Artist Interview: Ashley Ronning – Illustrator

Ashley Ronning IllustrationTell us about yourself, who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?

My name is Ashley, I am an illustrator and designer from Canberra, and now all settled and snug in Melbourne, Australia. I love to draw, and my lines usually take the forms of plants, donuts, galaxies, insects, mushrooms and who knows what else. I love risograph printing as a way of producing art prints, and have used it to make a lot of my zines. My commissioned illustration work involves artwork for magazines, black boards for cocktail bars, and many other odd jobs!

How did you get started doing what you do?
I have always loved drawing, but never saw myself doing that as a career. I studied graphic design when I first moved to Melbourne, and through that discovered that the world of illustration was a creative and interesting avenue, and that it really suited me as a sensitive person and a way to use my skills.

Ashley Ronning IllustrationWhat’s your inspiration?
Spending time with my friends and going on adventures in nature.

What does your typical day look like?
I get up, grab a tea and cereal, and hit my desk for some emailing, and then I try to leap into the creative stuff. That can be anything from drawing at my desk, to planning a zine, to working on a job for a client. I usually also pump some fun tunes or listen to podcasts.

How do you keep motivated?
Setting goals for myself and making sure I get enough relax time.
What do you hope to accomplish with your work?
I hope to learn a lot more about self publishing, to meet lots of new and interesting people, and travel the world.

Ashley Ronning IllustrationAshley Ronning Illustration

What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
“Of course you can draw for a job! Worry less about your crushes and start learning more about art.”

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
‘There are two different types of productivity: 1. Maintaining things (social media, admin, website) 2. Making new things (drawing and making new work). Both must get done but number 2 is always more important’. My boyfriend is a fantastically driven animator, and he wrote this out for me and I stuck it on my wall.

Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
Talk to people you admire, and pursue what you love doing.

Ashley Ronning IllustrationAshley Ronning IllustrationAshley Ronning Illustration

What are your thoughts on art school?
I personally didn’t attend art school, but if I could go back in time, I’d consider it for sure. Some of my friends have become amazing artists through their time at art school. Although, I love the technical and industry knowledge I gained at design school, as well as an understanding of typography and the layout of a well designed piece of work. I use graphic design programs so much in my practice as an illustrator.

Have any future aspirations that you’d like to share?
I’m beginning to work on a small book which I’m self publishing and I’d love to release at the start of next year, fingers crossed! Also, I’d love to travel to America and meet some risograph printers and zine shops that I have stocked work in.

Ashley Ronning IllustrationWhat’s your dream project?
Probably publishing a nice big, impressive, beautifully made book of my artwork!

What art supplies do you use?
I use a fine liner or pen nib and ink to draw, sometimes watercolours, textas and pencils and I’ve just started experimenting with gouache. I’d love to try gold leaf.

Any other artists that you would like to recommend for others to check out as well?
Sarah McNeil, Carla McCrae, Julia Trybala, Ginette Lapalme, Sean Morris

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