Ashley Longshore is a highly accomplished pop artist who is taking the art world by storm. Her use of color, content and pop culture subjects is unique, gorgeous and daring. Her work also tells a story. The globally recognized pop artist is at a pivotal moment in her career and has been compared to Andy Warhol by both Town & Country Magazine and The New York Post, noting the similarity in their obsession with pop culture icons and current brands. Ashley’s vivacious personality and bold artwork has been featured in major publications in the United States and abroad including; Vogue, Elle, Travel & Leisure, Details Magazine, Dujour, Harper’s Bazaar Singapore, and French GQ among others. To say Lonsghore is having a moment is an understatement and I was thrilled to finally meet her.
Ashley, I so appreciate your time doing this interview. I admire your work so much. I, as well, am from Louisiana and you are New Orleans (NOLA) based so being a loyal admirer of your work and your perspective on life made this interview even more exciting. Do you feel the culture of NOLA (and the south in general) inspires your work?
“You are very welcome Elisabeth! I think my views are swayed because I was raised in the south. I was raised to be a trophy wife, garden clubbing, junior leaguing, Mercedes Benz, kid hauling southern woman… I think being so different from that and really being interested in the role of women in society and wanting so much more out of life has influenced my work greatly; but it’s a much more global ‘thang’ than just the south.”
I noticed that you mix floral, fashion icons, pop icons, a touch of the southern culture and major love for Audrey and Frida in your work. These are some of my favorite elements and caught my eye from day one. What inspired you to fuse these subjects, as you have done so effortlessly?
“I paint imagery that brings me joy and to be surrounded by such colorful beauty makes me feel safe from the outside world. What I paint starts with a feeling and the imagery then follows.”
I know that you are a self-taught artist and did not start until college. Did you ever face self-doubt or think, “Can I do this?”
“ABSOLUTELY… that still happens. It takes a lot of bravery to put your inner thoughts out there and these is why I believe artists should self-represent and keep 100% of their profits. Working with galleries and giving up 50% IS WAY TOO MUCH to give up. Also, the self-doubt keeps you humble and real and grateful. Actually you can still be confident and have self-doubt. It’s a weird balance but that is how it goes when you are are pushing to new limits.”
It is hard to be vulnerable and put yourself “out there.” How do you stay motivated? I follow you on Instagram and cannot believe the pace you keep.
“I am ALIVE and inspired and motivated and excited about all of the opportunity in the world! How can someone not be motivated? I will never have enough time in my life to create everything I want to create—that is my philosophy NOW is the time. NOW!”
You are so strong and positive. I love your message about never giving up through the ups and downs and that only YOU can make your own destiny. How do you stay so focused?
“I want to keep my energy focused and directed in a way that brings positivity back into my life. I want to focus on what I DO have, not what I DO NOT. I want to keep creating and learning. I want to see the world in a happy, colorful and beautiful way. For me, this is the only way and believe me, I deal with stressful madness constantly and haters and I BLOCK THEM OUT…. who said, ‘If you fight with an eye for an eye then you end up blind’… If I am productive and I work then I will always win because that makes me happy and fulfilled.”
I adore the “Audrey paintings” with butterflies. Why do butterflies have such special meaning to you?
“They represent the endless magic that is all around us if we take the time to look for it and we are all in metamorphosis constantly. Butterflies spend most of their life as a caterpillar and I like that thought.”
You have been recognized by Forbes as one of the “Leading Business Women in the South and have collaborated with major fashion brands, such as Chloe, Net-A-Porter, and Anthropologie, and most recently worked with New Yorks, “Bryant Park Hotel” to create The Ashley Longshore Fashion Icons Suite. You are an incredible role model for women. Where does your motivation come from?
“I am motivated by the opportunity of being an American Woman. The sky is the limit. Considering there are so many places in the world where there isn’t the freedom to be an entrepreneur. It would be really disrespectful, lazy and pathetic to NOT be motivated to do SOMETHING.”
I think your Artgasm business model is brilliant by incorporating fans and social media to promote your work and also inspiring other artists to do the same. Can you tell me a bit more?
“It’s a platform for peeps who want special items that ONLY artgasm members can get. I wanted to do something cooler than pulling a damn print. I want to have things available for people who aren’t in the market yet for original paintings. Although so many of my artgasm members who are also clients. It’s been a huge success. I am really excited about the response from the members, which has been awesome so far.”
You have so many creative projects, I know you are working on a book series. Can you tell me a bit more about that?
“The book series tickles me to death! I love exploring these different topics with headlines and imagery. This series is about me painting what tickles me about society. It starts with an idea and then I see the cover perfectly in my mind and then I paint it. It’s a wild process.”
I also adore the concept of the “Selfie Project” (where people are encouraged to take a selfie that they feel represents their inner personality) not having a negative connotation. Tell me a bit more about this endeavor.
“I love the variety of images people put out there are maybe, (just possibly) exactly how they want the world to see them. Therefore, within that image they are confident and feel like their true self. I want to capture that energy. A whole wall of 500 smiling, radiant confident faces from around the world makes me sooo HAPPY!”
What can we expect from you in the near future or at least a hint.
“A MASSIVE GLOBAL COLLABORATION hits in OCTOBER and my first book comes out before Christmas! GET READY!”
Lastly, what do you do for just pure fun that is not art related?
“I play the guitar; I fish and I love to travel too much! I LOVE nature as it help me reflect on all of this madness in the world.”
Without a doubt, Ashley Longshore is an artistic inspiration and immensely talented. More importantly, she inspires us all with her brave approach to her craft life. Longshore is constantly raising the bar by taking on new risks and through her unstoppable dedication to her work and learning. I can’t wait to see what is coming next.
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