I'm Ashley, and if you had told me that even 3 years ago I would be creating and teaching art for a living, I would have laughed!
My background is in communication and education. I am actually a certified teacher here in the lovely British Columbia in Canada.
My passion from a young age has been writing; I never considered myself visually creative, but, then again, I was never exactly encouraged to even try - after all, "you can't make money doing that".
I sort of stumbled into the visual arts when I saw my best friend create some jaw dropping pieces with alcohol ink on Facebook. I had just had my second child, I was on maternity leave, and I was just dying for some time to myself, to relax.
For months, I watched my best friend share her creations. I would be sitting on my couch, watching Netflix, and wondering how she could make these beautiful pieces.
I would sort of discourage myself... you know, negative self talk like... I shouldn't even bother trying because I could never make anything so amazing.
But, then, I gave my head a shake.
This was not the message I would tell my own students, so why was I telling myself this?
Art is subjective. Yes. This is true. For everything you create, someone will love it.
But, if you want to learn to do something in a particular way or style, you need to practice and learn the skills to do what you would like to do.
So, I spoke with my friend about how I had been feeling. She encouraged me to just pick up a few bottles of ink and play around.
And so I did.
And I was hooked.
I didn't care about the final products; I was just having so. much. fun - exploring and being limitlessly creative.
And I shared. I shared my little creations from my middle of the night inking sessions with my friends and family on my social media channels.
And then the magic happened.
Just like I was inspired by my friend to revisit my creative side, I started to inspire others.
Friends and friends of friends began to ask about what I was up to. They wanted to know how to ink, too. They wanted to know if I (the teacher of the group) would teach them.
I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined that I would be teaching art, but I definitely believe in trying everything once.
So, I set up a class date and time, and guess what?
It sold out and I received tons of rave reviews.
And that was the beginning of this huge artsy adventure of exploring different styles, media, techniques; selling the works I create; and teaching other people how to be playful again.
Although it has been a journey of continual surprises, I am so thankful to be able to support my family while bringing joy to others not only with my work (my therapeutic products) but also by teaching others to do the same.
All that said, I want to thank you for making it to this point on my page, for learning a bit more about me.
I appreciate you, your time, and your support. And, I hope I have inspired you (just a little) to get creative!