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Check Out Ashley Taylor’s Story

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

Hi Ashley, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I always wanted to be a teacher and when I was little, I pretended to be a teacher and my grandpa was patient enough to play student, we spent our afternoons in the kitchen as if it were the classroom. I never really thought I’d be a teacher as I was super shy. After my grandpa died, I started playing sports and dedicated all my time to playing soccer. When I got to high school, I wanted to be on the United States Women’s National Team. In my junior year, I tore my ACL and was forced to sit out the entire year. To stay connected to the team, I documented the entire season and designed an end-of-the-year book. I discovered this creative side and decided a career in art and design was more for me than professional sports. I spent my college years learning how to draw, design and got really invested in the print arts. I was surrounded by so much talent, I had never really drawn too much before college so there was so much to learn but what being an athlete taught me was being okay with mistakes and the process of learning and failing. An athlete learns how much time it takes to improve in something, how much repetition and patience as well as an understanding of loss and quick recovery. I was a goalkeeper.

If I made a mistake, it usually resulted in a goal so everything I did was under a microscope. So I got pretty used to the stresses of making mistakes. Making mistakes in the creative field wasn’t so daunting to me, more of it was patience, some topics like drawing didn’t come so natural to me. So it took work. In college, I rediscovered my love for teaching and went to graduate school for learning more of the print arts. After graduate school, I became a professional printer until three years ago, I was hired as a Lecturer at the University of Central Florida. I have been in the art and design field for about ten years now, I work as a freelance designer and one of the most amazing things is soccer came back in my life in a wonderful way a few years ago. I got the chance to design some matchday gear and graphics for the American Outlaws, the supporter group of the United States National Soccer team and since then, I have worked with them on some of their merchandise, fan experiences, and gameday signs. It’s serendipitous to be able to combine my love for soccer with my passion for design.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
When I think about other people’s experiences, I think it’s been a fairly smooth road. I’ve made a ton of mistakes and have learned much about what it’s like working in a male-dominated field.

I’ve overcome shyness and imposter syndrome. I used to be a shy kid, afraid to speak, it just takes practice and experience and you gotta start somewhere. So when students say I can’t do it, I’m bad at this, I say well of course you are!

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a printmaker that utilizes her background in design, illustration and drawing to satirize the bizarre social and political hellscape of American Culture. I work in a cacophony of mark and imagery to simulate the overwhelming effects of instability while igniting the sense of sanity through satire.

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  • Instagram: the_ashbash

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