Featured Artist Friday: Meet Ashley

Posted on December 01 2017

Ashley is the owner, designer, and creator of Creation Bay, an online 3D printing and hand-lettering business. She is also a web developer at a Fortune 500 company. Ashley has a background in design, merchandising, information technology, and entrepreneurship. Besides designing 3D printed items and lettering, she enjoys watching Parks & Recreation reruns, traveling, and being outdoors. Ashley lives in Dallas, TX with her husband, Ryan, and their two dogs, Schatzi and Myla.

We asked Ashley a few questions to help us get to know her more + here's what she said:

How does a typical day progress for you? / Do you have any morning rituals?
I typically get up around 7:45 and start getting ready to head to work. While I do that, my husband, Ryan, goes to our 3D printers in our office and checks on any overnight prints we had running. He then starts printing more orders that will run while we’re at work. We then drive to our offices in downtown. To start my day, I typically head to Starbucks first thing after I get to my desk to grab a venti iced green tea. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I love tea! At work, I spend most of the day coding websites for various clients in the company. When done with our “real jobs”, Ryan and I head home. The first thing we do when we get home is check on the 3D prints that ran while we were at work. After catching up on our TV shows, we end the evening by finishing any outstanding 3D prints and packaging up orders. We call it a day around midnightand get ready to start the day again tomorrow!
How do you kick off a new week with a fresh start?
I am an introvert, so if I don’t get to relax, decompress, and be alone on Sundays, I feel like my whole next week is messed up. To start the week with a fresh start, I like to do nothing on Sundays… Then on Mondays, I like to make a lot of checklists. They keep me organized and help me prioritize what I need to do for the week.
What kind of influence or role do you believe art currently has in society?
I think art is our way of expressing ourselves when we can’t or don’t want to use words. With the overload of information in our society, art is so much more compelling at times. Oftentimes, art is up to our own interpretation and allows us to be imaginative instead of being told what to think.
Do you do any research or look for inspiration when starting new work?
I like to look at some of my favorite hand-lettering artists to get inspired by their insane talent. One of my favorite letterers is Amanda Arneill. I’ll look at various ideas, walk away for a while, and come back with a fresh perspective that’s my own.
Anything you wish people understood more about your work and process?
Like any small business owner, all of our business is done during our free time. Creation Bay was founded in 2016 as a way for my husband and me to express our creativity that we don’t always get to share through our IT jobs. Most of my free time is dedicated to Creation Bay, so I am glad that I really love it!
What do you love to paint/draw/design most?
I really like to design planters. The color possibilities for 3D printing are almost endless, and the different types of succulents, or even flowers, are plentiful. With a simple 3D planter design, you can create so many different looks for so many different types of décor. I also really like to design wedding cake toppers. I hand letter them on my iPad and then 3D print them.
What is the best advice another artist gave to you?
To do what you want and to not try to fit into any type of mold. There will be someone out there that likes what you do even if it takes a while to find them.
What are your biggest struggles with being an artist?
I sometimes struggle with finding inspiration. I stay pretty busy, so I don’t get as much time to think and reflect as I would like. I find my best inspiration when I’m just doodling on my iPad sitting on the couch or outside on the patio. It’s just a matter of finding the time to do nothing but play on my ipad…
Do you have a favorite type of music or artist you listen to while creating?
My favorite band is Hanson. Yes, the long-haired MMMbop boys from 1997. When I need to relax or create new designs, I turn on their newer music and it keeps me going for hours. If I’m in a mood to get things done and not necessarily be creative (ie. packing boxes), I will listen to 90’s alternative rock and push through whatever I am doing.  
What are your biggest goals for this year?
I am starting an online Master’s degree program from Notre Dame in Big Data and Data Analytics this year. From a personal perspective, starting that program and passing my classes is one of my biggest goals this year. From a business perspective, one of my biggest goals is to start offering mugs and drinking glasses by the end of the year.
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