We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Wright Wright and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley Wright, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
One of the most important lessons my business and career in art have taught me is to grow and evolve constantly. There is never a constant in running a business and you are encouraged to learn more about yourself in order to learn how to succeed. I believe the same is true with artists as well. As an artist, you are encouraged to grow and evolve throughout your career, and with that growth and evolution comes new ways of thinking, tackling problems, skills to apply, and techniques to add. All of this commitment to yourself can propel you to learn how to be a better person in return and how to manage your mental health. And by being a mental health artist this allows me to continue to share my mission on thriving and rise to the challenges we face as business owners and artists every day.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a Mental Health Artist who paints my experience with Complex PTSD via painting heavily vibrant, nostalgic, impasto Dreamscapes of California. My work aims to bring beauty to my mental health journey and inspire others to keep working on themselves and bring beauty back into their world. With my mission, I hope to advocate for those with Complex PTSD, spread education and inspire others to overcome challenges they may have faced. Even if you struggle with your own mental health I want you to keep working on yourself and your dreams. You deserve it. Getting to where I am professionally took years of dedication to finding my own artistic style and learning how to operate my own business. While I was learning all these things I was also working on my mental health. It was not easy and I still have a long road ahead of me while developing my art career further. The most challenging thing to overcome was me and my worst triggers. I constantly stand in my own way and don’t allow myself to work through what I need to come out the other side even better. Being avoidant and fearful never helped me get to where I needed to be. The quicker I get out of my own way the quicker I am able to adapt, learn, and conquer my challenges.
I want everyone to know that you can have a mental illness but with the proper support, resources, time, and dedication to yourself, it can no longer have you. You can get to a point of thriving and functionality. Will it mean that everything is sunshine, roses, and no triggers? No. But over time you will notice differences in how you feel and how brightly the world wants you to shine. If there is something you love to do and you haven’t done it today because of your mental health, that’s okay. Keep trying, every day that you can. Bring those small elements of joy back into your life. And please know, I want you here on this planet with me and everyone else. You are valued.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Living in Southern California, especially the Inland Empire I have always felt lucky to be so close to so many different ecosystems. Some of the places I love to take others is through the San Bernardino National Mountains. Other than Big Bear there are so many unique little mountain communities, like Angelus Oaks, where you can find cool hiking spots and places to picnic. The next place I would Zip people over to is Palm Springs to check out the connection between snow-covered mountains and deserts. We would definitely take a drive through the desert and then up through Idylwild to watch the change in ecosystems. I love the idea of taking people to unconventional places like nature. Whenever people come to SoCal it’s always the same tourist spots and hustle and bustle. Showing someone the beauty of this state and area can give you a different perspective on what SoCal is. When it comes to food though, in the IE we would have to check out Matanos Deli in Yucaipa CA. An absolute gem of an Italian Sub Shop run by the coolest locals. Matanos Deli is so unique to Yucaipa, makes incredible food, and heavily supports local artists.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
To my Dad who is no longer with me. Thank you for raising me into the open-minded and resilient individual that I am. And thank you for always encouraging me to be me and follow my dreams.
Gabriela Toth & Ashley Wright