about the artist

Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, Ashley Smith is a portraiture artist who works primarily in acrylic and digital illustration. A lifelong creative, her journey as a painter began at the age of 21 during a life-changing study abroad experience in Venice, Italy; the artworks of La Biennale Di Venezia sparked a desire to take her creativity more seriously. Though still evolving, Ashley's creative style weaves together complexity and simplicity with colorful brushstrokes. Hints of white, black, and bright colors highlight the aspects of the human face, telling a compelling story that both comes from the model and the artist herself. Peace and joy intermingle with a spectrum of emotions almost overshadows the hope hidden in the larger message of the artwork. Ashley hopes to continue spreading her positive message through her creative process.

Art by Ashley R. Smith for Hulu film The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Ashley showcases her work on all major social media platforms, namely on her Instagram. With the internet being the driver of her exposure through the years, Ashley's work has been seen on platforms such as HypeBeast, Hulu, and Target Corporation. In 2019, Ashley started sharing her creative process and life as an artist through video content on YouTube.

As she grew into her own niche and talent, Ashley realized there was a need for young creatives of African-descent to have a platform for their work. In January 2015, Ashley created the Young Black Artists (YBA) movement, a social media platform that promotes visual art, writing, poetry and more. Featuring artists primarily from the U.S., U.K., and Africa, YBA has become more than a place for creatives to show off their talents, but a community of artists who share their experiences and support with one another.

Outside of painting, Ashley spends most of her time as a Senior Experience Designer in the tech world. With a passion for solving complex problems through designing products, Ashley has lead in designing apps, app features, and creating foundational elements for design systems. Check out a few of her case studies at the link below:

I am always looking for new opportunities to share and showcase my artwork, so feel free to reach out about working together and/or just chatting about creativity. Thanks! 😊  -Ashley

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