Curly Hair Hella Care with Jen at Hive Salon

A little background. I’ll keep it short. I’ve had naturally curly hair my whole life. Cherub curls underneath and more wavy the closer it gets to the top of my head. Easy to form into curls when wet. Ringlets in humidity. I’ve done everything. Chemically straightened, dyed, bleached, bangs… all in the name of good ole change. But after seeing a picture of myself as a kiddo with the curliest hair this last spring, I decided I wanted to pursue my curls with the wooing tactics of a lover. It was time to get a curly hair cut.

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My hair before my future curly-haircut was all one length, I mainly wore it flat and wavy or straightened it. I shampooed maybe twice a week, conditioned maybe 3-4? Styling looked like a squirt of hair gel (no specific brand, non-organic) scrunched in, then twisting a few strands and left it air dry. My move in the winter was to toss a beanie over it and try to get it to try in really flat waves, touching up pieces with a curling wand and riding that look for a few days before washing it again.

Here is my hair pre-curly cut last spring/winter. No layers. No shape.

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After seeing a post on Instagram from @jendoesyouhair about her dry curly cuts she gives at her salon, The Hive Salon (@thehivesalon)in NE Minneapolis, I knew this was my place. I had also hung my art here before and knew the space was gorgeous and full of light and plants, a place my curls could be born into the world happy.

I left not only with a full head of fresh curly hair I didn’t really know I could achieve as an adult, I left with my mind blown about how to actually care for hair to make sure it stays curly and healthy every day. And my hair before this was anything but healthy. Split ends were my closest relationship. This cut not only left me feelin’ REAL cute, I felt more ME. The cut truly gave me new energy, changed my routine to a very low maintenance one and my head of crazy hair became a source of play and energy for me, two themes important to my work and my sense of self.

As I started to share my new do, a lot my followers on Instagram started asking how I did my curls, what I used, etc. I knew I couldn’t keep up with answering questions (or be a life-coach for people’s crazy wavys), I decided to ask Jen to help me share the curl power with everyone. Because apparently there are a lot of us out there doing it wrong and being stuck with hair that has an inner curly soul but needs to be set free.

The following are some ridiculous videos I created (Blair Witch quality) plus Jen’s extended and amazing answers. This woman is the kindest soul and a straight wizard with hair. Take notes folks!Here is me the day of my hair cut. Note, I have already had my inaugural curly hair cut from The Hive at the time of this photo. I was going in for a trim this day.

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JEN

“Not everyone likes/uses the texture typing system because it doesn’t feel like it truly represents all textures of curly hair- there are more that 9 textures of curls! However, for those who are just discovering their texture it can be useful to help start finding products and methods that might work for your hair. I use it to help steer clients towards which haircut appointment they need- highly textured hair types take longer to condition and style so we have a separate curly haircut option for them at The Hive. When you google “curly hair types” you will find a chart that goes from 2’s (wavy) to 4’s (coily/highly textured). Heres a rough breakdown:

2A-2C- Wavy

3A-3B Curly

3C-4A- Coily Curly

4B-4C Highly Textured Curl

People with wavy hair have smoother texture due to having more cuticle layers to lock moisture in, and those with coily and tighter textures have a more fragile texture as a result of having less cuticle layers. Each category can experience coarseness and high porosity, and each category can have fine textures- this is what the alphabet letters are supposed to represent- A’s tend to be the smoother/finer types, and C’s are coarse and more delicate, with B landing in between. If your cuticle is smooth, it can shut down tight and seal in moisture. If your cuticle is coarse, is cant shut down making it naturally more dry and more prone to breakage. There are numerous blogs and websites that have texture types, or names/categories. I think Naturally Curly has a pretty good breakdown, but all that really matters is learning what your hair likes, whatever ‘type’ it is. All curly hair experiences some level of dryness due to the shape of the hair; with the hair being a curved surface, the cuticle can’t ever get as flat and smooth as the cuticle on straight hair, so even fine wavy hair types can have dryness issues.”

Next up, the dry cut! This step literally takes about 15-30 minutes. You do this cut before washing and Jen goes through and cuts pieces individually.

ASHLEY

Co-washing. This was my biggest revelation in how to maintain my curly hair. I do NOT shampoo my hair anymore. I have my whole life until this summer. And no it’s not greasy except for the first few days of my period when my hormones produce more oil in my scalp. I now only have one hair product in my shower, Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic Conditioner. I don’t shampoo. I flip my head, massage a small amount into my scalp for a minute and then let it sit for 3-5 mins then rinse. Game. Changer.

