An Artistic Vision by Ashley

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

Hello! I’m pleased to have another feature on O9, and this time, it’s about an artist who really makes life as her primary inspiration. Ashley is one of those people who use art as an outlet for positivity. I have always appreciated people who work not for themselves, but for social progress and the community at large! It’s great to talk to someone who puts their time and effort towards helping others and also invests in her own creative progress. Ashley’s art is colourful and frank, and she also uses watercolours (which I absolutely love!) so I contacted her to get some insight on her process.

Read on to hear what she has to say!
An Artistic Vision by Ashley

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Ashley Churbock and I am the creator and artist behind Rock, Paint, Scissors.  By day I am a licensed professional counselor and work in an urban middle school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana running a drop out prevention program.  Besides that, my heart lies with art and being creative.  My work consists mainly of digital prints but I also dabble in painting and paper products.

 

What sparked your interest in art in general? How long have you been practicing?

I have always been into art and took advantage of taking art classes throughout school and into college. I have always been told that I have a natural gift and talent in art and found that it was a great way for me to express myself in a safe and healthy way.  I started out interested in drawing, which turned into a love for painting.  I only recently took up graphics and digital design within the last year.  It helps me create work more quickly, efficiently, and produce affordable work for others.   It is a different type of art that I happen to really enjoy and see a great potential in.

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

How do you interpret the presence and significance of art in your lifestyle?

Being a counselor by trade, I know the importance of self care.  Art has always been an outlet for me to express myself and be creative which is extremely important to me.  I love sharing my passions with others and this is a great way to do so.  I have always created my favorite pieces for those closest to me and proud that I can give them something unique, special, and one of a kind.  Art has been and always will be a vital part of my life to keep me sane, motivated, and inspired!

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

What is your general process while creating an art piece?

First I identify my inspiration and vision for a piece.  I am constantly having ideas pop into my head and I jot these down in my phone to keep a running list of what I want to see transformed into art.  From there I choose which media I want to use (Illustrator, drawing, painting, mixed media, etc).  Then I decide on color palette, font, and dimensions (what size canvas or print).  Next, I gather other materials needed such as paint, paint brushes, canvas, etc. (if needed).  Then I begin!

For digital prints, I typically like to start and finish them within one time frame if possible.  With paintings, I typically grid my paintings and work in layers so that I can blend and make changes as needed.  I usually post my work on Instagram and Etsy at the same time, get feedback, and make necessary changes from there!

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

What keeps you motivated creatively?

Usually it revolves around 3 things: love, work, and humor.  My boyfriend, family, and those that I am close with constantly inspire me.  Relationships are the utmost importance to me. Without them, nothing would be possible.  Work gives me a lot of motivation and drive and purpose in life. Working with kids constantly inspires me.  I work with students who are underprivileged and live in poverty, high crime areas.  These students show me what true resiliency looks like and make me a better person on a daily basis. I know I was put here to do good in the world and help others.  And humor keeps me going.  You have to be able to laugh at yourself and at the world when things are tough.

 

How much time on an average does it take to create a piece?

Typically my paintings take anywhere from 8-10 hours (smaller canvas typically 2-4 hours) and digital prints it varies greatly depending on the amount of detail and layering involved.

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

Just out of interest, what was the first (or your favourite ) piece of art you remember creating?

My favorite piece was a large painting I did for an ex boyfriend of mine.  He had served 2 tours in Afghanistan and there was a picture of him that I thought really captured him and his experience.  I was determined to paint that picture for him to honor him and his service.  I am very humbled and in awe of our military men and women and can never express my appreciation for all that they do.  His tours are a major part of who he is, what he has overcome, and molded him into the great man that he is today and I wanted him to have an original piece to represent that time in his life.

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

Can you share a glimpse of a typical day in your life?

I work full time at a middle school trying to change and mold the youth of America! Typically I attempt to create one digital print a day after I get off of work. I also exercise 5-6 days a week to keep myself in shape.  I like to keep myself mentally and physically healthy and really enjoy my free time to do the things I truly enjoy outside of work.  Spending quality time with my boyfriend is also important and building my relationship with him, as well as my friendships.

