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Meet Ashley Adams

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

Hi Ashley, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Imagine a six-year-old with a messy curly bun lugging around a hot pink suitcase full of colored pencils and markers and a coloring book under her other arm. Being an only child, I turned to art as something I could do for an endless amount of time. As a little girl, I always stated, “I’m going to be an artist when I grow up!” Although many have said this when they were young, I wholeheartedly believed that was my purpose.

I never knew of, however, a living artist at the time. Of course, there are the legends like Picasso, Warhol, and Basquiat, but I did not see any representation of a Black female artist. Despite this fact, I continued to pursue my artistic passion and completed my BFA degree in Graphic Design at Cal State Fullerton and even achieved high honors as a Master’s student for my work at CCA in San Francisco.

Although I do have a design career as a senior lead global creative designer, I continue to work on my artistic practice and produce artwork that speaks to my truth. I’m living and breathing my dream day in and day out. Each art piece I create documents my journey of being a Black female living artist and I cannot ask for anything more.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
For the most part, it’s been a good learning experience. One of the most recent struggles I’ve faced is getting my artwork seen by more people. Social media definitely has its advantages and disadvantages. I love the aspect that anyone in the world can discover your work but I also know that Black artists like myself have a harder time being shown to the masses. It does get a bit discouraging at times but I always remind myself why I do what I do. I love creating art but most importantly, I love creating art for myself.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
My current artwork references my personal experiences living as a biracial woman in America. Creating this work helps strengthen the connection to my identity as I learn to celebrate my Colombian and African American roots.

When you see my artwork, you will see I use a custom color palette that is exclusive to my skin tone hues to reflect my biracial background. I developed this trademark concept in 2017 while working on my graduate thesis.

One of the proudest series I’ve created is called my Signature Collection. The abstracted collection style parallels my experience in society – always seen in fragments, never whole.

Another highlight in my art journey is being a selected semi-finalist artist at Miami Art Basel in 2019. Experiencing Art Basel for everything it offered was so beautiful.

What was your favorite childhood memory?
One of my fondest childhood memories is being selected as a finalist in the Young Master’s Art Show when I was in middle school. I remember seeing all of my family members at the award ceremony. They all wanted to take a picture of me with my artwork. It was such a memorable day because it showed me that my art was special.

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Image Credits:

Shadia Masri of SC Creative

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