Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m an illustrator from Honolulu, Hawaii, who currently lives in LA. I’m inspired by bright color combinations, florals, and women + non binary people of different shapes and sizes. I hope that my work is able to bring people joy, resiliency, and feelings of community.
Three things you need for a productive day.
Coffee, yoga, and human interaction. As a freelancer, if I don’t get the third I feel like a hermit holed up in my house.
What do you consider a wasted life?
I don’t think that any life is wasted, by existing we are all inherently worthy. I do think that the purpose of life is to share and engage in love with other people. The most important thing that we can do is sharing ourselves with the world, by creating community and intimacy. I hope that I can make an impact on the world by using art to make people become a little more loving, and a lot more critical of the systems in place that keep us in circles of violence and exploitation.
What has had the biggest impact on your political beliefs?
Wow. A lot of things. My dad was always really progressive and left leaning, so I got a lot of it from him early on. I remember making anti-Bush stickers in Microsoft Publisher in the 6th grade. Living in Cape Town, South Africa for a while in college made the largest impact in terms of recognizing the deep rooted racism in our own country.
What do you attribute the biggest successes in your life to? How about your largest failures?
I’m a big luck person. As a first generation college student, I knew that I wanted to go to college, but also had deep anxiety about being able to afford it. I was privileged to get a scholarship to study. Even though I didn’t end up studying art, the opportunities to travel around the world and learn about different political systems, spend time learning about gender theory and sociology deeply informed the way that I look at the world and have shaped the way I create art.
I think that the biggest successes have come from taking a chance and jumping into an unclear direction. I don’t think of anything as a failure, aside perhaps a fear of change.
What events led you to where you are now?
I knew that when I graduated from college, I wouldn’t be happy doing research and consulting (nor do I think anyone really wanted to hire me). I started to put together a portfolio of design and illustration work that I had done for fun, and found a job doing art direction and design at a startup lifestyle mag. After switching from that to the non-profit field, I realized that the 9-5 life wasn’t working for me and that I wanted to switch gears. I had been dreaming of going backpacking through Asia (in part to see where my Mom grew up in Korea), and so I packed up a big bag, let go of my lease, and traveled alone for a while. While I was traveling, I was entirely alone and distraught over the political climate. My trip was planned for right after the election, and I like many other people were foolish to not consider that Trump would actually win. In isolation and frustration, I began to create illustrated responses to national news, and post them to find community. It’s been almost two years since then, and I’ve found myself in a place where I can create political art as my career.
What are your next steps?
I’m primarily a digital artist, but I’d really like to branch out into more tangible mediums. I have a mural that I’m planning in Berkeley later this year, and I’d really like to create art for public interaction.
Learn more on our blog interview with her here: Meet Ashley
Follow her here: @ashlukadraws
Check out more of her work: Ashley Lukashevsky
Meet Ashley and her work in person at our next event:
Join us for our last featured artist opening of the year with Ashley Lukashevsky! She's got a long list of accomplished work with Refinery29, Undbound Babes, Rei, Snoop Dog, Wiz Khalifa and more! She is truly an inspiring artist who uses her illustrations and art as a tool to strengthen social movements against systemic racism, sexism, and anti-immigrant policy. She believes that in order to tear down these systems, we need to be able to dream of world without them. She expresses through her drawings what that world looks like and it's totally inspiring us all!
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