The artist is blurring lines between the culture’s favorite themes
Pablo Picasso once famously said “Everyone is born an artist. The problem is how to remain one once we grow up.” When looking at Ashleigh Sharmaine’s work though, it is clear that she is very much grown, and has managed to keep her talent and artistic spirit intact. While her name may not sound familiar, you might have seen her art floating down your timeline at one time or another. Her themes often evoke nostalgic cartoons and movies, mashing some of our favorite childhood icons together with pop cultural themes. Gritty Vibes’ Terrelle Lue tracked her down to hear more about the mind behind the artistry. Enjoy.
Let me start off by saying your art is phenomenal! I love how you incorporate characters from our childhood into your craft and turn it into your own masterpiece. What goes through your mind as you begin to work on a new project?
Thank you so much! When starting a project, I think about how I can make the design stand out and how I can make it a conversational piece. My art consist of four main concepts, so whichever theme I decide to go for, I make sure to create a one of a kind piece. I love incorporating a bit of nostalgia into my pieces, just to make it pop.
Our favorite piece you’ve done this far has to be the Little Bill/Moonlight crossover. Can you break that one down for us?
With all my crossover/mash up concepts, I try to create a similarity between a specific scene or cover art. So, with Moonlight x Little Bill I created Little Bill as if he was the main character for the Moonlight movie poster. I chose Little Bill as the main character because I thought he would be different to see him as a grown up in a great role.
When did you first realize you had a knack for the arts & what did you endure in order to start believing in yourself and your gifts?
Well, my family is very talented and crafty so it’s in my blood. As a child I was always drawing or doing something surrounding art. I had to come to the realization that there will always be feedback for my artwork but I always remember more positive than negative.
Who’s your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration is Jean-Michel Basquiat, he was an amazing artist. His work continues to sell to this day and I think that speaks volumes. He had a unique style with eye catching pieces. Basquiat has made a big imprint in the art world and I believe his legacy will continue to live on. I think that is amazing in itself. To make a living pursuing art then to be at peace and setting records sales…that’s dope.
Where do you want to go with your art? Paint us a picture of Ashleigh Sharmaine’s life in the next 5 years.
I would pray and hope to be more successful in five years. I would love for the Ashleigh Sharmaine brand to be well known throughout the world. I’d branch out and have my artwork in stores worldwide on apparel, shoes, purses and accessories etc. Collaborations with well-known fashion and shoe designers. Extending my brand as much as possible, making an impact as famous artist.
Interview by Terrelle Lue