I’ve been drawing since I was a child but I took a painting class in high school so around 2008 I started painting. Then I went to Emory University to study fine arts. I graduated in 2012.
My Artist Life
I actually used to come here to Soho a lot, because I quit my job at Zara and I came and I sold a piece actually that same day for like $150. It was different from the pieces I painted on canvas—like 9/12 canvases. Now I do these at work and I just figured I’d come out and try and sell them. it’s random now that I have a job, but if I get restless who knows what will happen next.
Being an artist is challenging because you have to constantly put yourself out there. This is not the kind of field where you can just go work immediately. I’ve been doing a lot of shows. I’ve been painting live. I come out here and my boyfriend does polaroid photography. We’ve been doing some collaborations, I do some body painting. We’re trying to go the fine art route and get into galleries and stuff like that.
They Underestimate Me
When I paint live, people are actually really kind of fascinated by it because I think they underestimate me as a black woman painter. But as soon as I start painting that all goes away. I’ve done shows where some people didn’t think that it was my work because of how I look. But that’s whatever. You show your talent and your talent speaks for you.
A turning point for me was when I moved from my mother’s house. I was always so reserved and sheltered so when I moved in with my boyfriend and now I’m kinda on my own trying to figure out my next move. So I have to figure out everything for myself.
Ashleigh Alexandria, 25,