Who AM I ?

Hi all! Thank you for visiting my website and checking out my work. I’d like to tell you a little more about myself.

So, who am I? If I could only convey in words the long silent pause I am experiencing while trying to think about a simple way to answer that question…….

Let’s start with the easy stuff; My name is Ashley. I’m from a small town in upstate NY. Super small. I’m talking one stop light, one gas station and a mini-mart small. I moved to Buffalo NY to attend my University, and have since lived in Baltimore MD, Cancun Mexico, Miami Beach and Pensacola FL (so far).

If you are here reading this and checking out my website, it is no secret; I am an artist! That said, I am a lot of other things too and they all contribute to the work I create and why I am who I am today.

Art was always a large part of my life growing up, thanks to some amazing educators I encountered at a very early age. I decided when I graduated high school that I too would become an art teacher. That lasted until the second semester of my senior year of college (yes, that’s seven semesters in) when I had that “ah ha” moment. To put it very simply, although I respect and admire those who spend their lives inside of a classroom each day molding the minds of our future, teaching just wasn’t for me. I remember standing up in the middle of a lecture hall while holding my giant four-foot wide portfolio that housed all of my sketches and artwork from the week, thinking “I gotta go”. That portfolio knocked into every… single… person’s desk as I made my “not so subtle” exit from my teaching career. I changed my major to Fine Arts shortly after and although I didn’t have a clue what I would be doing with it, I knew I did the right thing. I graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) one semester later and I was off to the running. Real world, there I went!

Directly out of college I moved from Buffalo NY to Baltimore MD to work as a Regional Manager for a travel agency in the area. That same year, as a result of hard work and a very high sales volume from my cubical, I was promoted to become the Program Director for their Cancun student travel program. I traveled to Mexico regularly, and during my time there I saw the opportunity for significant growth within the agency I was working for. There was a white space that hadn’t yet been filled in the event industry and it just seemed like the obvious next step. When I pitched my idea to my boss at the time, I specifically remember him blatantly laughing in my face. Within seven days, I had quit my job, sublet my apartment, and moved to Mexico to see if I could fill in that white space myself… spoiler alert: I did!

I learned rather quickly that I was not meant to work for someone else. I wanted my potential for success to be in my own hands. I wanted to motivate myself and answer to only myself. My goal was to create a career that allowed me to LIVE my life every day however I chose to. So yes, I left my 9AM-5PM grind living as a young professional in the US and ran away to Mexico where I spent the next six years of my life becoming fluent in Spanish, learning huge life lessons, and building my professional empire. I am now a proudly bi-lingual entrepreneur, a business owner and the CEO of my own LLC. Think my ex-boss is still laughing? For more information about my event agency and all that we offer, check out our website: www.afterdark-entertainment.com.

Currently I reside in Pensacola Florida where I run my business remotely and enjoy life even more than I thought possible. So, what’s missing? Well, remember that art degree? I should probably do something with that, right? Here goes nothing….

Before now, I would paint to fill my empty walls. Whenever friends or family would see my artwork, they would ask when I was going to start selling it. My answer was always that I was too busy. I didn’t have enough hours in the day. Well, as you may have heard time and time again, life is too damn short and there is no time like the present! So welcome to the start of my new endeavor. 

I love to create art, and my genuine hope is that you will also love it… purchase it… and hang it wherever you see the opportunity to fill a little bit of your own “white space!”