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

Hi Ashley, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?

At first, I didn’t think animation was something I could pursue. I’ve watched animated tv shows and drawn since I was a toddler but for a while, as a kid from a suburb in Tennessee, resources on a career in animation or even what animation really was, was hard to come by. But my love for it was something that always stayed with me even when I thought I could be a writer. I really wanted to write fiction and fantasy and it was a really cool hobby that I always got lost in, but my interest in it fizzled out when I took my first real art class. My teacher, Mrs. Laws was extremely supportive and inspired me to create work I never even dreamed of for myself and it reignited my childhood obsession with drawing and animation. It was the first time I thought a career in animation was truly possible for me! I didn’t see a lot of animators and designers around me, but I was constantly inspired by the artists’ work who appeared in the “Art of” books and artists on Instagram. They all created such beautiful work and it was all so different in style and subject, that it pushed me to go full-speed ahead and try to become a professional designer and artist myself! I applied to several different schools in a few different fields dealing with the entertainment industry from Animation to Toy Design and ultimately I found my calling in the pre-production side of animation and in illustration, where I’m so thrilled to be creating work that constantly makes me want to push myself and explore new techniques and styles!

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m still at the beginning of my artistic journey and while I always think I’ll be a student of art, I’m constantly excited to learn new techniques and try different color palettes and just spend this period experimenting. I had a big change in my mindset this year and I think I really started to visualize how bad I wanted to be doing art professionally and what it would mean for me to be able to contribute to projects bigger than myself. I have found that the work that excites me the most and I have the most fun working on are ones around children or children at heart. It’s important to keep a sense of child-like wonder and optimism in a world that’s constantly maturing and growing faster than we can comprehend. I love that the art and film industries share a common goal of giving humanity a place to escape to and to be away from the world, even if just for a moment, and I feel called to make it a happy place.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When I first came to California, I went to school in Orange so I would always take people to see the latest exhibit at the Hilbert Museum, which is a museum that is part of Chapman University. The Hilbert has a permanent collection of work around LA painters and artists as well as some rotating exhibitions that I always look forward to the most. One of my favorites was the Mary Blair showcase which in addition to the work, they brought Mindy Johnson to come and talk about her book which was an amazing opportunity to hear her speak. Newport Beach is also my go-to spot for iced coffee and the Taco Bell Cantina. I would also have to take them on a grand tour of driving by all the studios in LA. Even when you can’t go inside, it’s fun to drive by or take a picture by the signs and see where all your favorite work is created!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be pursuing anything at all if it wasn’t for the encouragement and support of my family and boyfriend. My parents have seen me through all my ups and downs and I wouldn’t have been able to pick myself back up again without them. I’m so blessed to have my boyfriend, David, as my best friend and also as a huge inspiration to me as an artist. His hard work and dedication in his field always gets me excited to work and I hope I can exhibit as much dedication as him. None of this would be possible without God and the grace He has given me and I hope to show His love for everyone in my work!

Website: www.ashleysheriff.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artofashleysheriff/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu-FdrbCZWnQxtsI9T7K9IA

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