This weeks creative corner interviewee just produces the most delightful work. I would happily have it adorn my house all over. I do hope you also enjoy the work of Edie Rose Ashley.
1. Introduce yourself.
Hi, I’m Rosie, artist and creator of Edie Rose Ashley. I live in a village just outside of Nottingham, where I have converted the garage into my own painting studio.
2. Tell us a bit about your business.
Edie Rose Ashley was born last year, in November 2017, when I started selling my original acrylic paintings and cards. Since then my product list has only grown from there, to notebooks, wrapping paper, temporary tattoos and pocket mirrors. Painting is still at the heart of what I do, but I like developing new products so that everyone can enjoy my work.
3. What made you start Edie Rose Ashley?
Last year, when I was working as a Category Manager doing sales driven data analysis everyday, I had a breakdown and was signed off work for 2 months. During that time I was told by doctors, and my family, that I just needed to spend my days doing what I loved, and try to bring some light back into my life again. I tried lots of different things from painting furniture, knitting, sewing, and painting canvases, as I’ve always been a creative person at heart. It wasn’t until one morning where I got up at 6am to finish one of my paintings that I realised it was something I truly loved doing. It was such a pivotal moment for me, as I’d spent so long not wanting to get out of bed and feeling so low all the time, that when I finally found something which brought some life back into me, I knew I had to pursue it.
4. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
Before my marketing and category jobs, I went to the University of Northampton and studied Fashion Design, specialising in Printed Textiles for Fashion. I chose that specialism because I love drawing and painting, and colour has always been a big passion of mine. Creating the fabrics seemed like the only way I could express myself properly in my work.
5. Explain your creative process.
My work is inspired by nature, but I rarely paint from real life scenes or images. That’s what I like about my work, and why I think it has a unique quality to it, because it all comes from my own imagination. For me, I like to imagine a day in the countryside, whether it be a picnic in a meadow, or a secret corner of a garden. Using colour to evoke emotions in my work. I want you to feel something when you look at them. I want you to be able to imagine the time of year, the weather, the location and create a scene in your head of what it would be like to be surrounded by all the lovely flowers.
6. Describe your typical day.
This is a tough one for me because I don’t have a ‘typical day’. It takes so much creative and emotional energy to sit down and paint so I have to be in the right frame of mind to do it. I can be painting for hours a day one day, then not paint again for a week, but that doesn’t mean I’m not working! As a one-woman band I do everything, ordering supplies, searching the internet and social media for new shows or things to apply for, taking photographs for content or blog posts, thinking of new ideas for products or stands, as well as physically being out in nature. This is one of the things that I truly love about my business. There is no typical day. Every day is different.
7. What’s your biggest seller?
As I haven’t been in business for a full year yet, it’s hard to say what my best seller is. I’m known for my paintings, and my rose paintings get a great reception. That tends to be what people go for when they request commissions.
8. What have been the high and low points of running your own business?
One of the high points was definitely winning ‘Best Stand Design’ award at the Country Living Spring Fair this year. This was my first ever big show like this, so to win an award at it was truly amazing. It also gave me the confidence to apply for more things, which I really needed!
The low points would be not being able to switch off, and constantly comparing yourself to other people/businesses. As I still continue to struggle with my mental health, this is something I have to consistently work on. It can be hard sometimes when you lose followers or your sales are quiet but I have to keep reminding myself that building a business takes time. It’s definitely a learning curve!
9. What would be your top tips for running your own creative business?
Spend each day doing what you feel like doing. I find it so difficult to paint if I’m not in the right frame of mind. That level of creativity requires focus and love, and if you’re just not feeling it that day that’s okay. You’re allowed to have days off!
Photography is key for a creative business, and with social media being the driving force for so much these days, having good content attracts people to your site and your business, so spend some time practising and having a play around with imagery. Don’t see this as a negative thing. You can have fun with photography too!
Also, nobody does what you do. Nobody can create what you can create. With creative businesses it can be so easy to spend hours comparing yourself to others. They are not you. You are unique, and what you bring to the world is also unique. Yes people can take ideas and inspiration from others, but you are out there doing you, and you should give yourself more credit!
10. What are your aspirations for Edie Rose Ashley?
I’d love to have a solo show one day. It’s something I am working towards, but that would just be such an amazing achievement for me. Watch this space guys, I’ll make it happen!
11. Where can we find you?
Instagram – www.instagram.com/edieroseashley
Facebook – www.facebook.com/edieroseashley