Artists of #treatyoskin: Ashley Mary

This summer, to celebrate the Curology community’s vibrant (sk)individuality, we’re launching the #treatyoskin campaign: a series that’s all about savoring your unique flavor — quirks and all.

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Curology Team
Aug 20, 2018 · 4 min read

Woman sitting at desk working on art
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To kick off the campaign, we asked 7 of our favorite artists to share their creative interpretations of sweet treats. Today we’re featuring Ashley Mary, an artist, designer, and illustrator who works out of her studio in Minneapolis. Ashely is something of a wizard: she turns playful collages into spirited paintings and abstract patterns into whimsical product designs. Ashley’s work is a constant exploration full of happy accidents and lively compositions, through which she hopes to put positive energy out into the world. We definitely feel those vibes! 

Woman artist resting head on hand | Ashley Mary

Where does your story as an artist begin?

My last year of undergrad. I was a religion major but took a printmaking class that changed everything for me. It was in that class that I discovered a medium I could relate to — collage using vintage ephemera (it was senior year and my professor let me go rogue as one is wont to do senior year). After school, I started getting more and more interest in my collage paintings and began pursuing shows and custom. I’ve been rolling down a hill and shouting yes as I go ever since.

In 2012, I went back to school for graphic design and I would say that was a turning point in my career because I started to apply my artwork to products and saw my paintings with fresh potential. Stylistically, my work has transitioned to more abstract, bold, graphic paintings, but I definitely still incorporate collage.

It’s been a slow burn to where I am today, but I think everything happened how it needed to. I never intended to be an artist and I never actually did studio art in high school. I just paid attention to what brought me joy and what came naturally to me, and then invested in the tools, space, and resources to make a career out of it. Constantly figuring it out as I go!

Artists photos and workspace

What do you hope to communicate through your work?

Joy, energy, lightness, playfulness. I’m trying to capture some uncomplicated pureness…that maybe feels familiar from childhood.

What was the inspiration behind your “treat”?

Candy chaos. When you go to the wholesale bins at the candy shop and you fill that plastic bag with a starved feverishness of a kid on Halloween. No control, no limits, no apples.

Pink and yellow bright colors

What do your paintings reveal about your personality?

First and foremost, I’m a very playful person. I laugh a lot and try not to take things too seriously. I’m also not a perfectionist and try to leave space for anything to happen on the canvas. I don’t try to control things too much, and the best parts usually happen on accident or from layering over and over. I think that’s telling of who I am. I’m a bit messy and OK with that. I’m an extrovert, surprise! I love people and feel that my art voice is one a lot of people feel welcomed to connect with: the shapes and colors are a universal language and they’re easy to enjoy.

For more of Ashley’s work—

Instagram: @ashleymaryart


We’re giving away Ashley’s original artwork!

On Friday, August 24th, we’re hosting a giveaway of “Sweet Tooth,” the original painting Ashley created for our #treatyoskin collaboration. Follow along on Instagram for your chance to win!

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