Countless modern artists have gotten their start using their Instagram to garner a following. However, few have reached such a high level of exposure as our interviewee, Ashley Martelle.
Ashley Martelle is well-known on the internet for her signature evolving blonde hairstyles and her movie-star good looks. But it’s time she gets credit for her provocative paintings and her pop culture character mashups.
Over the past few years, she has surpassed a million Instagram followers and shows no sign of slowing down, as she continues to improve her art and refine her style.
We were fortunate to catch up with Ashley Martelle to discuss her inspirations, artistry, and the future of modern art.
Kulturehub: How far back does your interest in art go? Is it something you have been aspiring to do since you were young, or something that you came into later on?
Ashley Martelle: I would have to say a little bit of both. I always enjoyed playing around with different mediums when I was younger, in grade school.
I used to win art coloring contests and still to this day have those coloring sheets and ribbons. It was more of a hobby and just something I enjoyed doing with my spare time. I didn’t look at it seriously and stopped once I got older and graduated high school.
“It wasn’t until recently where I found myself in a dark place and brought out the paintbrushes again…”– Ashley Martelle, Artist and Influencer
KH: If you can, briefly describe your artistic style for people who may not be familiar.
AM: Honestly, I can’t describe my art style because I feel that I’m still trying to find what works best for me. I can say that most of my work has been on the provocative side. I don’t like playing it safe when it comes to art. I like to be as bold as I can be.
KH: Are there any artists you particularly admire or have had a profound influence on you?
KH: I saw from your Instagram that you really love the ocean, water, and snorkeling. Do you find that you draw inspiration for your work from nature and natural environments?
AM: I’ve been tapping more into who I am and the things that I enjoy in life, so I do have ideas written down that revolve around nature and natural environments that I can’t wait to dive into.
KH: What artistic styles or subjects do you find interesting? Do you feel that your work is a reflection of art you like?
AM: I would have to say surrealism and lowbrow. I would see works of art in these categories and think “how could I ever be this talented?”
Recently, I’ve let go of that scared mentality I used to have.– Ashley Martelle, Artist and Influencer
I think I’ll start tapping more into these categories and create my own fresh work that’s never been done or seen before.
KH: I see you have done many different pieces around pop culture icons such as The Looney Tunes. Is there a reason that these icons factor into your work as much as they do?
AM: Okay so let’s get into this! People used to always send me messages on social media saying how much I look like Lola Bunny. After seeing how Alec Monopoly took off with the Monopoly Man, I thought “Hey, let me try this with Lola.”
At the time it felt like a great idea, so I did a “Lola Collection” when I first started painting again. The only problem was that it was limiting what I could create! From there, I started painting other Looney Tunes characters. I took iconic hip-hop photographs and I made them my own using the characters.
KH- Recently, a theme we have been touching on heavily at Kulturehub is the popularity of NFT’s and digital artwork. How do you feel about the explosion of popularity of NFT’s?Have you considered getting in the NFT game?
AM: I’ve considered it for sure but never executed. Is it still popping? I hear mixed things about it, so who knows?
KH: Take us back to when you first started on Instagram. Did you ever imagine that you’d become this much of a sensation?
AM: Oh lord, I don’t find myself to be such a sensation haha. But no, I would’ve never thought this is where I’d be.
KH: What is the most rewarding part of the success and attention you have gained so far in your career?
AM: I’m very hard on myself and fight many demons behind closed doors. Sometimes I feel so alone likes nobody’s watching, but then I’ll get messages or people walking up telling me how I’ve inspired them in some way, and that’s an amazing feeling! Everyone likes feeling important.
KH: Lastly, do you have any advice or guidance for people who are inspired by you and your work?
“Don’t be too hard on yourself, and be consistent. That’s key to anything in life!”– Ashley Martelle, Artist and Influencer
That’s All Folks!
Ashley Martelle has the talent and drive to rise to the top of the world she has created for herself. The unique intersection of artist and influencer that she falls into is rarely seen on the platform, and could perhaps become a new norm for other creators.
If you are interested in Ashley’s work and artistry or are simply a fan of her vibe we strongly encourage you to support her. Check out her Instagram, and Twitter to stay up to date with her moves and her work.