Ashley Longshore on Taking Risks, Being Bold, and Believing in Yourself as an Artist

In this Arts to Hearts Podcast Episode, Ashley Longshore and Charuka Arora explore the journey of pursuing a creative career and living a life of fulfillment and joy. Ashley shares her creative process and experiences in overcoming adversity and achieving success.

She encourages listeners to find connection through art, stand up for themselves, and take risks. Charuka also shares her advice on building a team as an artist, becoming an artist entrepreneur, and taking a leap of faith.

Through this podcast, Ashley and Charuka provide inspiring advice on finding the courage to be yourself, finding happiness, and striving for success. This podcast is sure to motivate and empower you to pursue your passions and live an authentic and meaningful life.

Topics covered in this podcast

  • 01:11: Conversation between Ashley Longshore and Charuka Arora on Finding the Courage to Be Yourself
  • 03:44: Conversation between Ashley Longshore and Charuka Arora on Finding Happiness and Being Yourself
  • 08:36: Conversation with Ashley Longshore: Exploring Her Creative Process and Life Behind the Scenes
  • 13:21: Conversation between Ashley Longshore and Charuka Arora on Overcoming Adversity and Achieving Success
  • 15:21: Conversation between Ashley Longshore and Charuka Arora on the Journey of Pursuing a Career as an Artist
  • 16:52: Conversation between Charuka Arora and Ashley Longshore on the Joys of Being an Artist
  • 23:48: Conversation with Ashley Longshore: Exploring Her Biggest Struggle in Building a Creative Career
  • 27:46: Conversation between Ashley Longshore and Charuka Arora on Art, Identity, and Self-Expression
  • 35:06: Conversation between Ashley Longshore and Charuka Arora on Standing Up for Yourself and Taking Risks
  • 46:10: Interview with Ashley Longshore: Advice for Creative Women
  • 47:48: Conversation between Charuka Arora and Ashley Longshore on Taking a Leap of Faith

About Ashley Longshore

Ashley Longshore is a New Orleans/New York-based, self-taught artist who is regularly called a young, feminist Andy Warhol for her contribution to pop art and the creative inspiration she finds in pop culture figures and brands. Longshore has built an empire in the art world and challenges the traditional business model of art galleries. As a powerhouse artist and pioneer in social media marketing, she has exploded into a global brand and uses her platform to encourage positivity and authenticity. Dubbed by The New York Times as “Fashion’s Latest Art Darling,” Longshore has paved a colorful path for pop art and fashion to coexist.

Longshore recently released her second book, Roar!: A Collection of Mighty Women (Rizzoli, November 2021), featuring inspirational portraits of some of the most culturally seminal women in history. She also just completed her residency at The Peninsula Beverly Hills. Longshore teamed up with The Peninsula to celebrate the hotel’s 30th anniversary. During her months-long stay, she created a series of paintings and curated experiences that embodied the history, allure, and glamour that is synonymous with Beverly Hills.

Longshore was Bergdorf Goodman’s first female artist solo exhibit in its 100-plus-year history, designed the retailer’s “Palette at BG” café, and was IMG’s Artist-in-Residence for New York Fashion Week. She appeared on Bravo’s Project Runway and her artwork inspired Christian Siriano’s Fall 2019 runway collection. Longshore has collaborated with Gucci, Titan Black, Maybelline, and others. Her most recent and ongoing collaborations include Christofle, Dee Hilfiger, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Judith Leiber.

Longshore’s art has been exhibited across America and Europe and has been featured in publications such as Vogue, Elle, and Forbes. Her most popular works include her larger-than-life portraits of fashion icons such as Kate Moss, Anna Wintour, and Audrey Hepburn, as well as her Trophy series, a collection of pieces exploring the theme of money and power, and Labeled series, an assortment of vibrant poster-style works featuring fun and irreverent messaging.

Longshore says she aspires to “Have a career like Andy Warhol and leave a legacy like Peggy Guggenheim.” Ultimately, she will leave her mark as a prolific and celebrated pop artist who through the development of her foundation, The Ashley Longshore Charitable Trust, will leave a vital capsule of her collection of works.


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Key Highlights from the Episode

Q. Charuka: First, I really want to ask you something: how do you find the courage to be your fully original self?

A. Ashley Longshore: Well, I don’t know any other way to be, you know, I grew up, in the south in the United States obviously, and I was very much being forced into this box of being like sweet and a southern Bell and you know to go find a husband that had a lot of money, and you know to have children and have a big house, and uh, I just… that never felt like a life old to me.

I always felt different, like what you had told me earlier. I always felt, um, not in a bad way, but just like it would have been a lot easier if that is what I wanted to do with my life. Um, so I mean, I think I thought it through. You know, going to school obviously means getting an education, but being sort of nomadic with all of that is because I went to boarding school in a place called Atlanta, Georgia, and then went to college at the University of Montana. I lived in the northeast for a while, and I just kind of have always. I followed my heart, and you know that when I found paintings much like yourself, I found this very great.