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

(Ashley’s black and white gallery wall- her inspiration at the moment)

How do you balance your creative thought while maintaining a business approach when it comes to selling your art?

Honestly, creativity comes first.  I create art because I love it and business comes second to that.  I approach the business aspect as a bonus to doing something I love to do!  I created my Etsy shop to share what I love and allow others the opportunity to purchase and enjoy the art just as I do.  My reward comes from knowing that my art can contribute to a room, office, or home that is special to that person and makes them feel comfortable, cozy, inspired and at peace.

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

Just for fun: what’s your outfit staple and flower and why?

This is a hard one!  I love, love, love my white converse because they are so versatile and classic.  My favorite flower is an orchid.  There is just something beautiful and powerful about an orchid that I love.

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

You have a very watercolour and typography inspired Etsy shop! What motivated you to start a creative business?

I have what I like to call a torn artistic heart.  I love the abstract feel of watercolors and the clean lines of typography.  I think you can appreciate both for what they are and felt that others, like myself, would really appreciate a shop that allows you to download prints and use them as they see fit. The majority of my downloads are $2, which is a very affordable and budget friendly version to buying expensive prints.  I have always lived on a budget and found it was difficult to decorate my apartment the way I wanted.  I have always relied on my own talents to decorate my apartment and thought it would be neat to see my work in others’ homes.  Once I found Illustrator, I realized I could create my own prints in a very cost effective way and felt that others would appreciate this option, as well! Prints can easily be downloaded and printed on a home or office printer or can be sent to your local Walgreens, CVS, or other print stores that can print the JPG for a very low cost.  Pop these into a cute frame and you can make over your room for $10 or less!

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

What are some themes/topics that are inspiring you nowadays?

Change, and the ebbs and flows of life, are really inspiring me lately.  I have had a year full of change that has me feeling very hopeful, grateful, and positive.  Last year (2014) was a very hard year for me and I decided that I really wanted to take control of the things that were in my power.  I wanted to ensure that I was mentally strong and art has helped me cope with life’s stressors and obstacles.  Through building my business, I feel more empowered and encouraged for my future and excited to see where it takes me.  It is never too late to go after your dreams!  I have always dreamed of art being a major component of my life and excited to see where the venture takes me!

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

 

What are some of your favourite art supplies and art media you use?

Adobe Illustrator, acrylic paint and watercolor paint are my top 3 favorite medias.  Illustrator allows for such amazing shapes, lines, textures, and possibilities.  Acrylic paint is great for blending and abstract and watercolor is a beautiful challenge and sharpens my skills.

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

Could you share three tips that make a good, satisfactory piece of art (which the artist feels happy about the end result)?

Art is so subjective and I can be a little perfectionistic!  My three tips would be:

1- Do what feels right to you.  Part of the beauty is feeling the artist through the piece.  Being yourself and creating art that is unique to you and your vision is the most important.

2- Choose your media wisely- do what works for you!  I would love to work with wood but I have no idea how to use a saw properly.  It is important to have goals and try to better yourself artistically.  But, in the meantime, do what you know and do it well.

3- Accept feedback- use the feedback you are given to drive your work.  Trends change so often and you have to change with it.  This does not mean you only do what is popular, this means listening to your audience and allowing outsiders help inspire you!

Thanks Ashley, for a little glimpse into your art at Rock, Paint, Scissors! Wishing you all the best ahead!

You can find more of Ashley’s work on Etsy and Instagram.

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An Artist’s Perspective: Emily Henney

An Artist's Perspective: Emily HenneyLet’s talk about art. Art means different things to different people. Some people like to paint as a hobby and everyone has their own style and their own pace. However, there are some great prolific artists out there, and Emily is definitely one of them. She paints and paints- just look at her amazing feed!

She’s truly inspiring and I love her bright, positive style with which she paints. There’s so much floral goodness and colourful thoughts in her work, and I’m happy to have her on Opinion9, giving some more insight into her creative process.

