Name: Ashley L.
Minor: Gender Studies
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Ashley combines modern and vintage styles with retro pants and a t-shirt from Urban Outfitters.
How did you develop your interest in art? I’ve always kind of had it, and I never really realized that I could turn that into a career. I’m really interested in combining art with media studies and women and gender studies to help shape societal expectations and norms through the media with art and inclusivity.
What are some of the projects you’re working on? I run my own t-shirt business. So it’s a little outside of school project. I do line drawings and illustrations, and people can message me on Instagram if they see one that they like or they have an idea in mind. For 30 bucks, I make a shirt for them.
She sports the popular Stan Smith Adidas.
What are some of your favorite designs that you’ve done? It’s relatively new, but I do a lot of abstract women’s bodies, and I do a lot of faces. That’s all looping into my interest of wanting to help reshape norms and standards through wearable art.
What do you like about doing it through t-shirts in particular? I like that you can just throw it on. At least for me, I have a t-shirt that I made for myself, and I can just throw it on and think, “I made this. This was my idea.” It’s cool to see people walking around wearing my stuff. I think, “I made that.”
Fjallraven Kankens are the perfect back to school bag.
How do your studies influence your art? I feel for me at least, it’s sort of reclaiming my own body because I feel the media and everything else is so quick to sexualize the female form. But I think as a women identified person, you can look at yourself and learn to love yourself, whether it’s displaying it on a t-shirt or art or talking about it. I think that’s super powerful.
What do you like about using social media as an artist? I think it’s a super helpful tool because if you can regularly display your stuff, your creations and everything, your following grows and you can see that. I’ve been really fortunate because a lot of my friends are people who follow me on Instagram and are super supportive. So it kind of serves as a motivation and also free advertising,which is really nice.
How do you want your art to grow? I’d love to have a small business with it or work for some publication and use the artistic tools that I’m gaining here and combine that with social justice and reshaping of society. So working at a very inclusive, equitable, awesome, forward-thinking magazine would be super cool. And then having my own business on the side would be great.
What are your inspirations? Well I love Rookie Mag. And I guess I’m really more inspired by the people around me and things in everyday life. I draw a lot of inspiration from that in daily life.
How would you describe your personal style? I like to be comfy. I like modern styles and the lines that go with that. I would say a little bit of vintage and modern.
Who are some of your style inspirations? Honestly the people around me. I don’t think I have one particular person, like a celebrity or someone. I think just the people around me. I draw a lot of inspiration from them.
Do you wear your relatives’ clothes a lot? Yeah I do. I have a big chunky sweater that was my mom’s when she was my age. I incorporate lots of new and old pieces together to kind of make whatever I’m wearing.
Words and photos by Hannah Steinkopf-Frank, @HSteinkopfFrank