In my life, I found this thing that painting fulfilled me, not only in an exciting way. But also in a very deep meditational way, I found a way to make the world disappear and to find this place of just color, calm, and wonderment that I could control.

So I mean I still feel that way when I get in my studio. I have the power to just make everything go away. It’s very meditative, and I need that in nature as much as I need wildness, going out, fashion, and all those other things that I love so much.

I don’t have anything to lose by just being myself, but I can be misunderstood. That’s for sure.

and with some of the huge, you know, collaborations that I’ve done, I’ve had people that have been like Ashley’s Instagram woo; it’s racy. You know, We wish you didn’t use profanity, and I’m like, Well, whenever I mention your brand, I won’t. Also, you know you can curate the product, but you can’t curate the producer.

I want to be happy. I’m not happy when I’m not being me. I also know where my heart is. I just want to have fun. I love joy. 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

Q. Charuka: Oh god, I love that, but tell me something. I think the question I think a lot of us do, if we ask ourselves. We all want to be happy. But I think a lot of us struggled with this, and I think this is something that I also admitted on the last episode. Especially in today’s time, there’s so much noise around us. There is so much constant information that sometimes it’s hard to know who you are, what your surroundings are, what your voice is, and what other people are. How do you know that?

This is me having the courage to actually go for it. Did you at any point feel okay, like you found yourself? Were you always like this?

A. Ashley Longshore: When did I find myself? I think I’ve always been here with myself. I think the difference is my inner monologue and what I say to myself. And a lot of this just takes experience and rejection and all sorts of things.

But I think the The main thing that’s changed is that I now tell myself the reasons why I can do something, not the reasons why I can’t.

You know, being extremely ambitious and working very hard. Also, you know, My father didn’t write me a check, I didn’t marry anybody with a whole bunch of money or any, and I’ve had to do it all on my own, so there really hasn’t been time for excuses or to sit around wondering about, you know, when it’s time to work, which I love. It’s an honor to work. So, um, you know that self-doubt has never been an option.

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

Q. Charuka: So you’ve discovered that you enjoy painting as well. I remember a line where you said, You know, even if you find the love of your life or a million dollars, the moment you find a painting, you know that this is something that will be your true love for the rest of your life. Ashley, who were you before that? Are you still the same person you are today? 

A. Ashley Longshore: Exactly. I mean, I’m a very anxious person. I think probably because I do have so much energy, I need to put my energy towards something, so, you know, look at when I was growing up and still living with my parents. Anything they could get me involved in to get my energy directed Fortunately, I found art on my own.

So yes, when I found art, I’d never found anything that I loved that much. And as you know, I never went to school for it. I just started painting all the time. I started painting as much as I could. I stopped going out at night. Just because I wanted to paint—that’s all I wanted to do—and at some point I looked around at all these paintings lining the walls and I just thought Well, I’m going to start a career.

Why can’t I sell these things? There are other artists out there doing this; when I researched, I didn’t necessarily find a lot of female artists.

So I thought, Hell, I’m going to be a badass female. A successful artist, I’m going to go out there and I’m going to do this. I’m going to show him what’s up, and so you know that’s what I’m doing.

It doesn’t feel like I’ve done it. It feels like I’m just getting started, but it does feel good, too. You know you set goals for yourself and you do these things and you think, Oh my God, I can’t wait to do a red carpet or I can’t wait to meet this celebrity in person, and you do those things and it’s awesome.

But you know you have to find fulfillment within yourself. You have to find joy within yourself. Not on the VIP red carpet.

All The spin, the spin, the spin you know the realness is in and the beauty of a day and the joy of a day is my favorite day honestly. It’s like at the end of the day when I step back and I look at my easel and I’ve painted something and then I have my dogs and I walk through my garden and I pick some lettuce and some tomatoes, and then go cook with my man. I mean, that’s nice. That’s nice. It’s simple. It’s very simple.

Q. Charuka: Yes,  I love that. But I really want to know who you really are and what life looks like for you?

A. Ashley Longshore: Well, I definitely am that person. But there’s also the fact that I don’t post much about my personal life with my friends. A whole lot of things with you know, Michael, or necessarily even with my family, like there’s a lot of things I do keep personally, because I just think, you know, shit it’s not all out there for everybody to see, but I am wide open and wild, and you could ask any of my friends.

At the same time, you know I’m not always the happiest person on the planet; I’m a very intense person. I’m extremely intense, yes, and aggressive, in the sense that I haven’t been aggressive in a negative way.

But like when I decide I’m going to paint 20 paintings in, you know, two weeks. You better get out of my way. You know like I’ll wake up at four in the morning, I’ll paint for 14 hours, I’ll ice my shoulder, my hip, and my wrist, and when I’m done, I’ll pass out with a heating pad on my back.

I wake up and I go for it, and my team knows like, Don’t.” Don’t mess with me when I get in that mode. I also move very fast. I’m very fast when I want something. Um, but I mean, I don’t know any other way to be It’s just the way I roll. 

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