Ashtyn’s harmonious work is rooted in her curiosity to explore visual experience and response. She eagerly combines and arranges color, shape, and textures in her abstract paintings and murals.
With a knack for collecting colorful fragments, Ashtyn creates collages that feel simply meant-to-be. You can find her art vivifying residential and commercial spaces alike.
Ashtyn shares what keeps her original, engaged, and loving her work:
Tell us about your art!
My art explores the interaction between color and shape. My compositions are comprised of thoughtful shapes and intentional colorways that invite the viewer to pause and slow down. When I’m creating, I spend a lot of time curating the right colorway and mixing all of my colors by hand. No colors straight from a tube here! I take time to play with cut-out shapes and observe how they interact with one another before finding their way to the canvas, paper, or wall.
What is the best part of creating?
This is a tough one. I am so inspired by each part of the process. I’d have to say the best part is receiving a commission inquiry. To be trusted with a custom original is not something I take lightly. I am always so grateful for the opportunity to make something perfectly unique for a specific space.
How do you stay inspired and avoid creative ruts?
I have sweet friends in the creative community that I can trust. If I’m feeling uninspired, I have relationships that are a safe space to share how I’m feeling. They keep me going and inspired. I don’t actually avoid creative ruts. In different seasons of life, creativity may look different. If I’m in a rut, I acknowledge how I’m feeling, give myself space and time, and trust the process.
Favorite songs for boosting creativity?
Anything that gets me dancing! Right now, I love listening to Taylor Swift’s album Lover when I’m making. I’m pretty confident my studio-neighbors can hear me singing along.
How does creativity bring goodness to your life?
Connecting with other creatives brings overwhelming goodness! It is such a gift to be linked with others who encourage me. In return, I’m privileged to celebrate them and their craft.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
It sounds cliche’, but I’ve wanted to be an artist for as long as I can remember. My mom loves to tell people that when I was four years old in daycare, I gave another kid a black eye because he didn’t like my drawing. Apparently, I told him my mom thinks I’m the best artist in the whole world. Oops…
What do people NOT know about what you do?
How many versions a piece goes through before I consider it complete! While my work may appear simple, the colors, shapes, and orientation cycle through a handful of versions and many edits before I feel like it’s finished.
What made you decide to start creating art?
I started when I was young, but I continued because of how it made me and others feel. I was fascinated by what I could do with an assortment of materials and my hands. As I studied art in college, I was captivated by the process of making. Plus, I was experiencing so much joy in seeing others encounter my work.
“I was fascinated by what I could do with an assortment of materials and my hands.”
How did you develop your unique style?
Making a lot of work has evolved my style over time.
Where do you go when you need a break?
For small breaks, you’ll find me in my sunroom with the doors shut and coffee in hand. For bigger breaks, I’ll head to my hometown, Duluth, on Lake Superior (also with a coffee in hand).
Let’s be real, what’s the hardest/most frustrating thing about what you do?
Overcoming self-doubt and insecurities. Sometimes those thoughts creep their way in. Making art is really vulnerable, and there are seasons where making and sharing work becomes more challenging.
Have you ever considered throwing in the towel? What stopped you?
Not once. While I’ve faced many challenges, it’s never been an option to quit. I absolutely love what I do! Being an artist and sharing my work with others brings me so much joy. It’s worth every hardship.
“Being an artist and sharing my work with others brings me so much joy.”
Favorite way to celebrate a job well done?
A good cup of coffee, a great ice cream cone, or the perfect cocktail from a local distillery!
Do you have an all-time favorite piece/project?
Yes! The one I’m currently finishing up, a nursery mural! It will cover one and a half walls creating a playful, soft, and charming backdrop for a baby on the way and babies to come. Creating for a space where such a big part of life happens is an honor. I’m grateful for the opportunity.