Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Rivardo.
Ashley, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was born and raised in Long Island, New York, for the beginning part of my life. I drew as a kid constantly, playing with different colored crayons and paints. I also grew up watching lots of animated movies, and I was always inspired and fascinated by the colors and stories. I was about seven when we moved down the coast to Florida, and we moved back and forth between the two states over the course of six years. Moving so often made me shy and withdrawn, and I turned towards art and drawing to express myself. After our final move, I began to take oil painting lessons, which started my fine art career. I have been oil painting for eight years now and drawing even longer. I was 17 when I realized that I needed to express who I truly was, and that art was my career path. I took inspiration from my New York-Italian family, a family filled with hardworking, funny people who always supported each other, and had a love for the arts. My family inspired me to express who I was, and art was (and still is) a huge part of that. I found out about Savannah College of Art & Design, and I knew that that was where I needed to go. I only applied to SCAD – and thankfully got accepted – and I decided to major in a B.F.A. in Illustration, as well as double minoring in Illustration for Entertainment as well as Painting. Over the past few years, I have been able to paint murals, participate in major projects. and find true happiness and drive-by narrowing in on my passion. The one major lesson I have learned is to not be afraid because fear will hold you back from achieving your dreams.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I illustrate characters, environments, and worlds. I am honing in on my visual development and character design skills, because I want to do both of those things for major animation studios, namely Walt Disney Animations. I design environments, props, and characters to fully flesh out a world for a story because storytelling through visuals is my passion. I love thinking about other possible universes and aspects whilst trying to ground them in some sort of reality, and I think that it is amazing how a person can be transported through art. I specialize in color, shape, and fun because I think that these words all describe me in some way. I hope to inspire others through my art by giving them the courage to never give up on their skills because hardworking and determination will make you a better artist in the end. I also want others to understand that dreams are achievable through hard work and having fun, and making sure that the pressures of how an artist “should be” is not how you as an artist actually are, and that that’s a good thing. I want you to know that my artwork is still growing and that I am continuing to push myself to be better, but I also want you to know that I am becoming more confident in my work because I feel like that it is beginning to express who I really am more and more.
Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
I think each artist has their own path towards becoming exactly who they want to be, and I think that each road presents its own challenges. I think that one that most everyone can relate to is the burden of social media, and how it makes artwork become so saturated that we never take the time to soak it all in. I also think that conditions for artists depend on where the artist is because an environment can either allow a person to thrive or lose their creativity. Whether it is a person’s living conditions or the pressures of social media/of what it means to be a “good artist”, I think there are a lot of challenges that artists face. I think life for an artist has also been helped through social media getting a person’s work out there, but I think it can be hard through the judgment of others and judgment of self. I think the best way for cities to support young artists is to help promote them through social media, help fund events such as shows or galleries that people can be seen at, and just recognize each artist’s hard work, passion, and message. Every artist has a story to tell, and they deserve to be heard.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
People can go to my Instagram @arivarillustration, as well as my Twitter @arivar_illu. People can support me by commissioning me or buying prints, but any recognition helps me build my brand! I am planning some other fun things for the future, so definitely keep an eye out for that.
- Website: http://arivar20.myportfolio.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/arivarillustration/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/arivar_illu
- Other: https://www.inprnt.com/gallery/arivarillustrations/
Photograph of me was taken by my roommate, Mackinzi Blank, the rest of the artwork is all my own.