JEN

Shampoos

“Whether its “low poo”, “no poo”, sulphate free, organic, natural, cream based, etc, shampoo is a detergent. Detergent molecules are designed to bind to oil and water molecules to cleanse the hair. Detergent molecules cannot choose what kind of oils it binds with so they will always strip hair of its natural oils. The smoother your hair is, the less it will be negatively affected by shampoo (smooth hair needs less moisture). The tighter and coarser the hair, the more it will be affected- this means frizz, straight ends, lack of definition, etc. Your scalp makes oil to lubricate and protect the hair and scalp. Oil helps lock in water to retain moisture. More moisture means less frizz, uneven texture, and ‘temperamental' hair. The more you shampoo, the more you strip the oil barrier, and the drier your hair will be (even if you use conditioner afterwards). If you use products with plastics, silicones, and petroleum products of any kind, you will need to use shampoo to get them back off the hair and let water in. The frequency of use of shampoo depends on the person. I tell everyone to start co-washing (conditioner washing), and to cut back on or eliminate shampooing to see how their texture improves. I always see huge improvement in the bounce, definition, and shine when clients eliminate shampoo. Want to try cutting out shampoo? Switch to 100% plant based hair products- no plastics, silicones, or other petroleum products (list down farther). Co- wash instead of shampooing, and use an Apple Cider Vinegar wash 1x a week. After 1-2 weeks, ask yourself if you miss shampoo. If you do, shampoo your hair once and see what happens. Was is good? Cool! Use that as a gauge for when you could shampoo. Was it bad? Shoot! Go longer between shampoos, or ignore it completely. Most of my clients use shampoo less than once a month.

If you don’t know if you should shampoo, you probably don't need to! If your hair feels very sticky, gummy, or greasy when wet, these are signs of build up on the hair which means you should shampoo.

For shampoo options, I really enjoy Organic Chemistry. Their shampoos don't lather which makes them gentler, and they have a high oil content so the detergents don’t strip a ton of the natural oils. If you love suds, Innersense is the way to go. If you like tingly, minty washes, Harmonic from Intelligent Nutrients is perfect.

Apple Cider Vinegar ‘Cleanser’

We mix apple cider vinegar in a 50/50 ratio with water to create a gentle cleanser for hair. Oil and water don’t mix, but oil and vinegar emulsify! For clients who have hard water or experience mild build-up, we recommend scrubbing their hair with the ACV wash 1x a week. ACV washes also help tone the scalp, break up dead skin cells, and can kill fungus like dandruff.

Conditioner

This is like lotion for your hair. It’s designed to seal in water and moisture in your hair. The tighter the texture, the thicker/richer your conditioner needs to be. At The Hive we use 100% plant based products so our conditioners are made from three basic ingredients: water, oil, and emulsifiers. When used correctly, you can “wash” your hair (also called ‘co-washing”) by scrubbing it with conditioner. The emulsifier molecules are what bind the water and oil together in the bottle, and they will also bond to oil on your scalp. Because conditioner is designed to penetrate and seal the cuticle, it will make your scalp oil go deeper into your hair. This supercharges the moisture in the hair, and helps positively impact your curl. Co washing is an amazing way for anyone to wash their hair without stripping and drying out the hair. For this method to work, all hair products must be plastic and silicone free. Also note, any texture of hair can be co-washed- including straight!

Fine Waves and Curls- Try Harmonic Conditioner from Intelligent Nutrients

Dry curls and Coils- Try Innersense Hydrating Cream Conditioner

Highly Textured Hair- Try Organic Chemistry Hydrating Conditoner- This has the lowest emulsifier content, making it prone to feeling greasy on naturally smooth textures.

To properly co-wash:

Rinse hair for 60 seconds- you should feel hair products rinse away

Apply a nickel sized blob of conditioner to your palms and rub them together.

Flip your head over and massage the conditioner into your entire scalp

SCRUB! SCRUB! SCRUB! You are using the powers of emulsification- not detergent- to exfoliate and loosen up excess oils and “dirt”. Do not skimp on the scrubbing. Your conditioner should go from feeling thick, to thin and a little bubbly.

add more conditioner if needed to the ends, and massage and squish through. If your hair is delicate, over processed, or tangle prone, use a comb to work the conditioner through gently before squishing.

leave the conditioner in for the entirety of your shower, and give it a final scrub before rinsing.

