Ashley Glazier Interview

Mar 27 / Emma Jean Wilkins

We are so thrilled to have Ashley Glazier join Sentient as a new Instructor!

Ashley is a gifted oil painter whose work is known for color, composition and bold brushstrokes. In 2022, her piece "Camouflage" won 5th Place in the Still Life Category, Portrait Society of America Member’s Only Competition.

Scroll below and read an exclusive interview with Ashley below. Ashley's courses are coming soon!

Get to Know Ashley!

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Boise, Idaho in the 90’s and early 2000’s. At the time, Boise wasn’t really an art hub. In both my junior high and senior high school, there was one art classroom, with one art teacher. So my exposure to the arts was very minimal. Even though this was the case, those two teachers changed my life. My Junior High school art teacher was especially influential for me. In her classes, we talked about all the major art movements throughout history. I learned about realism, impressionism, pointillism, fauvism, surrealism, etc. I just thought it was all so exciting. She talked to me about her time learning to draw and paint in Florence. At the time, my 13 year old brain couldn’t wrap itself around the idea of traveling to Europe to study drawing and painting. I really looked up to her. My high school art teacher was also an intensely passionate artist. She encouraged me to pursue my art seriously as a career, and even set up an appointment for me to meet with an art school representative over a long weekend to review my work when I was a senior. Looking back, I owe so much to those two art teachers from my early years who encouraged my creative development. 

Did you come from an artistic family?
Yes and no. No one in my family is an artist in the sense that they paint pictures and draw all the time. I was kind of this anomaly, so to speak. My parents always say they don’t know where I get it from! But looking back through my mom’s childhood things, I think I got it from her. She has these drawings in her childhood journals that are very detailed. My mom never spent much time developing her drawing skill, but I think my mom is a closet artist. I keep telling her I’m going to teach her how to paint. My aunt is also extremely creative. She is always working on something in her spare time. She loves to craft and cook, and more recently, watercolor. My brother also likes to draw. My uncle has dabbled with painting and drawing as a hobby. My great grandmother was a cake decorator in Peru. So, even though my family wouldn’t think they’re all that creative or artistic, there’s definitely interest there, and I think that’s something to acknowledge. I am, although, the first professional painter and artist in my entire family as far as I know. 

What got you interested in the arts? It was just how I spent my time growing up. The practice of making things- it was just how I lived! I was that kid with a sketchbook. I was drawing things all the time. I drew lots of characters and wrote my own stories for them. My favorite thing to do was grab my cat, sketchbook, peach herbal tea, a candle, and hole up in my bedroom and draw for hours. I actually thought I was going to become an animator! I loved animated movies. I was either drawing, making stuff from found objects, crafting stuff, or decorating cakes. When I discovered polymer clay, I started making miniature food. I remember feeling like there wasn’t enough time in a day to make all the things I wanted to make. I’d give my parents a headache because my room was in a constant state of disaster since I was always in the middle of a project (or multiple.) 

Fun Fact(s) about yourself. I’m 100% a cat person. Kittens melt my heart and I lack all self control when I’m around them. I have a knack for finding stray abandoned kittens and bringing them home to nurse back to health (to the dismay of my own cat.) My husband can tell you how excited I get to try new restaurants and different types of food. I am half Peruvian and half Caucasian. I am a budding house plant mom, I like to propagate my plants. I’m not really interested in vegetable gardening, but I DO want to cultivate an elaborate flower garden. Hobbies include thrifting promising clothing items and altering them into another piece of clothing that fits me. I love running and hiking in the beautiful Utah mountains. I love wandering aimlessly around thrift shops and antique malls. Gilmore Girls is my comfort show. I’m a die hard Swiftie. 

What College/University/Other did you attend? I got my BFA in Illustration from Brigham Young University.

Do you have any recommended resources, books, or courses to share? I love listening to Jeff Hein’s Undraped podcast. I also love Winslow Art Center’s weekly Art Chats. I have a growing collection of art books too. The ones I would recommend to any painter would be Alla Prima II by Richard Schmid, The Art of Still Life by Todd M. Casey, and Color & Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter by James Gurney. I also love books about creativity. Some I recommend are The Art Spirit by Robert Henri, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Creative Habit by professional dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp. And for those who are feeling stuck with their work: The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. There are so many ways to learn to draw and paint today! I recommend looking at your favorite artists and see where they are teaching and try to learn directly from them. The Scottsdale Artists School brings in many professionals that are stellar. Sentient Academy is another powerhouse of art knowledge and art education! And you don’t have to travel anywhere to study from today’s masterful painters. (Only to the kitchen to grab a snack in between classes.)

What are you currently doing with your career, and what future goals do you have? 
I am in the phase of building my early painting career. I’m no longer officially a student (although it feels like I’ll forever be one because there’s so much to learn.) I am now painting full time and running my business full time. I am submitting my work to competitions, I am working with clients and galleries, and I am strategizing my marketing efforts. I am working on diversifying and getting more revenue streams going so I can be more stable financially. I’m learning so much about the administrative side of running a small business, and all the while working to develop stronger foundational painting skills. Sentient Academy is really going to help me improve in the areas I want to improve in thanks to their quality classes and resources. I am also trying to experiment and push myself to make work that’s out of my comfort zone. 

Is there anything you wish you could have done to get to this point sooner? Questions like these always make me think. I spent 4 years of my young life meandering from major to major until I settled on Medical Laboratory Science because it felt safe and like I would always have work available to me. It didn’t feel realistic for me to study art and to make a living as an artist. I eventually decided that graphic design was a ‘safe’ creative career, but ended up in the illustration program and here I am a professional painter. I’ve thought many times “Man I WISH I would have just studied painting and drawing right from the get go. I’d be so much farther along than I am now.” But I have also seen how those 4 years were beneficial to me. They showed me I honestly didn’t fit anywhere else except among the arts. I am also a first generation American as my mom is an immigrant. I (understandably) was taught to be responsible for myself and to pick a profession that would be safe and would always provide. Choosing to study art felt like a huge risk at the time. I can always wish for more time, but it’s not what happened. I’m content with the path that I’ve taken. We all find our way eventually!

What did you wish you knew as a student?
Okay, there is one thing I wish for and I WISH I could go back and be a student all over again with the knowledge I have now! When I was a student, I was so invested in my study of illustration and painting. It meant so much to me because for a while I couldn’t get over the fact that I got to spend my days laboring over paintings, drawings and sketchbook assignments. Having come from boring chemistry classes, these courses were electrifying. Eventually, as I moved through the program, classes became less fun and more stressful. I cared SO much, and I wanted to be ‘successful’ SO badly that I would worry over everything and stress about not knowing enough and not learning fast enough. I wish I embodied a little more zen with my studies. I think it would have helped me relax a little and be more present instead of constantly worrying about the future and obsessing over things that didn’t matter. I got in my own head a lot of times and yeah I wish I didn’t do that as much. If I could go back and give 24 year old Ashley some advice, I’d tell her that it’s all going to work out, and to just trust the process. 

What are your goals for the future?
I have a bunch of little short term goals that I’m working on now. My goals are separated into different categories: goals for this year, 2 year goals, 5 year goals, 10 year goals, and lifetime goals. Some headliner goals are: to start placing in competitions, have a solo show, make enough income to bring on administrative help (so I can spend my time painting), have a painting purchased by a museum as part of their permanent collection, show work internationally, build a killer home studio and use it as a space to mentor younger artists, paint a large scale mural of a still life on the side of a building, paint a 12 foot painting (not on the side of a building), and host a destination workshop somewhere beautiful and meaningful to me. 

Check out Ashley's Website & Instagram!

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