28 Sep 2021

We chat to Australian abstract artist Ashleigh Holmes

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Ash Holmes is a Sydney-based artist who draws on colour psychology and her environment on Sydney's Northern Beaches for an ever-evolving source of inspiration in her abstract paintings.

Holmes is self-taught, but creativity runs in her blood as a fourth-generation artist. As such, she naturally reflects on her subconscious, inspired by concepts from an impulsive vision or an unexpected muse.

In this interview Ashleigh shares with us about her journey so far, what makes her work unique and some challenging lessons to date.  

Q1. Can you tell us what it is you create?
I create mixed medium abstract artworks on canvas, as well as photography and some ceramics!

Q2: Can you share with us a bit about your journey so far and where it all began?
My journey really began at home when I was very little at age 3, I come from three generations of artists - my Mum and Grandmother are both creatives so a huge part of my childhood was spent drawing, painting and playing. I carried this the whole way through both primary and high school and soon after I graduated, I spent a lot of time painting for friends and family and was working for Maurie and Eve. Kelly the owner was really supportive and encouraging of me investing time in painting, although I had been painting since I was little this was another huge part of my journey, trusting myself to become a full-time artist.

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Q3: What do you think it is that makes your work unique?
I am always trying new techniques and experimenting with different materials, think it's important to me to grow, develop and try new things. I think that's what makes it unique, that it's constantly evolving.

Q4: What has been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to grow your creative business?
I have always been a very visual person so I really love photography and playing around with instagram. I wouldn't so much call it a strategy but posting regularly on instagram and staying authentic to my style has really helped grow my business.

Q5: What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt so far in your career?
I really love the creative side of my business, the painting, photography, social media, graphic design etc. but there is much more involved in running a business. I think recognising when it's time to outsource and investing in areas that might not be your strength can be a challenge but also very rewarding as it leaves time to focus on the bits you love.

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Q6: What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your career?
The creative industry is such a supportive and collaborative space, one of the best things has been meeting so many like-minded, kind people. I feel really lucky. I love the sense of community and support amongst creatives in this area.

Q7: Where do you go or what do you do to recharge your creativity?
I love going into nature, once upon a time travel really left me inspired to create and spending time with my new kitten Inki, fiancé and family are how I recharge myself creatively. I use music as a muse and never paint without it on.

Q8: How are you fulfilling your creative passions this year?I have always loved photography so have been doing a lot of that in 2021 and with all this time in lockdown spending lots of time in the studio painting which really fulfills me.

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Q9: We’re all about women inspiring women. Who inspires you?
My Mum and Grandmother are highly inspiring to me as artists themselves and my mentor Kelly Green Davies who owns Maurie and Eve. My girlfriends are also really inspiring, so many of them have their own businesses and put so much of themselves into what they are creating I find it really amazing to watch evolve.

Q10: What advice would you impart on the next generation of women, and women in business?
My advice for the younger generation and women in business would be to find a circle of people who you can trust and will support and encourage you. When things seem hard that circle can really change your outlook.


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