. I consistently tried incorporating nature into my designs and developed a strong fascination with Biomimicry in design. These qualifications deepened my understanding of design principles and helped me to build a solid foundation for merging my passion for the environment with my creative spirit.

Chelsea Baker Seabreeze Seedlings

After finishing my degrees and working full-time, it wasn’t until after giving birth to my first child that everything changed. Something fundamentally shifted in me; when you are pregnant, so much attention is directed on you up until you give birth, and then I found myself in the shadow of the brilliance of a new life. The early days of motherhood were a hard adjustment and were filled with a whirlwind of new and often confronting emotions combined with sleepless nights. My son was a premie, I had an emergency c-section, and it was peak COVID, so I found myself very isolated from people and nature due to lockdowns and slow recovery. To keep myself grounded, I would forage through my collection of nature and keep gravitating back towards my seedpods. As I examined them closely, I realized something profound. In these unassuming vessels, I saw the reflection of my journey – a quest for my purpose after releasing the essence of life. I was faced with a question that left me reeling. Does the birth of new life mean the end of the vessel’s importance, rendering it insignificant?

My answer was a resounding no. In reflection, many people are fascinated by nature’s ‘First Bloom’. The beauty of flowers and colourful landscapes mesmerize us and are often at the forefront of people’s minds when we think of ‘nature’. However, the discharged vessels, such as my seedpods, that give life to blossoming life are often forgotten. Although these objects may seem mundane, brown, and lifeless, they are usually found lying on the ground, ignored by passersby, as they have served their purpose and given life. However, I believe that it is essential to breathe new life into them and give them their ‘Second Bloom.’ These seemingly ordinary aspects of life deserve and, more importantly, need to be celebrated. Thus, throughout my parenthood journey, I painted and channeled my efforts into these discarded pieces of nature; similar to journal entries in a diary, each seedpod depicts the emotions and memories that I pour into each through designs and colors. Over time, I witnessed their transformation, which mirrors my quest for my second bloom and passion as an artist.

Chelsea Baker Polka Dot Garden Delights, 2023, Handpainted Seedpods


Chelsea Baker

6. You’ve shown your art in many exhibitions and even run workshops. How have these experiences helped you grow as an artist, and what do you hope people feel when they see your seedpod art?

Through my exhibitions and workshops, I have met many people who have shared that my story, or at least the underlying message I am trying to convey through my art, has deeply resonated with them. It has connected me with individuals of all ages, each with their own stories from various walks of life. This has helped me realize that even though I started my artistic journey for personal reasons, I now have people who eagerly anticipate my creations, which is incredibly heartwarming. When you view my artwork, I hope it serves as a reminder of your potential for a second bloom waiting to be discovered and that you realize there is so much beauty in the ordinary.

Chelsea Baker’s art teaches us to see the beauty in everyday things. By transforming simple seedpods into vibrant art pieces, she shows her deep connection to nature and her extraordinary creative vision. Chelsea inspires others to find beauty and potential in the ordinary through her exhibitions and workshops. Her work encourages us to slow down, look closely, appreciate our world’s hidden wonders, and find our own “Second Bloom. To learn more about Chelsea, click the following links to visit her profile.

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