Calling All Art Lovers!
By Rupveen Arora (Mademoiselle Wanderlust), Head of Lifestyle
There is something about Ashley Longshore and her work that makes me want to change my entire dĂ©cor. Her personality literally pops out of her art. It screams at you. When I first stumbled upon her page, I was smitten. Her pieces are a compilation of all of my favorite things. If you have yet to learn of Miss Longshore, check her out on insta @ #ashleylongshoreart. With nearly 70k followers and what appears to be a cult following, she has no problem selling her work on Insta the very morning it is posted!
Ashley, can you please send me a piece? Any piece! [Me not begging]
Art has a new name: diamonds and Chanel, chocolate and Dom, musicians and icons meshed, religious imagery gone wild and everything includes that wow factor, a little bit of sparkle and shine to everything she does. Her fans include the likes of Blake Lively, Eli Manning, Salma Hayek and Lorraine Schwarz. She has also partnered with beauty brands and fashion labels like Chloe.
Letâ€™s take a moment and see what drives this brilliance!
Tell us a bit about your mission objective.
My story is that I am an artist but that also means that I am an entrepreneur. I am a brand. Iâ€™m creating something tangible that I want to get to people globally. My greatest legacy will be that I change the industry and influence artists to self-represent and not use galleries. To not ever give up fifty percent, to know their brand, to know their business, to know who their clients are, to understand that there is a limited amount of days in their life to be creative and their artwork is worth the money that people are paying for it. When I look at so many of these young artists and they think that seven hundred dollars is too much for a painting, and I look at the fashion industry and go, â€śMy God, the Celine bag is $3,700 and a woman may only carry that bag for a few weeks or one season.â€ť It really puts perspective on the fact that someone is creating something unique, a thought that they are making tangible, and it is worth more than some stupid handbag. I just want an artist to understand their worth and their capability and the idea that they can be successful. To me, the starving artist is dead.
What is the uniqueness of your brand?
Well the uniqueness of my brand is that Iâ€™m painting my own thoughts. Iâ€™m creating a world of tangible items that spawns directly from my imagination. The greatest thing about me is that I fully understand that the art really doesnâ€™t mean as much unless you know the person creating it. Unless you know the story. For my art, itâ€™s a little bit more obvious than some abstract artists and people like that. Sometimes you need to know the story. When you understand the person creating the art, you understand the art more. That is the uniqueness of my brand. Nobody else in the world can do this. I have my own style, I have my own voice, and Iâ€™m the only person that can do this.
Who are your clients?
My clients are fun. They are outrageous. They are not pretentious, although some are extremely wealthy. They celebrate life. They celebrate color. They do not have houses that are full of greige. They surround themselves with colorful things and they celebrate life. My clients are the best in the world because they get it. They absolutely get what life is really about. And although some of them are very affluent, I definitely poke fun at status and greed and they definitely have a sense of humor. Those are my favorite people.
What inspires your art?
Status, greed, my experience being an American woman, and beautiful, strong, unbelievable women. I paint them because I like to surround myself with them. They make me feel brave, they make me feel happy, they make me feel excited. Iâ€™m like pacing around my studio right now and Iâ€™m in full blown â€śAshley Worldâ€ť and I feel very comfortable in this world. If I go outside of my doors, itâ€™s freakinâ€™ scary out there.
What are the price-points of your pieces?
My pieces range from $5,000 to $50,000. I create pieces that are all different sizes. And that isnâ€™t necessarily intentional to creating pieces that are available in the marketplace. Just some ideas need to be bigger than others when they go from our brain onto the canvas.
What is some piece of advice that artists should adhere to as it pertains to creating an original design that fits their personality?
You have to be confident with who you are. I talk to so many young artists and it isnâ€™t a matter of painting something that you know is going to sell. Itâ€™s a matter of finding your voice and your originality and your own experience in the world and being able to be brave enough to put that into the marketplace. To know that not everybodyâ€™s gonna like what you make, but youâ€™re probably gonna have more people that respond to it in a positive way than a negative way. And thatâ€™s a risk youâ€™re gonna have to take in anything. So for me, itâ€™s a leap of faith – a big one- and not just society embracing you, but in acceptance of yourself as an artist, to be able to put this out there. I mean, artists are brave. Itâ€™s brave to put your soul out there for people to see.
