We had the good fortune of connecting with River Hendricks and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi River, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
This may be cliche, but art pursued me – not the other way around. I’ve had corporate jobs, opportunities to have all the ‘bells and whistles’. Life literally pushed me into the chaos of being a working artist. Since I was small, I felt set apart from most. Art and the act of creating has always been my language. In my younger years, I tried to fall in step with what I thought I was supposed to do: go to college, get a well-paying career, buy a house, get married, etc. None of it worked in my favor. It was as though the ethers pushed me out of those situations (good or bad) and to evolving into my true self as a Creative. I am incredibly thankful for everything I’ve experienced. The waves have allowed me to stand tall within my own Being and love myself for who I am and speaking the language of the Creative.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Ghost River is the embodiment of self-empowerment. Everything I create is set with the intention to make a person feel something powerful within themselves. I work as an illustrator, a writer, a jewelry designer and a photographer. Each of those elements carries the weight of awakening or confirming self-love, wisdom and the truth of your own Light within. Everything I do is inspired by my own personal life-experience: telling the story of how to fall and get back up, finding strength in looking in the mirror and see an army of a thousand Ancestors that came before you, being confident in your beauty and sensuality, reminding each other that there is indeed such a thing as Sacredness of Being. There are countless creatives in this world. I do not hold myself above or see myself as something special. I am just here to do the work. And in doing so, hopefully my own Path lifts and reflects empowerment within another. Nothing about what I have done up to this point has been easy. Honestly, there has been more days than I’d like to comment on that I wanted to give up on everything. There were times that I didn’t think I’d summit the mountain I was traversing. Some voice inside my heart has kept me going during the challenges. Like, pure stubbornness of setting out to do work bigger than I think I currently understand. Or maybe some Being or force outside myself is pushing me, helping me to become stronger, wiser, more resilient within each evolution of Self. That’s how I see those lessons or challenges or whatever you would like to call them – incubators of transformation.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Denver is loaded with things to do. Times are a little different for showing someone around due to Covid. But if we could do anything without reservation, these are the places we would have to hit: Crema and Central Market in RiNo – good food + great coffee PLUS we can walk around and check out the incredible murals in RiNo. Denver is a huge supporter of the arts and you can definitely see that in the city. Himchuli, Sushi Hai, Marcos Pizza, Comal and City ‘O City are some of my absolute favorite restaurants in Denver. This is city is loaded with incredible food, I am still finding new places on the reg. Music-wise, we’d have to catch a show at The Black Box, The Hi-Dive, The Bluebird and the most obvious Red Rocks. If it happens to be Summer, Red Rocks offers Film on the Rocks – there is nothing like watching The Goonies amongst a sold out crowd (9K+ people!). Of course we would have to get ourselves out to the mountains – it’s hard to pick a particular hike. But my favorite way to wow a guest is to drive through Rocky Mountain National Park using Old Fall River Road. Talk about unreal views!! I could probably go on, as most residents here could – I think just that would be a jam-packed week!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There is this moment that has always stayed with me… My parents paid for me to have private art lessons one year when I was in eighth grade. My Mom would drive me a half an hour one way after school one evening during the week to Neola, Iowa. A woman by the name of Penny Christensen held small, group classes to kids of all age ranges. I do not remember the exact conversation we were having but Penny had just told me straight up, ” You’re an artist and artists can be weird. They can be whatever they want to be.” I’d like to think I am holding myself true to that statement. I learned a lot that year. Penny is an incredibly talented artist and teacher. I will never forget the opportunity of that life experience. My family has been home-team forever. I love and cherish them, they’ve supported me in so many ways. From going to antique stores and finding vintage jewelry gems to repurpose, gifting me my first wood carving tools, to just making me feel like I can just be myself without caution. I am so very grateful.
Other: TikTok: @ghostriverart
Morgin Riley (model)