We had the good fortune of connecting with Paige Ashmore and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paige, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I’ve always drawn or painted my whole life. I decided to pursue an artistic career because I believe in the power of art can change people’s lives. I do it because I can’t think of doing anything else. It feels like a calling, like something deep inside of me that is driving me.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I work mainly in soft pastel and I feel that medium choice sets me apart, as it is not often that you run into pastel artists. I love creating art that is whimsical and makes people consider new ideas. I studied art at Arizona State University and got my BFA in Drawing from there. I’ve taken a lot of in person and online art classes and the biggest piece of advice I could give anyone is to continue to be curious. Take classes and always have a beginner’s mind: fresh and open and curious about what could be next. The main struggle I’ve faced has been in being seen. It just takes time. Some people can be overnight successes and we all love those stories, but mine has been one that has unfolded slowly over time. I’ve learned to count my successes with connections I make with people and make sure they are meaningful. I can’t think of doing anything else, and that idea keeps me going. That and I am constantly inspired by the work of others, even if the ‘work’ is their own life and what they’re doing with it. What I would like the world to know about my brand and my story is that my work is an invitation for you to explore the relationship you have with your inner child, that place where magic and enchantment can happen. When people say my work reminds them of when they were little or their favorite children’s book, I feel as if I have succeeded, because I want them to connect with their lost magic.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There’s so much to see that’s interesting in the Valley. I would take a friend to the Mystery Castle, which is in South Phoenix. It’s such an interesting place with a lot of unusual things to see. I would also take them to a play at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts. They do a lot of great productions there. We would eat at Wildflower Bread Company and Bisbee Breakfast Club, two of my favorite places. I’d show them the many murals you can find around the city. We would also go to Coffee Rush for coffee. They do a wonderful mint mocha frost! They’re also open late and they have beautiful areas outside to hang out.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Meri Wiley is someone I’d like to give a shout out to. She runs a meetup called the cARTel which you can find on Meetup. Before COVID, we would meet weekly. She has an incredible art studio that she opened up to folks, and hopefully it won’t be too much farther in the future when we can meet again. She has health issues that she’s dealing with and what I admire about her is that she makes these beautiful dolls and has been published in art doll magazines, all of which she does despite dealing with her health. She has a great attitude and absolutely believes in the healing aspect of the creative process.
Paige Ozma Ashmore