Just a little note- I (Jen) have stick straight hair and even I can co-wash. I find my hair has better volume, hair color retention, and no static or split ends anymore. If you are diligent with you scrubbing, and use only plant based/water soluble based stuff on your hair, you technically don't need a detergent to clean your hair. Unless you have hyperseborrhea or another issue causing uncontrollable scalp oil, you can probably co-wash too!

To properly co-wash

Rinse hair for 60 seconds- you should feel hair products rinse away.

Apply a nickel sized blob of conditioner to your palms and rub them together.

Flip your head over and massage the conditioner into your entire scalp

SCRUB! SCRUB! SCRUB! You are using the powers of emulsification- not detergent- to exfoliate and loosen up excess oils and “dirt”. Do not skimp on the scrubbing. Your conditioner should go from feeling thick, to thin and a little bubbly.

Add more conditioner if needed to the ends, and massage and squish through. If your hair is delicate, over processed, or tangle prone, use a comb to work the conditioner through gently before squishing.

Leave the conditioner in for the entirety of your shower, and give it a final scrub before rinsing.

Just a little note- I (Jen) have stick straight hair and even I can co-wash. I find my hair has better volume, hair color retention, and no static or split ends anymore. If you are diligent with you scrubbing, and use only plant based/water soluble based stuff on your hair, you technically don't need a detergent to clean your hair. Unless you have hyperseborrhea or another issue causing uncontrollable scalp oil, you can probably co-wash too!”

JEN

HOW TO STYLE

“Wash your hair with your favorite products or method. After washing, leave your hair very wet. Do not brush your hair or detangle yet. Do not toss your hair into a towel turban- this wrings out your hair too much, making it too dry to add products, and creates frizz.

Apply your favorite styling products to your very wet hair. Rake them through from all the way through, layering on all of the things you want to use. Typically, you’ll start with a leave in or cream, and use your gels or foams last.

Use your hands to rake the ends of your hair to detangle, and then scrunch well. Work in sections, finger raking until your hair looks like wet noodles. There are youtube videos that are very helpful- search ‘rake and shake method’. If you air dry, you may now choose to blot out extra water with a t-shirt or flat-weave towel.

Air dry or diffuse- whichever is your typical method. Diffuse with low heat and low speed to discourage dryness and frizz.”

ASHLEY

I use a diffuser like this occasionally. Mostly I let my hair air dry. When I get out of the shower, I twist pieces with my finger and then scrunch it with my hands. If I’m not showering, I will use a spray bottle to get it damp and do the same twist and scrunch. I don’t use styling products every day, but typically on shower days I do. Here is what I use.

JEN

How to style

“Wash your hair with your favorite products or method. After washing, leave your hair very wet. Do not brush your hair or detangle yet. Do not toss your hair into a towel turban- this wrings out your hair too much, making it too dry to add products, and creates frizz.

Apply your favorite styling products to your very wet hair. Rake them through from all the way through, layering on all of the things you want to use. Typically, you’ll start with a leave in or cream, and use your gels or foams last.

Use your hands to rake the ends of your hair to detangle, and then scrunch well. Work in sections, finger raking until your hair looks like wet noodles. There are youtube videos that are very helpful- search ‘rake and shake method’. If you air dry, you may now choose to blot out extra water with a t-shirt or flat-weave towel.

Air dry or diffuse- whichever is your typical method. Diffuse with low heat and low speed to discourage dryness and frizz.”

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JEN

Leave In Conditioner

This is a great product for hair that lacks definition, or is “frizz” prone. It’s literally conditioner with smaller molecules so it sinks in, rather than making a film on the exterior of the hair. Spray leave ins are generally the lightest in moisture, and creams are heavier. A fan favorite is Intelligent Nutrients PureLuxe leave-in. Its great for medium and coarse textures of hair and is low protein. Some folx opt for spray leave-ins for light detangling and minimal moisture- Organic Chemistry has Fortifying Mist which is literally quinoa protein spray, and is great for baby fine hair and bleached curls.

Styling Cream

Low hold/High moisture. If you have coarse hair, or are going days between styling, starting your products with layer of styling cream can help your hair from drying out. If you have naturally smooth and shiny hair, these might weigh you down. My go-to is Innersense Quiet Calm Curl Control. It’s thick AF and you can skip a cream leave in if you use this. Organic Chemistry makes a Curl Cream that is light hold, and great for waves and curls prone to getting weighed down.