Read on to get her perspective on art, life and creativity.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi! I’m Emily Henney, the name behind HelloHenney. I am a self taught artist, going on two years of trying to give this business a go, learning every day more and more! I create unique, quirky wall art, and I love to work with customers on a personal level to create something beautiful for them.

Artistic Insight from Emily Henney

What are some of your favourite art supplies and art media you use?

I love using Folk Art brand of acrylic paint, it covers well, and is just a good reputable brand. But honestly, I’m not picky about the paint or brushes I use, as long as I can paint with it!

 

What sparked your interest in painting and just art in general? How long have you been practicing?

I got married almost two years ago, and moved to a new city. I’ve always dabbled in painting, doing small pieces for friends and family on the side. Suddenly I had a lot of time on my hands, and with the encouragement of my older sister, I began selling my work.

An Artist's Perspective: Emily Henney

Art is so powerful and can make a large impact in anyone’s life. How do you interpret the presence and significance of art in your lifestyle?

Art encompasses so many aspects of my life. I incorporate them into every piece I do. Music is a huge part of my life as well, and many of my pieces show that. I get little bits and pieces from lyrics, from books, and just little stories in my life as well. Life is beautiful, everyone has a story to remember.

Artistic Insight from Emily Henney

(This art wall is just..wow! Such a motivating place to work in. It’s like a gallery wall and moodboard rolled into one.)

What is your general process while creating an art piece?

I usually have a list of ideas I want to get done in a day, or the week. I start with the words first, if there are letters involved. What do you enjoy the most in your creative process? I love sitting down at my desk, and seeing that blank canvas. The possibilities of what can be done with that blank space, that is the best part. I’m a huge fan of every color of the rainbow, so sometimes it can be hard to choose the color scheme, but it’s fun to see the end result.

 

How much time on an average does it take to create a piece?

Anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.

An Artist's Perspective: Emily Henney

Just out of interest, what was the first piece of art you remember creating?

A painting of an owl on a branch in the night sky.

 

Can you share a glimpse of a typical day in your life?

I always start with iced coffee after breakfast 🙂 That really gets the brain going, haha! I check my Etsy account to see what orders have come in, or if someone has contacted me for a custom order. I have an ongoing list of ideas, so if I have time, I can knock a few of those out!

An Artist's Perspective: Emily Henney

How do you balance your natural creative thought process while maintaining a business approach when it comes to selling your art?

Well, not everyone shares the same humor and taste, as I do. But that’s kind of the risk you take. You’re going to lose some people, and gain some people, no matter what you do.

An Artist's Perspective: Emily Henney

Just for fun: what’s your favourite animal and flower and why?

I love cats, and dogs. We’ve always had both of those animals growing up, and they’re just the typical fun homey animals 🙂 My favorite flower is the peony. They’re so lush and full.

 

You have a very colourful and pretty Etsy shop! What motivated you to start a creative business?

I want people to have an option for colorful walls, without the hassle of painting. I love the idea of someone coming to me to create something quirky, and custom. Something they cannot find anywhere else, something that means a lot to them.

An Artist's Perspective: Emily Henney

What are some themes/topics that are inspiring you nowadays to pick up the brush?

Oh, floral blooms. I have been obsessed with them for a while now, and can’t seem to stop painting them. I’m really loving cactus art too, they’re so surprising, but add just a little “oomph” to a wall collage.

An Artist's Perspective: Emily Henney

Could you share three tips that make a good, satisfactory piece of art (which the artist feels happy about the end result)?

I always feel really good when I have made good, clean lines. Colors that mesh well, bold or more subdued, make sure they blend, and go with the whole feeling of the piece. If you have any misgivings, or something that is bugging you about the painting, it’s better just to go ahead and redo it. Picture the piece in your own home, would anything about it continue to bug you if you passed it everyday? Just think about the person who is spending money at YOUR shop! It’s worth it.

Thanks, Emily, for a glimpse into your world of HelloHenney. It was great to get to know an artist’s perspective; especially one who creates in such a colourful and vibrant way!

Wishing you all the best ahead!

Aaria

Find more of Emily and her work at HelloHenney on Instagram and maybe get a customized piece of art for your walls from her Etsy? 🙂

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