This is a featured collection from one source
that is particularly inspiring ////////////////////////////
Location: Portland, OR
"I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri all my life. I grew up living with my grandparents in their home with my two sisters and my mom. Until I was 11, and my grandma passed away, I shared a room with her and she was certainly my best friend, a second mother, and my number two fan (right behind my mom). I remember my mom introducing me as "Ashley—she's going to be an artist"—when I was five, six, seven. So I was always encouraged. But I looked at drawing more as a free toy. It was a natural extension of playing with dolls and watching cartoons, and it still remains a source of [pure] entertainment for me.
I didn't pursue art in high school, and after I graduated, I knew I wasn't emotionally or financially ready to go to a university. So, instead I attended community college. Was it the best academic education? No, but it had an excellent art program that is greatly overlooked. I didn't take a ton of art classes. If I were staying in town, I would actually take more now. It did, however, open my eyes. I thought someone would teach me the "right" way to draw. As naive as it sounds, I was 22-years-old and had never considered that my drawing style and the techniques I preferred could certainly be improved, but that they didn't have to be overhauled. It was liberating, to say the least. Now, I have been self-employed for almost two years. Drew, my boyfriend and creative partner in crime, has been full-time with me for just over a year. "Ashley's found a way to work a childhood full of drawing into an adult's life." Drew wrote that sentence for a bio once and I think it most accurately and succinctly sums it up."