I seriously cannot believe this is the last week of February, and not to mention my Birthday is next month! Earlier this month I sat down and did my first in person interview, with a super beautiful young lady by the name of Ashley Nicole. Ashley and I began following one another on Instagram a while ago, and from the beginning I admired her style, and her artwork. Towards the end of last year, I began brainstorming various categories I wanted to add to my blog, and interviewing local women whom I admire was on that list of additions. Personally, as a woman I feel as though it is important to build relationships with other women who work hard for what they believe in. I feel such relationships are beneficial as well as motivational. I am still so happy that Ashley agreed to do this interview with me. It was definitely a pleasure meeting and speaking with such a talented young woman! I hope you enjoy reading my interview with Ashley and gain some inspiration from her words!
Exclusive Interview with Ashley Nicole!
Posh: How did you begin drawing, and when did you discover your passion for art?
Ashley: My mom would always buy me coloring books as a child and she would emphasize how important it was to stay inside the lines when I was coloring. Every coloring book I had, I would always try my best to make sure my coloring was done perfectly. In about 7th grade, I took a home economics class and we always had various assignments that included drawing and creating outfits, which I actually enjoyed and took very serious. Also, I would read seventeen magazine and teen vogue for style inspiration. I began taking my art a lot more serious in high school (9th grade), and initially I began drawing tattoos for other people. That is how I began to perfect my craft, because I would practice all the time and I also would YouTube various drawing techniques to use within my work.
Ashley seems to be an extreme perfectionist when it comes to her art. She said that as she was learning new techniques and drawing new things if she thought she messed up, no matter how far a long she was in the piece she would throw it away and start over. Although, she wishes she hadn’t because she is currently applying to SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) and they like to see old, imperfect work included in your portfolio, to see how much your work has improved.
Posh: When did you begin drawing Fashion Illustrations?
Ashley: I would say around 16. I have always been into styling and Fashion. I would definitely pursue a career in styling, if I was not doing art.
Ashley is definitely stylish! As I said before her style is initially drew me to following her on Instagram.
Posh: We are all inspired by someone, who inspires you?
Ashley: @hayden_williams and @ponyy_boyy on Instagram. I love their work! But I feel like a lot of fashion illustrators have the same look within their work. Most of them go off of what they see. They are either sketching a celebrity or an outfit worn by a celebrity. With my work I try to make it very original. If you notice I do not include full detailed faces in any of my fashion illustrations. That is my trademark. If I were to create an actual line of clothing based off of my illustrations, I would want everything to be affordable. I feel like you can get extremely fashionable items and not have to pay a ridiculous amount for it. As far as my style, my favorite stores to shop for myself are H&M, Forever21 and Topshop.
Posh: Being that you are a young mother, how do you balance work, your art, and being a mom?
Ashley: Once I had my son I didn’t look at being a mother like my life was over. I always kept in mind how important it is to go at my own pace, focus on what I have going on and ride my own wave. Right now I am working at Classic Design Services, which is a specialty moving company. On my down time at work I am able to get some of my art work and sketching done. Also, now that my son is a toddler, he can do a few things on his own. When I am at home I get a lot of my art work done, because I do not have to constantly watch my son, at the age he is at now. Honestly, I do not feel like being a mom has stopped me from doing anything at all.
Posh: What is your dream career and where do you see yourself with your art in the next five years?
Ashley: In the past I wanted to be Editor in Chief of a main stream lifestyle and fashion magazine like Cosmopolitan, and Harper’s Bazaar. But right now, I would really love to become an author of creative children’s book, I really love that! Also, to advance my skills I plan on attending SCAD or Art Institute of Atlanta and studying sequential art.
I have to be honest, I had never heard of sequential art, but after Ashley explained what it is I got a better understanding. Sequential art is graphic storytelling that is done in sequence. Example: Comic Books.
Posh: If you could choose a celebrity to wear your designs, who would it be and why?
Ashley: Rihanna! She is like number one! I love her because she is not afraid to take risks at all. And she seems like such a care free person; like she doesn’t really pay a lot of attention to what other people think of her. She does what she wants, and her style definitely reflects that. A few other celebrities I wouldn’t mind seeing in my designs would be Zoe Kravitz, Karrueche Tran, Mary Kate and Ashley and Kerry Hilson. Rihanna will always be #1 though!
Posh: Out of all your artwork, what is your favorite piece and why?
Ashley: The BAPE painting. I loved that piece because it was not meant to be perfect, and I wanted to feminize the painting my adding girlish colors into something that is typically for men. (A Bathing Ape is a Japanese clothing line for men, women and children).
Posh: “Now that I’ve asked you the questions I had for you, is there any bit of information you would like my readers to know about you that I did not ask?”
Ashley:“I guess this would be more so advice to women our age. It seems like a lot of women in our age group do things for validation from others or to prove something to someone else, and you do not have to! In general, stop feeling like everything you do needs approval from someone else. Also, when you have something you love to do put your all into it. Everything you want may not come right away, but if you put all you have into what you love it will all work out in due time.”
Again, I want to extend a HUGE Thank You to Ashley! This interview went super well, and I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed talking with her. Ashley has tons of art work, I was able to look through some of her amazing pieces during the interview. If you would like to see more from Ashley, follow her on Instagram @_gorgeousash and you can also purchase her art work and order personalized commissioned pieces on her website at anicoledesigns.bigcartel.com