Here is Ashlie's story:
Keeping a sketchbook is actually not easy for me. I am judgmental of myself when using them, and so, I really have to push myself to create within one designated area. Due to self-judgement I tend to rip things out, or abandon my books only to pick up a new one and try again. It's a work in progress, and so am I.
I like a sketchbook for the freedom it allows to just be. It's not to sell, or make prints of... it's just for me. So in that way it's different. It's also a place to keep things I don't want to lose or forget. It captures the emotion I was feeling at the time, and well maybe someday when my time is complete... my children will enjoy the pages I have created and see another side of who their mom was.
I have kept a sketchbook since early childhood, and was never without one as a teen. Now they are fewer and farther between, but something I still strive to do because a sketchbook allows me to be a little looser. A little more erratic and messy. It's a good place for me to just "be".
As an artist I understand that creativity is organic. One must allow both ebbs and flows. I used to really come down on myself when a bout of non-creativity occurred... but now it's different (this happens with growth), and I accept that in the low times I am just gearing up and towards another period of productivity. As we go go go all day and must rest at night, so must we do the same with our talent. What keeps me motivated is my personal passion and internal drive to create. I have felt since an early age that I was meant to be an artist. I always said it was what I was going to do, and now it's reality <3
My inspiration comes from nature, my love of gardening, and the changing seasons. I love plants, animals, and weather. All of it and my own backyard.
I am a watercolor and gouache kind of gal, but I also incorporate other media when needed such as colored pencil, water soluble photograph pencil, and gesso.
My advice for anyone who is just starting out is to be true to one's self and your vision of what success is. Everyone's different, and we must all embrace our unique identities. A career in art doesn't happen over night. It is curated over time, and is as much of a journey as the discovery of self. Don't be afraid of rejection, keep asking for what you want and put yourself out there.
Thank you, Ashlie for sharing your story with us today.
Dear readers, you can find Ashlie and observe her process on Instagram via @paintingbliss
Her shop: www.etsy.com/shop/AshlieBlakeArt
And website: www.ashlieblakeart.com
For commissions you can email her any time at firstname.lastname@example.org
Missed the other Sketchbook Conversations posts? You can catch up here. And for more inspiration, check out my Artist Interviews.
*Photos in this post © Ashlie Blake. Used with permission.