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Ashley Longshore: The unapologetically daring artist who paints outside the lines

There are many artists and creatives who have followed their dreams and passions, but not everyone is able to bring their vision to the world in a form that truly speaks to them. When I look at Ashley’s profile, it becomes clear in an instant that she has made her own mark in the world. That is something that instantly sets her apart; her fearlessness to not be bothered by what anyone thinks about her or her work.

This week, I talk about Ashley Longshore, because she has proven over the years that she is a woman in arts to be reckoned with

Based in New York , Ashley Longshore is a self-taught artist who constantly challenges the traditional business model of art galleries. She is seen as a pioneer in social media marketing and is using her platform to encourage authenticity and positivity. According to her, she is inspired by “trophy wives and American greed.” In 2017, Ashley published a book, “You Don’t Look Fat, You Look Crazy,” which is a memoir offering a look into her quirky personality. In 2014, she was also included by Forbes on its list of the ‘South’s leading female entrepreneurs’.

Who is Ashley Longshore?

Is it Ashleys’s glittery, feminine take of everything, or is it the way she carries herself so unapologetically? Whatever it is about Ashley, I could not peel my eyes off from her work. She seems to be one of those people whose vibes instantly light up the room. After all, Ashley’s admission of love for life all but confirms this!

“I want to celebrate my life. I want to dance. I want to laugh. I want to have art all around me. I want to make art. I want to meet interesting people. I want to be so happy I cry you know, that’s what I want in my life.”

Ashley Longshore – Arts to Hearts Podcast

Termed as ‘Fashion’s Latest Art Darling’ by The New York Times, Ashley recalls having the freedom to be herself even from a young age. She was never boxed in or forced to follow the traditional ideals of finding a rich husband and to have children and a big house. She always felt different. Her ability to freely discover who she was, without any pressures of who she was supposed to be, made all the difference to the way her life unfolded.

Finding the confidence and channeling her energy

Ashley finds creating art to be like meditation. It is something that can make the world disappear for her as she gets absorbed in the colors and wonderment of her art. Did she ever have any doubts about her art journey? Fortunately, her survival instincts overcame any fears she could ever encounter in her way.

“Self-doubt has never been an option. It’s been a matter of putting myself out there in as many ways as possible and finding who my audience is and just go in for it as hard as I can.”

Ashley Longshore – Arts to hearts podcast

Ashley calls herself an anxious person, but it is what she does with her anxiety that feels encouraging. In her own words, “she has a lot of energy”. So, the only logical solution for her is to put all of that energy into something that can benefit her. This has been her coping mechanism since her early childhood where she kept herself busy.

“I need to put my energy towards something. So when I was growing up, and still living with my parents, I mean I was in dance class and theater.”

Ashley Longshore – Arts to hearts podcast
Image taken from Business Jet Traveler’s website

Ashley is a firm believer in being fearless. For her, fear is never the answer.

“You cannot be afraid. That fire of fear will either burn your house down or keep you warm at night, you cannot be afraid you have to let that be a catalyst.”

Ashley Longshore – Arts to hearts podcast

Ashley’s philosophy on being an artist

Ashley always wanted to paint, and at some point, the vast collection of her paintings prompted her to make the life changing decision of starting a career in the art world. She vowed to become the female role model she never had.

“When I researched, I didn’t necessarily find a lot of female Artists. So I thought, well, hell I’m going to be a badass female.”

Ashley Longshore – Arts to hearts podcast

For Ashley, there isn’t a world where art does not exist. And isn’t it coded in our genetics? From the stone ages, humans have been creating art in some way, whether they were cave drawings or statues. In Ashley’s words, “everyone has art” in them.

“You have this amazing individual expression that people can respond to or not but it is in the footprint in our history. It’s important.”

Ashley Longshore – John Dalton Podcast Ep 20

When Ashley started her art business, she did not center her creativity around the fact whether her art was going to sell or not. Rather, she made what she wanted to create and identified the right target audience for it.

“I think when you are an artist and you realize you can take your creativity, and then also mold it into business opportunities that are marketable across a wide range of buyers, you don’t worry about selling it or not. You worry more about the group that you’re going to market and target to. And they all sell eventually.”

Ashley Longshore – John Dalton Podcast Ep 20

There are billions of people in the world who need art, and Ashley’s advice is to find the people that need your work.

Art by Ashley Longshore

Where does she find fulfillment?

Does an artist aspire to sell her/his work to achieve fame one day? Ashley thinks that while artists can set goals for themselves and aspire to be on the red carpet one day, this is not something that will fulfill them eventually. Finding inner joy is the only answer to this equation.

“You have to find joy within yourself.”

Ashley Longshore – Arts to hearts podcast

While Ashley is grateful for her journey where she had to work constantly to get to this point, it has also been quite exhausting for her. While she may want attention for her work as an artist, she finds happiness in the simple things. In the end, what truly makes you a successful artist is the fulfillment.

“My happiest day is a day painting at my easel, walking through the garden, cooking and fun dinner. It’s much far more simplistic where my joy is in my life now.”

“It’s a soulful level of fulfillment.”

Ashley Longshore – Arts to hearts podcast

If there is one thing I want you to take away from this feature, it’s to not let anything limit you. Despite not having been to art school, Ashley started an art business that has given her every bit of success she hoped to achieve. She had a business mindset, and she was able to balance her business and creativity in a way that serves her interests. More importantly, don’t shy away from who you are at your core. The world will never stop needing art, and you don’t have to mold yourself into a specific box to give it to them!

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