RAMONA WORKSHOPS: PERIOD WITCHES

ARTIST FEATURE: Ashley Wong

Tell us about yourself!

I am an illustrator, embroidery-maker, and baking hobbyist from a suburb close to Toronto, Canada. I’ve just graduated from an illustration program and I’m trying to decide where to go from here. I like making songs for my cat and getting lost in Wikipedia articles, trying to find gossip about royalty born hundreds of years ago. Lately, I’ve become more invested in spending time outdoors.

How did you get started in the arts?

I’ve shown an interest in making images since I was a kid. My mom encouraged it, maybe partly because her sister paints floats and interiors at Disneyland for a living. My manga influence set in when I was 12. I was reading comics like Fruits Basket and Vampire Knight at the time and I wanted to draw the pretty characters in them.

What mediums do you work in? Do you have a favorite?

I work in watercolour, gouache, acrylic, ink, embroidery, and Photoshop most of the time. Embroidery is kind of my favourite because I can peacefully watch shows while working on pieces.

Tell us about your work process.

I don’t sketch as much as I probably should. Once an idea comes to mind, I draw 1 to 4 different compositions and I go with my gut. When choosing colours, I don’t plan ahead unless I’m choosing colours for an important piece or a series of images. I think I should be planning more but I just want to jump into things!

What is your favorite thing about being an artist?

I love getting to sit down and have fun making something. It’s rewarding to start and finish something that’s all yours, especially when it’s as time-consuming as embroidery.

How do you like to spend your time when you aren’t making art?

Earlier this year, I started teaching myself how to bake with the power of the internet. So far I’ve made things like matcha shortbread, apple almond cake, and goat cheese leek bread. I’d like to tackle choux pastry next. I’ve also been getting back into reading. I had forgotten how great it is to be transported to another world for a few hours. I recently finished Circe by Madeline Miller and I absolutely loved it.

Are there any projects you’re currently working on that you can tell us about?

I’m finishing up my Stitchtober piece at the moment. After that, I’ll have time to think of some more fantasy-themed pieces to embroider.

Are there any songs/films/books that have had a real impact on your creative processes or work?

I honestly can’t think of any that have had a lasting impact on me. I usually look to other visual artists for inspiration. I do remember having a thick book of illustrated fairy tales that was falling apart because I read it so much. I have vague memories of staring at the pictures and hoping they were real. That book probably affected me because I still love fairy tales and I want to make them come to life in my own way.

Can you leave us with a quote that inspires you?

Gah, I can’t think of a specific quote but it would probably be about trying your best every day.

Keep up with Ashley’s work on her website, Twitter, Instagram, and Society6.

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Sophie Pellegrini

Sophie Pellegrini is the Co-Founder and Artistic & Creative Director of Ramona Magazine for Girls. She is a 24-year-old outdoor-enthusiast, photographer, and wilderness therapy field guide in Colorado. Sophie has a Master’s of Communication Design in Photography from the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland, and a BA in Psychology and Studio Art from Bates College in Maine, USA. She loves crafting, playing acoustic guitar, 90s music, the smell of summer, making lists, a good nap, cuddly animals, and the cold side of the pillow. Follow Sophie on her website and on Instagram.

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