No Permission:The Art of Being Ashley
By Betsy Diacatos
“If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission.” Lasell College sophomore Ashley Joncas lives by this mantra. “I feel like so many people are afraid of stepping out of the box and taking a chance,” she said.
Ashley Joncas is an extremely talented artist and photographer who uses herself as a model for her creations. Joncas began experimenting with cameras during her junior year of high school. In her photos, Joncas likes to capture the contrast of light and dark, as well as people’s emotions. Joncas said, “I’ll be walking along or listening to music and sporadically get an idea. Lately I’ve been inspired by my favorite designers, such as Alexander McQueen and Gareth Pugh. I’m also inspired by the work of painters, like Brian Viveros, as well as tattoo artists, who are not your traditional artist in that sense, but my favorite is Nikko Hurtado.”
Joncas creates tattoo designs for clients, sketches, acrylic paintings and portraits, and digital art. She wants her viewers to respond to her work by involving relatable characteristics. The paintings are of people who she finds to be creative geniuses or inspirational to her. She manages a blog where she archives her latest pieces and informs her readers of current fashion trends. Her own voice and thoughts are also expressed in the writing. “It covers everything from couture to music, art, my own work, but all keeping with my unique personal style, which is probably what sets it apart from other fashion blogs. I put myself and my personality into it 100 percent,” Joncas said.
Joncas uses gold leaf, paint, studs, and a generous amount of glitter to achieve the look she wants to create. “I tend to model in the majority of the shoots showcased, because…well…I rest easier knowing that I put toxic paint on my own face instead of some helpless client…just in case,” she states in her website’s bio. In order to project the images in her head into reality, she makes a lot of her own accessories and headpieces. Joncas classifies herself as a “crazy crafter.”
Crazy crafter indeed; Joncas also designs and sells her very own shoes! “It started when people found out I could draw,” she said, “and they thought it would be cool if I put my drawings on shoes.” Joncas works closely with her clients, picking out the basic white shoe together, discussing the client’s vision, and creating the shoe. The actual business didn’t start officially until summer 2011. Before creating the business, Joncas only did freelance jobs; when the business aspect began to intrigue her, she made it official. Joncas’s clients usually contact her via email or through the contact section on her website; from there they discuss purchasing her work or commissioned jobs. “The job itself is pretty widespread, because I do the custom shoe designing but am also constantly contacted for tattoo designs, photography, editing, advertising, and custom paintings,” she explained.
Where does Ashley Joncas see herself going after college? Right now, she is keeping her options open and trying to become versatile in all aspects of art and design. She would love to find a happy mix of art and fashion, her two loves. For now, she is trying to become as well rounded as possible.