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Life & Work with Ashley Urban

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Urban.

Hi Ashley, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I’ve been creating art and enamored with women’s fashion since I can remember. By the time I was six years old, I was begging my mom to buy me my first pair of heels…and the plastic Barbie princess heels would not suffice! No. I convinced her to take me to the women’s shoe department and buy me a black pair of kitten heels; the kind with the little ball of black fluffy fur on top.

While they offered nothing even close to my size, she got me the smallest size available, and I strutted around the house in them for years. My entire childhood, I dreamed of one day indulging in all of the glamorous tokenisms of being a fiercely feminine woman. By age 10, I was ravenously drawing and clipping images out of magazines to create collages on my bedroom walls. My fascination with femininity and creative expression has always been deeply rooted and never wavered. In high school, I had developed an immense flair in the way I dressed. I had grown up with a sewing machine, and by my teenage years, I had started making my own garments and altering the pieces in my existing wardrobe. I prided myself in things like making my prom dress, my jewelry, and even my handbags. It was a time in my life where I was constantly working on numerous creative projects.

During high school, it was also an impossible task to get me to stop making art. I took every art class my school offered and by senior year when I had earned enough credits to graduate early, I instead opted to stay in school simply so I could repeat art courses and remain in the art room for as long as possible. My entire adult life, I’ve done all kinds of odd creative jobs and projects. In 2013, I moved to Los Angeles on a whim. During my time here, I’ve floated where ever the wind carries me and taken advantage of the vast empire of creative opportunities which make LA so unique. In 2015, I decided I wanted to explore the world of art galleries and worked as an intern at Corey Helford Gallery for a year, which was a dream come true for me at the time. That was really the pinnacle that opened up a whole world of bizarre and exciting opportunities, experiences, and the most marvelous people I could ever imagine. It was the spawning of a web that is now the vast network of the life I’ve created here. The last several years have consisted of everything from showing in solo and group art exhibitions to working as a stylist, floral designer, textile illustrator, fashion designer, and vintage clothier. Most everyone that knows me cannot pinpoint exactly what I do for a “career”, and quite frankly, neither can I. What I do know is that I create ravenously. I have fun endlessly. And I remain passionate and immensely curious about the things in life that thrill me.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I don’t believe anyone has experienced a smooth road. I am no exception. I am fortunate to have had a rather unconventional but adventurous upbringing. One in which my parents and friends always supported my incessant need for creative expression, which I am forever grateful. From the age of 11 until my mid 20’s, I experienced what felt like an insurmountable number of back to back traumatic events and losses. While I struggled deeply for many years, I absolutely credit the grief I experienced for opening up the massive well of creative potential within me. I discovered that pain can either be used to fan the flames of anger and self-loathing, or it can be used to strengthen ourselves. It can be used as a gasoline for our creative fire and a catalyst for alchemizing positive change. I sometimes find myself thanking my pain and struggles. I’ve created a much happier, immensely expressive person through it.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Right now, I’m focusing my fine art skills toward textile and print design. I’ve recently licensed several textile prints to a major clothing brand, which thrills me because it is a combination of art meets fashion. I’m also building upon my existing website which houses a style blog, a multi-media portfolio, and a webstore where I sell women’s vintage garments and my artwork. I always have a plethora of big ideas and projects that I’m working on quietly, so you’ll have to stay tuned…

Contact Info:

  • Email: theashleyurban@gmail.com
  • Website: theashleyurban.com
  • Instagram: @TheAshleyUrban

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