Photo Courtesy of Matthew Hintz
Minnesota-born artist, designer, and illustrator Ashley Mary is fitting colors and abstract shapes together to create whimsical pieces and eye-catching product designs across the metro and beyond.
Originally beginning her career as a religion major, Mary eventually found her way to graphic design in an effort to do what truly spoke to her. “I paid attention to how my spirit and energy felt when I was creating,” Mary says. “I have found what brings me joy and I have made a conscious decision to move toward that daily.”
Specializing in painting and collage with paper, Mary allows her positive energy to drive her inspiration for each piece.
“I am not looking to make something specific,” Mary says. “I just arrange things until they feel right. Just go for it.”
She describes her art as something that is indicative of her personality: playful and youthful in nature. Given her graphic design background, her work depicts bright colors and bold, geometric shapes—computer language, she calls it.
Photos courtesy of Grace Beck (left) and Ashley Mary (right)
Outside of her studio practice at the Northrup King Building, Mary works as a graphic designer, freelance illustrator, and prop stylist who uses her artistic abilities as a strategic tool to help clients develop a unique brand for themselves. Currnetly, Mary has more than 20 collaborations with local and national clients like Target, Anthropologie, Minuty Rosé, and West Elm; featured illustrations with Madewell, Mall of America’s Beauty is Bold celebration, and other promotional fliers for local events; a showcased colorful space for the ‘Sota Pop experience during the Super Bowl LII festivities in downtown Minneapolis; and work on HGTV’s pilot show “Stay or Sell” with local real estate pros Fox Homes.
“I am interested in collaborations that are natural,” Mary says. “I want everything that I do to be an extension of what I love.”
For the future of her career, Mary says she will continue to incorporate her favorite things in everything that she does. Given that, she hopes to feature her work on additional larger scale indoor and outdoor environments and hopes to eventually create a textile, sock, or skateboard line.
Mary will be a guest on the “Jason Show” Sept. 17, and she will speaking on the topic of “chaos” with Minneapolis Creative Mornings on Sept. 21. If you want to see her work before then and meet her in person, though, stop by the Northrup King Building every Saturday from noon to 4, when the artists open their studio doors to the public.