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Life & Work with Ashley Ivory

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Ivory. 

Hi Ashley, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
Back in 2018, I had a really bad night. I decided to take a drive to Walmart. While I was inside of Walmart there was a young boy who had approached me & said “You seem like you’re sad, do you need something to do? Here try these.” As he was speaking, he handed me my first pack of chalk that I would use to do my first piece of artwork. I had decided to try it out that same night. That’s when I created my Logo. I believe my logo explains not only the name of my business but its personality and reflection of where it stems from as well. 

When I decided on the name “Fractured Focus Chalks”, at the time it described everything I was going through so perfectly. My mind had been racing as I was struggling to work full time while also attending Western Michigan full time. To make things even more difficult I had two young girls I had been raising on my own while still healing from the loss of my brother Matthew and my grandfather Johnny SR. My mind was fractured. I was broken, I was lost and I had been on this long search for myself. My Focus was all over the place. I found myself not focused at all. My focus had been fractured by what had been happening around me. So that’s when I picked up my chalk that night. 

Once I began it seemed almost impossible to stop. As I began to start what I thought was so simple, I fell in love with it. Seeing someone’s vision and making it physical is quite an amazing feeling. While thinking of a name, I thought of all I just mentioned. That’s when Fractured Focus Chalks came to my mind. I hadn’t dealt with any painting yet, just chalk. From there I progressed in a way I had never imaged before. I began to teach myself different techniques and things like that & I am still progressing and I am excited to see what the future of my business has in store for me. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Like any new business, there will be roadblocks. I started out doing pop-up shops & not generating a revenue for any of my work. I can remember in 2019 I learned my first lesson about not taking deposits. I had done a painting for someone, and they had simple screenshot what I sent, un-watermarked; & kept it as a digital file. From there, I had learned that taking deposits is very important because you know just how much hard work, time, and your own resources you have put into this work. When someone just takes from you it can be the most uncomfortable lesson of them all. 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
What I specialize in is Acrylic Art, Chalk Art & 3D Artwork. I also host Kids Paint Parties, Sip & Paint parties, or whatever even you’d like to book a paint party for! What I am most proud of is my 3D work that I have began doing lately. I am also self-taught in this area. I began doing this work about six months ago and am very fascinated with it. I plan to do more work in that area soon! 

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
If I had a piece of advice for any new beginning artist it would be to take your time. Art is not easy to learn, much like any other profession or skill one is trying to obtain, it will take time & a lot of practice. I wish someone would have explained this to me. When I first began, I would get upset with myself when I would attempt to do something I was trying to learn and I couldn’t right away. I couldn’t even do it months from then. But I kept practicing and eventually, I mastered what I was once attempting and completing it from scratch. 

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Image Credits

James Garner

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