By: Danielle Cornely
With the grand opening of our new design studio and art gallery fast approaching, we’re getting more acquainted with our featured artists. The first time we saw Ashley Hizer’s work, we knew she was a perfect fit for our first quarter’s look. Abstract paintings with fresh, bold colors complimented the bright and punchy colors of our custom pillows and handmade throws. The more we get to know Ashley, the more pride we feel in being able to showcase her extraordinary art. She is truly a talented artist with a passion for creating work she believes in.
1. You started your professional career as a language arts educator. What prompted you to follow your passion for painting and make a career change?
“I had always wanted a career that allowed me to express myself creatively and encourage others to do so as well. Teaching allowed me to do that and make a difference in kids’ lives. I’m grateful for the years I spent doing so, but to be honest, I still felt a creative void as the demands of lesson planning and grading essays took priority over painting. I realized that it was best to take a risk and go full-time with my art. I’m so glad I did because I realized that art can make a difference in people’s lives too.”
2. What advice would you give to others thinking about making the leap into being a full time artist?
“I would encourage them to go for it because life is short. However, expect it to take a lot of hard work and time to get the ball rolling. I had a part-time job to supplement at the beginning, and learned it does require ‘un-fun’ administrative tasks to get the business going, such as marketing and finances. At times, it can be a challenge but it is so, so worth it.”
3. Describe the process of creating an abstract painting. Do you start with a plan, or just go with the flow?
“I usually have some sort of a rough vision for a painting, such as a color scheme or a style, but sometimes I’ll simply start a project just because I want to use a certain brush. My work is always intentional, but I’ve found that I produce my best work when I don’t overthink it. However, it’s a layered and detailed process that includes lots of refining over time.”
4. You use so many sophisticated colors in your work. Which ones inspire you the most?
“Vibrant colors inspire me. It seems that almost every work has at least a hint of blue or green.”
5. How do you feel your hometown/upbringing in Southern California reflects in your work?
“I grew up frequenting the beach, so the textures, space, and colors of my artwork, for example, have always reflected that setting. My last place in San Diego, before I moved to Atlanta, overlooked downtown and the bay. The movement of the waves, swirling oranges of sunset, juxtaposition of linear lines and soft ocean curls still inspire my work. There’s many aspects of the South that aid my vision, but I’m a Californian at heart.”