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Art & Life with Ashlyn Craig

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashlyn Craig.

Ashlyn, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I have always been drawn to art. As a child, I had more art kits than anyone could have ever needed and took more art classes than I could count. Old (often bad) drawings, paintings, and ceramic wares litter my family’s homes. Although I wish they would get rid of some of the pieces, I also find myself getting sentimental over many of them – they serve as reminders of where I started and how much I have grown as an artist since then.

I took art courses through elementary, middle, and high school; however, it wasn’t until my last year or two of high school that I was able to begin discovering who I was as an artist, and what subject matters I was passionate about. I began drawing plants and vegetables my senior year of high school, beginning my three-year-long love affair with the juxtaposition of nature and geometry, and the beauty in mundane objects many people have lying around their homes.

I am a passionate person and jump headfirst into any new media I find myself exposed to. I crave change and excitement when it comes to my art and find myself quickly and easily becoming bored if I am not constantly evolving and experimenting. Most recently, I have been delving into printmaking and colored pencil. I love the challenge of figuring out where my artistic weaknesses are and working to improve myself.

Currently, I am studying Art Education at Point Loma Nazarene University to hopefully be like the art educators I have been blessed to have over the course of my life. In my free time, I run an Etsy shop dedicated mainly to the embroidery work and patch making I do to decompress.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My work is overwhelmingly influenced by the natural world. More specifically, it is influenced by objects that I regularly come in contact with like fruits, vegetables, plants, and flowers. I choose my subject matter based on what I believe people, including myself, often accept as mundane.

Through compositions where the object I am focusing on takes up the majority of the image, I aim to change the viewer’s perspective and make them realize there is beauty even in the mundane. In this way, I state that the beauty comes from the object, not from the object’s importance in association to other objects or a larger composition. The lemon is beautiful because it is a lemon. The flowers are beautiful because they are flowers. The artichoke is beautiful because it is an artichoke.

In my colored pencil pieces and my linoleum print of the peonies, my decision to juxtapose the extreme detail of the lemons, radish, and artichoke or the detailed texture of the flowers with simplistic, geometric shapes aims to make the viewer think of the ways in which there can be harmony between what is man-made and what is formed in nature.

In all my pieces – whether they be linoleum prints, drypoint etchings, or colored pencil – I especially focus on the intricacies of the subject matter through mark making and visual texture to enhance the idea that so often we choose not to pay attention to the details of the world directly in front of us. The central theme of my art is that even though we may see something every day, the object itself does not become any less remarkable, awe-inspiring, or complex.

Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
I think that social media has made it easier than ever to market oneself as an artist. As soon as you post something online, someone is going to see it. However, with that sort of availability, it is easy for artists to get lost in the sheer amount of posts being made daily. With online marketplaces, it is also easier than ever for artists to market their art. Although, like social media, the amount of people turning to online marketplaces makes it easy for an artist’s work to get buried. Therefore, I think it is necessary for cities like ours to draw attention to local artists and give them platform to talk about what they are making and show their art to allow art and artists to thrive.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
The best place to follow what I am doing is my Instagram, @ashlyncraigart. Additionally, if you are interested in what my patches are like or want to see the print I have for sale, you can check out my Etsy shop, which is also under the name ashlyncraigart.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Ashlyn Craig

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