Ashley Jones: One piece at a time…

Posted by Michelle Wallace

Ashley Jones at ArtLoveMagic's Art & Coffee

Ashley Jones at ArtLoveMagic's Art & Coffee. Photo by Nicole Rodriguez

Recently I had the privilege to chat with artist Ashley Jones. Ashley’s incredible mixed media artworks will be featured at ArtLoveMagic’s upcoming show, Underground, on Saturday January 30th, 2010.

Ashley Jones has always been interested in art. Even as a child she loved making crafts, and was encouraged to attend art school. But she thought the only thing she could do with a career in art was to teach, so she never pursued it. Ironically, she is now a character development teacher in Grand Prairie. However, teaching left her summers open to explore her hobbies, and once again art resurfaced.

Ashley Jones jewelry

Ashley Jones jewelry

A few years ago, she started taking jewelry apart and recreating unique pieces for friends and family. The sudden demand for more prompted Ashley to sell her work. She loves finding random bits of things to incorporate into her jewelry, and tries to make them completely out of what she already has. She sells her jewelry under the name CrashAlter on Etsy.com. The name just made sense because she loves the physicality of tearing things apart in order to recreate something new. As a result, each piece of jewelry is interesting and unique.

Color has always drawn her in. Rifling through magazines, Ashley rips out colors and images that stand out to her. All the pieces find their way onto her canvases, which are alive with emotion and energy. Ashley uses her art as a sort of expressive therapy. Anger leads to collages of black and white with red splattered across the canvas. Happiness explodes in bright rainbows of color. Each piece of art is a mirror of her feelings and experiences. And once she gets started on a piece, it’s hard for her to stop. Most of her work was made in the succession of a few days, with a little help from insomnia. Creating just takes over for a while on these occasions.

At first, letting people see her work was difficult. Because each piece reflected her identity so vividly, it was shown with apprehension. But after so many validated her art, and even identified with the emotions expressed, Ashley’s vulnerability helped connect others to her work.

Ashley Jones collaboration with ArtLoveMagic founder Michael Lagocki

When ArtLoveMagic produced an art workshop for kids from various organizations including the Boys and Girls Club last summer, Ashley decided to volunteer. As she helped the kids, other workers encouraged her to submit her art for the multi-arts shows ArtLoveMagic regularly produces. Suddenly thrust into the spotlight, artists began asking her to collaborate on projects. For the upcoming Underground show, Ashley paired up with local artist Jason Ice on a piece, as well as partnering with ArtLoveMagic founder, Michael Lagocki for another piece. Although the artists have different styles than Ashley’s collage pieces, the collaboration has proven to be refreshing and exciting. During the event she will be one of the many artists producing live as audiences enjoy the show.

The biggest goal Ashley has set for herself now is to try and find a way to do art full-time. Talking with other artists, she finally feels like she’s found her place in the world. The artists at ArtLoveMagic have inspired her to keep at it, to be proactive about the business of art, and to put herself out there. Although it’s challenging to be her own biggest cheerleader, the reward is being comfortable with herself as an artist, and getting to use the creative arts to express and connect with others.

Meet Ashley Jones as she creates live at ArtLoveMagic’s Underground. Details and $5 pre-sale tickets at artlovemagic.com.

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One Response to “Ashley Jones: One piece at a time…”

  1. You can find my collages and jewelry at: http://www.cashleyjones.etsy.com

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