I recently had the chance to sit down with the lovely Ashton from Beauty I Am. I first met Ashton years ago through the Pasadena House Of Prayer where we both served in the prophetic prayer ministry. She was so quiet, but I could tell she knew more than most by the look in her eyes :). Shortly after we met, she created the non-profit Beauty I Am – an artist support group. I love what she’s doing and think she’s such a positive role model in this city, so when she asked if I would sit down to chat with her for a Featured Artist interview, I was honored.
You can find the original interview HERE.
WHEN DID YOUR FIRST NOTICE YOU HAD A CREATIVE EYE?
I was six when I began to notice my creative ability. When I was in the first grade I was given a brown paper bag to take home and decorate. I spent hours on this project. I even went as far as doing research at home so I would win the creative competition. After all that work I ended up tying with another student for first place. This upset me to the point that my teacher had to take me out into the hallway to console me. I couldn’t understand why there was not a second place. At an early age I knew that both creativity and excellence were important and it moved me to pursue new and creative endeavors. Once I would get the hang of something I would move on to the next adventure. I then got a journal and would write everything.
DID YOU FIND A SPECIFIC AREA OF CREATIVITY TO FOCUS ON?
Through my creative outlets over the years, journaling has been the most consistent for me. I grew up journaling for fun, Majored in English in college and now I am a freelance writer. I’ve tended to be shy and introverted. My love for writing developed after noticing that I could say a lot through my writing without having to verbally speak. I love writing about life. Though it may seem vague I feel like the best stories are the universal stories. The stories that people can appreciate and relate to.
DO YOU BELIEVE ART/ CREATIVITY HAS THE POWER TO CHANGE THE WORLD AROUND YOU?
On a basic level I believe whatever you feed your mind with shapes the reality around you. If you tell people the same story over and over again they are going to want to believe it. As an artist, it is a honor to create things and share them with the world, but you must also be careful what you put out there. Art can heavily influence others. It is something that people turn to to get through life. At times certain movies will make me ball my eyes out because I can relate to whatever the character is going through. I think if you can’t find a family member of friend to relate to you can always find some form or art to connect with.
WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR STAYING FOCUSED?
It’s not easy to avoid getting discouraged with acting or any other creative pursuit. I have found that as long as I do something creative everyday it keeps me motivated. You can find inspiration all around you to fuel your creativity!
I spent a while getting frustrated with acting because it wasn’t happening the way I wanted. I started to let myself go. I had to relearn the value of exercising the body as well as the mind. I thought acting classes was enough to get the part. You have to choose to be ready when the moment comes. Skill level is important, but you also have to look the part.
You can’t allow your creativity or art to consume you, there must be a balance. You must have other things going on in your life that will allow you to take a break from your art. It can be a challenge to become established in any creative realm. If you find other things that you enjoy while you are working you will have more motivation to keep going.