Foams/Mousse

These tend to have medium hold/medium moisture. These are easy to disperse into hair, and are very flexible in the hold department- the more you use, the firmer the hold can be. Innersense Foam is creamy, and great for drier hair textures. Intelligent Nutrients foam is firm holding with minimal moisture added.

Gel

These have the high hold/low moisture because they have less water compared to foams. The more translucent the gel, the stronger the hold. The more creamy it is, the less hold it has. These also have the most ability to smooth over the top layer of the cuticle, so they add the most shine, and will hold a style the longest.

Max Green Alchemy Gel is a cult classic at The Hive- It’s inexpensive, medium holding, and very shiny.

Organic Chemistry Gel has a light hold, great shine, and perfect for those who are afraid of anything that resembles crunchy.

Innersense “I Create Volume”- is a thin, viscous gel that is actually firm when air dried. It has tons of shine and is great layered over creams.

Hairspray

Hairsprays are essentially gel in thin liquid form. They have medium to high hold/low moisture. Since they are wet (we only have non-aerosol options because we avoid the chemicals used in aerosols) they can cause frizziness if over applied to dry hair. I love a tiny bit of Intelligent Nutrients Replenishing hairspray for curly hair. It has a high oil content so its actually shiny, and keeps curls lush without being sticky. They also make an excellent Volume Spray that can be used on wet or dry hair. 


Ingredients to avoid

I dont recommend you use anything containing plastic or silicone in your haircare. Both ingredients are waterproofers that seal out air and water from the hair, causing dehydration. Plastics are also made from petroluem, which we know isn’y good for us. Yes, they give the hair a lot of hold and the illusion of shine, but they cannot be rinsed away with water or with a co-wash, and cause damage from building up on the hair. The only way to get them off the hair is with detergents, which then create a cycle of dryness from shampooing. There are so many amazing 100% plant based products that provide shine and hold without putting petroleum byproducts on your hair.

These are some of the names to avoid when shopping for products, but for ease, just go to The Hive and check out our selection!

Plastic Names-

Vinyl Acetate (vinyl is also what chair coverings and fake leather shoes are made from. eew)

Crotonates

Vinyl Neodecanoate Copolymer

Octylacrylamide Acrylates and

Butylaminoethyl Methacrylate Copolymer

Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)

If it sounds like plastic, chances are it is! If you see something listed on a product and you aren’t sure what it it, just google the ingredient and see what comes up!

Silicone Names:

Silicone- duh!

Phenyl trimethicone.

Dimethicone.

Dimethiconol.

Dimethicone copolyol.

Cetearyl Methicone

Cetyl Dimethicone

Stearyl Dimethicone

Amodimethicone

Cyclomethicone/Cyclopentasiloxane

Trimethylsilylamodimethicone

Behenoxy Dimethicone

Stearoxy Dimethicone

ASHLEY

After this video, we lived streamed a big Q&A full of brilliant questions and lots of product reviews. But of course I couldn’t save the video. But this clip shows my killer cut so well that I had to include it. Jen’s answers are now littered throughout this post. Here is a pic of my hair a few days later post-cut. Still just as curly, freshly rained on but also a great simulation of how I really style my hair on a daily basis.

Now it’s turning to winter here in Minnesota and that means DRY weather and less humidity for my curls to soak up. Jen’s tips.

JEN

“Winter air is very drying- the best ways to try to combat this are by decreasing the frequency you use a detergent cleanser or switch to only co-washing, upgrading to a thicker conditioner, or by adding a rich leave in conditioner if you don’t currently use one. Some clients swear by diffusing hair in a steamy bathroom to help revive curl (instant summer). I also adore using a deep conditioning mask once a week to help boost moisture. Organic Chemistry makes a mask that has a high oil content to help seal water and moisture into the hair, and it’s a miracle worker! I’m lazy so I will apply a mask before I make dinner, and often will go to bed with it still in my hair-I just wrap an old t-shirt around my hair before going to bed.”

ASHLEY

Remember cats, no curly hair is alike. Yours will react differently to humidity, products, cuts, etc. Your hair is not my hair. Try some of these tips and figure out what works for you and be gentle on yourself in the process. Your hair is not trying to ruin your life. HA!


