Happy end of Thanksgiving weekend, everyone – I truly hope you were able to be filled with warm gravy, laughter, and excitement for the approaching Christmas season! Before November comes to a close, I have an important order of business to attend to here at the Inkwell… naming the Dreamer of the Month, of course!
This month, I wanted to shine a spotlight on a friend that I met about a year ago through a mutual friend, and who I am realizing more and more just how talented she truly is as an artist. Jessica is a sweet person who shares my love of a good conversation over a cup of coffee (and James Bay – read the interview to see more!). I wanted to talk to her this month because she represents a dream to which many of us, even if we aren’t painters, can relate – we would love to be able to support ourselves financially doing what we love to do!
Name: Jessica Ashley
Profile: Fine Artist and Illustrator
Location: Middleport, Ohio
Favorite Quote: I don’t know. I have so many. Maybe C. S. Lewis, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
(Good choice, I love that him, and that quote!)
You majored in art in college, correct? Do you know what initially interested you about pursuing this path?
Yes. I always loved drawing as a child and into my teenage years, so it seemed like a good fit.
Have you had any mentors or role models along the way that have helped to keep you encouraged?
No and yes? I try to look for other women my age who are making a living off their art, and there are two that I have been keeping up with lately on YouTube. The first is named Holly Exley; she is from England, I’m thinking Cambridgeshire. The second is Fran Meneses, who is from Chile, but also lives in England. They are both incredible and encouraging. I go to their videos when I’m feeling unmotivated and discouraged. They also both have Etsy stores. You should check them out!
I always loved art class in high school, but one thing I’ve learned about myself and taking on DIY projects is that sometimes I get started but lose patience before I’ve fully finished. Do you ever have this trouble while painting? If so, are there any tips you implement to keep yourself motivated?
Yes. Sometimes, I will start a painting and it won’t go as planned and I give up after a while. Sometimes, I just persist and eventually achieve the result I was wanting. Just keep going!
Also, something that really motivates me is music. When painting, I typically listen to soundtrack (Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean, being my favorites) music, as well as, James Bay and Christina Perri. Burning Gold by Christina Perri is one of the most motivational songs, I’ve listened to.
You’ve started an Etsy shop in order to sell your artwork which is so exciting! Can you talk a little bit about the deciding factor to take this step into the online world?
Mainly just to get my artwork out there – my goal is to make a living solely from my art.
What piece of advice would you give to other aspiring artists or anyone hoping to pursue their passion?
Make art every day – and get it out on every social media platform.
Main thing is just make art, even if it’s bad.
I highly recommend you check out BeautifullyCreations on Etsy to see more of Jessica’s work, or to place an order! The holidays are quickly approaching, so if you’d like to order for a Christmas gift, she advises you place your orders by December 13th.
Also, I just wanted to say a special thanks to Jess for being willing to let me feature her on ADI this month and allowing me access to her photos!