YJ: Can you please introduce yourself for those who are not familiar with you and your work?
AY: I am Ashley Young, a visual artist, graphic designer, and aspiring arts administrator.
YJ: Now since we know your name can we learn a lil more about you I.e hometown, age, ethnic background, upbringing, credentials schooling etc?
AY: I was born and raised in East Nashville, TN, graduated from Stratford high School. I’m currently a senior at TSU preparing for graduation this May. Studio Art major with additional studies in Nonprofit Management working to become an arts administrator; organizing public arts projects, and outreach events and fundraisers for arts organizations and programs.
YJ: When did you begin drawing, and what was the spark that made this become your passion?
AY: My mother taught me how to draw when I was 4 years old and in kindergarten I really enjoyed going to the art center during class. In fact I never wanted to go to any other center accept creative arts. So at that point I knew that art was going to be a major part of my life forever.
YJ: What artist influenced your style and as well as pushed your creativity?
AY: I enjoy artwork that has a lot of color, spontaneous subject matter, and abstract collage-like techniques. So artists such as Shinique Smith (urban textile and abstract painting and sculptures), Andy Warhol (father of popart) as well as early artists such as Jackson Pollock and Aaron Douglas (art father of the Harlem Renaissance).
YJ: Can you describe to us your subject matter, and how did these become the avenue and subjects for you, and what is your selection/drawing process?
AY: I work in various mediums including drawing, painting, graphic design, and using art to enrich communities and expose others to new ideas about culture, creativity, and unity. My choice of subject matter and style has really grown over time. A lot of my earlier drawings are my own interpretation of still life images which consist of different personal and household objects like fashion(shoes, makeup, jewelry, etc.) and food (dessert in particular). My paintings and mixed media works are far more abstract ranging from spontaneous bold colorful works that involve chaotic shapes, forms, and lines. As well as expressionistic approaches to reality like strange colored landscapes, and bringing emphasis to minimalist scenes from everyday life. Recently I have discovered that my approach to life in general and my approach to creating artwork are very similar. I believe that there is more to life than the norm or the typical things we are used to, so we have to go out and experience it. And I guess through my artwork and my ways of impacting the community through art is how I help others realize there’s more out here for them than what they may be traditionally used to when it comes to engaging in day-to-day activities.
YJ: We are a brand that promotes the Freedom of creation, speech, and living, with the recent and current events going on in the country, what is your option on police brutality and the #BLACKLIVESMATTER campaign?
AY: I have a little brother and an older brother, so I feel as if it’s truly not fair that they are going to grow up in this world being constantly looked upon as a threat to society and may be charged just for the color of their skin. And me being a young black woman, I think police brutality has really gotten out of hand, and I think that parents should talk to their kids especially their sons about how cops may treat them when they walk outside their doors. So our young brothers need to be educated on how to have self-respect, because before they respect law enforcement they must respect themselves and carry themselves appropriately not to appeal to others idea of what is right but to obtain a sense of dignity and this in return will give them so much more self-power. Young black girls also need to carry themselves like ladies and not be all loud and half-dressed in public for the simple fact of us treating ourselves with respect before allowing others to respect us. The BLACKLIVESMATTER Campaign has made a great impact in America, as an artist I have really taken a liking to a lot of the photographs and posters created to promote the movement, and I believe all of the creatives in the community should get together and push this movement forward with t-shirts, more posters/awareness artwork, huge advertisements, awareness events, fundraisers, and so much more!
YJ: With us being a brand that is based off of providing positivity to those around us and their crafts, what are some words of advice you have for up and coming artists as well as for yourself for the upcoming year?
AY: As always practice makes perfect, never think you’ve come too far to obtain more knowledge and enhance your skills. Research other artists and art movements in order to reference your style or if it is totally new and innovative see how it connects to past styles. Also start building a portfolio, so you can begin showcasing your work locally, regionally, then nationally and hopefully one day around the world. I’m actually working on this right now myself. I’m a part of the indie-arts organization RAW Artists and we get to network with artists of all kinds from all over the country and hopefully showcase in other parts of the world.
YJ: Finally, as an artist we know it’s difficult to select your favorite pieces of art, but what pieces would be considered your top 5?
YJ: Thank you for chatting with us, and sharing light on your art, talent, and creativity. The FLAB Ent. family is truly thankful for this insight and interview, and we wish you the best of luck in your career and future accomplishments. We would love to feature some of your future releases if that’s alright with you?
AY: YES of course!! Thank you for the opportunity to feature on your website and showcase my talents.