We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Marie Manzo and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ashley Marie, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I was born and raised in Boyle Heights, CA. Growing up in Boyle Heights and within close proximity to Downtown Los Angeles, impacted my art and my personality in many ways. My grandmother who would often sew, would take me and my sister to the fashion district on the bus and there I became familiar with Downtown Broadway and all the buildings. Once we would get to the fashion district, I was in love with all the bolts of fabric, buttons, trims, all of it. Fashion and the freedom of expression really spoke to me as I was growing up and I attribute these spontaneous trips to that feeling.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I like to consider myself first and foremost a visual artist. I love to tell a story using this vessel (my body) in my self portraits, jewelry I create, photography I produce and any other way I chose to express myself. In the current time, I am focusing energy on Taxidermy Her Bones which is my jewelry brand that uses mixed metal pieces and ethically source animal bones. Every piece I create is one of a kind and is inspired by Dia de Los Muertos, Victorian mourning jewelry and natural history. This project has taken me places that I would have never believed it would have taken me and it’s one of the things that I am most proud of. I have had the opportunity to sell and display my wares in Madrid, Spain thanks to Amor Barocco which is a group that hosts events for independent artists to share their works with people around the world.

I have always worked very hard for my self expression so getting to where I am professionally took hard work and patience. Plenty of trials and error with designs as I am someone who works mostly hands on, but I’ve learned so much about myself and the way that I design. I take a very DIY approach when I am creating.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would definitely take them to the Museum of Jurassic Technology because it’s one of my favorite museums in Los Angeles. Have some delicious ramen at Rakken Ramen in Little Tokyo, an 80’s dance night at The Grand Jazz in Chinatown and a nightcap at The Wolves in Downtown LA.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to give a shout out to my fiancé for his never ending support, My Family, My loving friends, The music of Anna Varney, Guillermo del Toro and Edward Gorey.

Website: Instagram.com/taxidermyherbones

Instagram: Mariedauphine

Other: Please also follow my film photography page at Instagram.com/penumbra_foto

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