Tell us about a major achievement of your brand.
A major achievement of my brand…I think when I was starting to be recognized by Forbes, by Fast Company, when I was written up in Vogue, as someone who was changing my industry, someone who was using all this technology to know my clients, to know my business, to sell direct, to not give up 50%. To me, that was a huge breakthrough. You know, when I started to have young artists contact me to say, â€śAshley, how are you doing this?â€ť and I realized, my God, I have this influence to really help these young artists understand how to keep their money. The idea for an artist is that at the end of the day, if you have money, you can create any idea that you have. You donâ€™t really meet a bunch of pretentious artists. Artists just want to be able to create. We just wanna have what we need, the materials that we need to make any idea come to fruition. And so that is my greatest thing, that is my greatest accomplishment, 100%.
What impact does social media have on your business expansion? Iâ€™m definitely an instant follower.Â
Itâ€™s so incredible right now because I feel like now is the time to be an artist more than any other. To be able to work on a painting, put it on Instagram, and have this instant gratification, instant response from people, itâ€™s absolutely incredible. The thing of it is, I can post a painting and within a matter of seconds, Iâ€™ve got clients that are already texting me, Iâ€™m getting messages from people, Iâ€™m getting email. It used to be, even five or six years ago, that my website would be the first place to have the art. And then a few years before that, it would all come through a constant contact. I would send these emails before things went on the website, I would give my clients opportunity to purchase before they went public. So I mean now, having all this visual information, itâ€™s just so incredible! And this is what Iâ€™m telling these artists is that this is also free. These things are free tools that you can use to get your name out there. Itâ€™s pretty amazing.
What are your future plans?
Aside from global domination, maybe fifteen years from now I would love to start a huge art institution. I would love to have a place where artists could be creative. Where they could learn how to promote themselves, maybe like an art academy, using all this technology thatâ€™s happening. I could just imagine five years from now being able to send you this interview in hologram form. Iâ€™m so excited and enthralled by what the futureâ€™s gonna be, and by the opportunity to really share the negative experience that Iâ€™ve had. The time of growth that Iâ€™ve had in my life. The time of when my power got shut off because I didnâ€™t pay the bill, and I had to keep painting in the dark. I had tears running down my cheeks but it just forced me to work harder. I want to share all of these moments with all of these young artists and let them know that there is a rhythm to getting where you want to go. There is no instant gratification, which can be confusing right now with social media cause everything is so fast. I also have a book coming out in February, which is exciting. I have a home line coming out, which is very, very limited edition pieces. Theyâ€™re all numbered and signed and very, very, special. Just a much larger extension of what Iâ€™m creating on canvas. These are the really, really fun pieces for the home, which Iâ€™m very excited about.
What is your message for Markets Media readers?â€ťÂ
I mean, my major message is: â€śIf you wanna make it out there, you gotta hustle like somebodyâ€™s chasinâ€™ your ass down. Like somebodyâ€™s trying to take everything youâ€™ve got, no matter how much money youâ€™ve got, or how successful you are, you canâ€™t get lazy. You canâ€™t let any amount of success make you lazy. You gotta wake up like a lioness out on the plain, lookinâ€™ for your damn prey. Every. Single. Day. And, you know, too, you have to keep learning. You have to keep growing and learning. Success and money can be blinding and you think that you know everything and youâ€™ve already made it. Thereâ€™s always more to learn. Thereâ€™s always room to grow. This whole pattern of success is a circle, and when you make it all the way around the circle back to the top, you recreate yourself again. You keep pushing yourself and you keep learning. Thatâ€™s the main thing. And there ainâ€™t no time for laziness. 24 hours in a day. 8 hours for you, 8 hours to play, 8 hours to sleep. Boom. No fu*kinâ€™ excuses.
Clearly, Ashley is a no BS, take the bulls by the horns kinda gal and I couldnâ€™t be more excited for what her future holds! Bravo!