Stomping Ground Mural

In June 2018, I got the opportunity to travel to Brooklyn and install a mural in the new office spaces of Stomping Ground Photo Studio. This team is the real deal: bright, kind, energy and their work proves as much. Here are some pics of my process.

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The Stomping Ground team took my portrait in front of a white wall after I was done painting. They printed the photo out and had me paint on top of it, the results turned out way rad!

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The crew ended my time there by taking a portrait of me in my painting garb, standing in front of a black wall. They printed the pic and had me paint on the hard copy, which resulted in this fabulous image I just love.

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Minuty Rosé

In the spring of 2018 launched my collaborations with  Minuty Vineyards, located in St.Tropez in the French Riviera. After spending a trip in St.Tropez last summer with  Minuty and agency Malherbe, I created artwork for the bottle that represented my time in St.Tropez. This bottle is  limited edition design for their 2017 vintage rose that celebrates the energy and vibrancy that is St.Tropez in the summer. To launch the collaboration, Minuty threw a fabulous event in Paris at the Studio des Acacias. During the event guest of course sipped on Minuty and I did a live painting on plexiglass glass. I've never painted on plexiglass but I loved the experience and outcome so much, I'm curious to do it again soon!

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  Images: Press release event in Paris, by Victoria Campbell.

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The space was beautifully put together by Manon Sim using the artwork from the bottle as inspiration.

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New York Stockists

5 TOWN W & L , INWOOD

RYE BROOK WINE & SPIRIT SHOP, RYE BROOK

LONG BEACH PLAZA, LONG BEACH

AMAGANSETT W & S, AMAGANSETT

FAIRWAY WINES & SPIRITS, PELHAM MANOR

RAEDER’S WINES & LIQUORS, ALBERTSON

ZABI SPIRITS CORP, SOUTHAMPTON

LIQUOR STOP, SCARSDALE

LIQUOR PLAZA, HUNTINGTON STATION

EASTPORT DIS LIQUORS, EASTPORT

G & I WINE & SPIRITS INC, BROOKLYN

ROCKVILLE CENTRE WINE & SPIRITS, ROCKVILLE CENTRE

TOWNE CELLARS W & L , MANORVILLE

WAVERLY LIQUOR, NEW YORK

WINE & SPIRITS OF HOWARD BEACH, HOWARD BEACH

BEDFORD WINES AND SPIRITS INC, BROOKLYN

FERRARO’S, BABYLON

GREENPORT WINES & SPIRITS INC, GREENPORT

Source: http://ashleymary.com/journal/2018/4/13/mi...

West Elm

Every year West Elm celebrates the creative juices of one US city by curating products and artwork made by a crew of locals from that city. This year I was included in their high light of Minneapolis. Through WestElm.com you can find a limited series of three different paintings or four different prints I've made.

Here is the interview with my posted on their Front + Main Blog

 Photo by Max Spooner

Photo by Max Spooner

 Photo by Jenny Li

Photo by Jenny Li

 Photo by Jenny Li

Photo by Jenny Li

We used Simply Framed to help execute the prints for West Elm. After giving them a high-res image of my painting, they send me prints to sample. I'll tweak the colors and make edits until everything looks as close to the original as possible without any distracting marks that aren't translating well to paper.

 To start the process of designing my painting, I first created a little collage with cut paper. The tiny blue collage in this photo created my blue painting for West Elm.   

To start the process of designing my painting, I first created a little collage with cut paper. The tiny blue collage in this photo created my blue painting for West Elm.

 

 Photo by Jenny Li

Photo by Jenny Li

 Photo by Jenny Li

Photo by Jenny Li

Working on a custom order for a client using gouache, gold leaf, and marker on paper. Often times these little works on paper can influence my next painting on canvas.

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'Sota Pop

When the Super Bowl came to town this January, I got the opportunity to create one of 5 spaces inside the 'Sota Pop experience put on by Explore Minnesota with the help of creative agency Colle McVoy. Downtown on Nicollet Mall, a space inside the Renaissance Square Building was makeover to create a walk-through instagram-able experience that celebrate all the seasons of Minnesota as well as some other iconic landmarks like First Ave and Red Wing. I got to make a fun color cave to represent autumn. I used Leonetti Confetti to create a party-like atmosphere of tossing "leaves" in the air and had my friend Jeff from Minnesota Creative Wood make some dimensional shapes to mimic being in a pile of leaves. The whole space was a team effort from Colle McVoy and my friend Chelsea Brink who helped me paint for an entire weekend.  Visit #SotaPop on Instagram to see the confetti craze go down.

