We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashlie Chavez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashlie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I knew right away I would have to start my own business. Originally I’d wanted to start a photography business with my twin sister but time was of the essence. The semester before finishing college I was pregnant and I knew I wouldn’t have the support system I needed to get back into the work field until my son went to school, so I needed a plan. I made art like crazy as it was, so I kept creating in efforts of making a consistent style of work that combined just the right amount of “concept” and “aesthetic” in order to sell for people’s homes.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work is all analog which sets it apart a lot solely because so much of the art world is done digitally. Giving new purpose to old books and publications is important to me because they’re essentially obsolete. Natural depth is crucial to me as well- both visually and process wise. It’s impossible to replicate that wether it’s in a film photograph or hand cut collage, or even a drawing. A big challenge is learning to accept that you can do a lot of work and not see an immediate positive result, but having that foresight that it will come. I’ve learned along the way that a creative outlet is important within itself, outside of any monetary profit it can bring.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I like shooting at abandoned places but that’s gotten tougher and tougher over the past few years with them becoming harder to get into- places like Lanternman Developmental Center, Rockhaven Sanitarium or Casa Sirena Seaside Resort. For food- The Kitchen, Mixto or The Red Lion. For drinks- the Dresden. For recreation- the Last Book store and The Broad Museum… and of course any thrift store!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I received a lot of encouragement from my twin sister Amber Chavez, now Amber Maalouf. She always told me I knew how to make something out of nothing. Also, a huge thanks to my friends who have commissioned a specific piece, bought any work or simply display it in their homes- they know who they are and it means so much.
twin photo is collaboration with amber Maalouf