According to illustrator Ashley Ronning, working as a full-time artist isn’t an unrealistic goal, as some might think. “You can totally be an artist if you want to!” she says in an interview with The Design Kids. “Don’t listen to all those adults! You can make anything a ‘real job’ if you are ambitious and love what you do.”
And boy, was Ronning ambitious. According to her, her artistic endeavors began as early as five-years-old, when she cut her own hair to complete a picture of a pony. “My parents really encouraged me to be creative, I got art supplies for most birthdays and we’d get into lots of DIY around the house,” she recalled.
But it took her some hard work to find her artistic voice. “I was so stressed out about finding my style for so many years – it’s hard when there’s so many fantastic and totally unique styles out there,” admitted the Melbourne-based illustrator. “I just kept drawing through it and tried to not let anyone else’s style influence mine, but I soon found that when I drew things I love with mediums I loved to use, a style developed from there.”
“You have to push through the self doubt, draw and draw and draw, try out a whole bunch of tools, and one day you’ll surprise yourself with your own special style!” she says. “I don’t think people in our industry need to be competitive at all – we can all support each other and build each other up,” she goes on to say. “The more good exposure your peers’ work gets, the more clients who will seek out creative work from everyone.”
Good advice if you ask us.