Other artist who created amazing rooms in 'Sota Pop: By She She, Girl Friday Creative, 10 Thousand Design, Church U.

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Limited Edition Artist Capsule with Manduka

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In the fall of 2018, I got invited to have my artwork be a part of a Limited Edition Artist Capsule Collection Manduka launched during the holiday season. Along with two other artist, one of my original paintings was used for their equa® yoga mat. I love how it turned out! Shop the mat using the link below.

The collaboration was also a fabulous excuse to try on some of my favorite pieces from Manduka right now and stretch myself around the studio in them. COMFY as all heck and I was loving the color options. Snaps from Kelsey Lee.

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Nylon Saddle X Ashley Mary

Collaboration with Nicole Feest of Nylon Saddle

Nicole took the photos and I painted over them. Love how they turned out.

The first imageis a part of an art show at Norseman Distillery (Minneapolis) up through June 24 2017.  Images are of Madelynn Furlong of Wide Eyed Legless and Lisa Dengler of Just Another

E-mail nylonsaddle@gmail.com to inquire about purchasing the originals.

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Vintage Revival

Last winter when I got back from Art Basel in Miami I decided that I was 100% bored with my closet. Because when you see the creative forces that are the crowds at Art Basel, everything changes inside your brain and heart. It did for me at least. It was that kind of bored that requires swift and immediate action but can only be revived back to life with meaningful and thoughtful choices. I needed color and I needed it bad, my current wardrobe consisting of mostly black and grays. But I also have been turned off to fast fashion lately and how damaging it is the environment. Don't get me wrong, I love me some trends! I just wasn't feeling awesome about the industry's standards. I wanted to support small businesses/makers and mama earth...so I'm turned my eyes towards all things vintage. A vintage revival for me of sorts. I've always been one to love a hunt and I would rather have pieces that feel unique that no one else can just run and snag. In comes in Tandem Vintage run by local gal Amanda Baumann. Early this year I reached out to her and asked if she would want to do a photoshoot with me as an excuse to get into her fabulous finds and give me a reason to play dress up. Because deep inside of me, I always want to play dress up. My vision for the shoot was bold color stories with a heavy dose of weird playful positions and a few sheets of paper to keep budget friendly. And photographer Hannah Voxland was in to get weird. I'll be trickling out the goodness on my instagram feed but wanted to share a few from the play date.

 

Black Magik Woman

I was invited to participate in this year's (2017) Black Magic Woman Event hosted by Norseman Distillery. All participants are local creative females, each group made up of a photographer paired with an artist. I was paired with Diana Albrecht and we chose Jana Shortal as our muse. Diana took the photos, I made the collage. We worked on the concept and art-directed the shoot.
Mixed-media collage, all human elements are photos of Jana.
50% of proceeds were donated to the Trevor Project. (All pieces now sold).

"As a journalist, you’re supposed to maintain an unbiased viewpoint, but how do you do that when you wholeheartedly disagree with the state of current politics and affairs? For Jana, there is a never-ending strife between maintaining her personal and professional integrity in a cis male dominated industry. Our collection is a vibrant and visual commentary of Jana’s experiences after hearing her story.

We both play in different mediums: Ashley, a mixed-media artist by trade who plays with bright colors, bold shapes, and good vibes and while Diana, a portrait photographer who weaves moody tones and deep emotion into her work. Working with the collage medium gave us flexibility within our own trades while being able to conceptualize Jana’s perspectives and personal challenges in her work-space A true collaboration of opinions and ideas, this series reflects ideas and visuals we are all energized, challenged, and inspired by."

5ft Show at Gallery 360

I am thrilled to be a part of this show opening at Gallery 360 that opened last Saturday. I created 9 new pieces of work for my 5ft show. I tried to focus this series on some more subtle hues: deep indigos, soft sandy tones, pops of peach and yellow as well as explored simple patterns, almost creating a graphic textile feel to the work. Other artist who have 5ft shows include Kristen Arden and Shawna Gilmore. The main exhibit is by the talented D.C. Ice. Oh my goodness... this show, this show!! You won't regret a visit to this gallery.

 One of my favorite pieces from the series.

One of my favorite pieces from the series.

