We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Garner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
When I first started out in the creative industry it was because in my personal life I was interested in creative things. I never saw a difference or a division between the two. I went to school for art, I worked as a model for art and fashion jobs, I graduated and got a day job working for an art fair, later at a fashion photo studio, and now at a fine art print shop. I then come home after my day jobs and make my own art. For my entire life, up until recently, there was no division between my work life and my personal life because in my head they were one in the same. As I’ve gotten older, gotten into relationships, had other relationships fall apart (work and personal), I have realized the great importance of knowing for yourself where to draw the line where work starts and where your personal life starts. The things that you want out of both of them, the amount of energy and time you’re willing to put into each of them. Work will fluctuate but your personal relationships, your home, mental and emotional health, and your relationship with yourself, those things are forever; if they aren’t in healthy places then when work eventually starts to slow down there’s going to be a lot of unhappiness in your life. Over the past 2 years I’ve started to work more on my own work balance and have found that as a result the art work that I’m making feels more fulfilling then it did before. The way that I think about things, look at things, consider things all have a much wider perspective and understanding.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My name is Ashley G. Garner and I am a photographer and video artist based in Brooklyn, NY. I was raised between Georgia and Western North Carolina and graduated with Bachelor Degree’s in Fine Art and Art History at FIU in Miami. Weeks after graduating I moved to NYC in 2014 and worked for the international art fair SCOPE. As I learned about the drama of the contemporary art world while working in exhibitor sales I developed my own body of fine art photos and videos. I later went on to work at the premiere fashion photo studio, Pier59, where I learned about how sets and productions were being built and operated for major campaign shoots and event production. From this I developed my video art more, began building sets in my tiny apartments, pushing my own production skills, and also began to develop some of my concepts into a much larger ongoing series that is now called ÆSTHESIA. Most of my work examines nature, mythology, the body, and self portraiture. ÆSTHESIA is a visual/audio series I started in 2017 with musician Juan Correa Lopez (ALURIA), and has recently been accepted as an LLC in NY state. From what started as an idea about videos of plants with audio of the Solfeggio Frequencies has now developed into a multi-sensory wellness program connecting with nature through art therapy. ÆSTHESIA explores the visceral ways that plants are used in healing environments for psycho-physiological benefits as well as creates physical and virtual spaces that people can access to connect with nature when they physically aren’t able to such as in health centers and urban environments. We have installed work within rehab clinics, hotels, museums, universities, and film festivals. Æ continues to partner with health centers, plant shops, educational institutions, nurseries, tech wellness companies, and others. This is probably the work that I am the proudest of and continue to develop, push it’s boundaries, and find ways to make it more accessible while also seeking ways to bring in financial support.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Wynwood Walls – because if you haven’t been you have to go at least once Vizcaya Museum and Gardens South Point Pier The bridge to Key Biscayne at night
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout is to Elizabeth Gilbert for her book “Big Magic”.