Minny + Paul Collaboration

 I'm the lucky gal who gets the share a studio with Minny & Paul, a MN giftbox company that celebrates all things locally made. Laura (owner) and I met a few years back when she invited me to be a part of an illustration show she was putting together at Kit and Ace. We've been buds since and she's been sweet enough to include my work in some of her boxes since the beginning. When she first launched M&P, Laura and I worked on a custom tiny zipper purse (Laura managing production) and this time around I wanted to take over production (teaching myself to fish) and I wanted the bags to be bigger this time around. If there's one thing I hate about the work I do (which isn't a whole lot), it's production. In part because I'm horrible at it and also because it takes my time away from what I love to do, painting and designing. It's the details and I sink (read "drown" in them!) Thankfully I have patient people in my life willing to help me through my panic and mistakes. I used Spoonflower to print my fabric (they pick up the details of my designs beautifully) and my other lovely studiomate Chelsea of Modehaus Bridal stitched them to perfection. When the fabric was delivered, I was smitten with how fun the repeat was. I called my girl, Louisa Podlich of Louisa Marion and Shop A Mano who was willing to help me capture my giant printed fabric ream before it got diced up into zipper oblivion.  My small zippers can be found in the "Minny" box and my slightly bigger zipper can be found in the "Bridesmaid" box.

I tested out a few other artworks on fabric and loved how they turned out.

Interview with Centered by Design

This January I had a visit from Claire of Centered by Design. Claire is an interior designer, yogi, and blogger who showcases lady bosses in her "Women who Make" series. Claire and Erin of Francois et Moi (who introduced us and took all the lovely pictures) spent the late morning with me chatting all things interior design and art. This year I am trying to work with more interior designers to help decorate their client's home (my art works well with kid and baby rooms and anyone not afraid of a little color). Claire and Erin gave me so much helpful advice for mixing into that industry. Thanks ladies! Below is the full interview and I had to share some additional pics Erin captured because it's always a treat to have someone else taking the photos in my space with a real life big-girl camera.

 Full interview

Astropad

A few months ago I was invited by Astropad to test our their latest software, "Astropad Studio". Basically what this program does is allows you to use your ipad as a drawing tablet (and the apple pen as your tool) and stay within Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator. So when I'm illustrating in Photoshop, I can work directly on my ipad and all my work will show up on my desktop. I can also work off-line, meaning whatever I make on the ipad, will save to work on later from my desktop. Before using Astropad, I used a Wacom tablet and have trained myself to look up at my screen while illustrating. It was amazing to be able to look down at my work with Astropad, I was able to be more detailed, more efficient, and also not have to lug around my giant wacom was amazing. . I highly recommend if you're an illustrator looking for a digital platform to work on seamlessly.

Banana Pants with Kelsey Lee

This is just a small collection of images from my first time shooting with local MPLS photographer, Kelsey Lee at my studio in Northrup King Building. Kelsey and I had only met once before this shoot and you wouldn't have known it by how comfortable she left me feeling. She was a sweet as they come and up for anything. I was in the mood to play with color (because when in Rome) so naturally I busted out my banana pants. Grateful for some of these candid moments she caught of me working (and the not-so-candid pics were just as fun).

"Hustle"

Recently I was interview by Team Open Book on the topic of "Hustle". I put that in quotes because I think I'm supposed to? (grammar nerds I need you!) but also because sometimes you put words you feel uncomfortable saying or cliches in quotes too. And that's about how I feel about the word. It's one that is deeply relevant to my work realities but also one I slightly cringe to use because it's been over-saturated in social media along with "squad" and "goals". Though if you're in a team sport, I hope you have both. But if defined as "busy movement and activity" then I would say hustling is my spirital gift. The interview is short and sweet and lives right here. Photos captured by the talented miss Alex Ry.

Ashley Mary Phone Cases X Target

This fall (2o16) in working with Design Loop I launched a series of 8 phone case designs in Target stores nationwide and online. My assignment was to create a variety of cases that were inspired by novelty, fun phrases, and of course, my art! The colors and patterns inspired me to go extra bold and graphic for a photoshoot. I asked the lovely Megan Gonzalez of Mae Mae Co to come alongside and co-style all the product and my talented friend Lauren Krysti to shoot it all. One of my favorites parts of this series was bringing my paintings into a surface design, I loved seeing the translation from paper to plastic. I also design the packaging for the phone cases using elements of my favorite brush strokes, polka dots, and stripes which turned out super playful and really popped on shelves.