Ashleigh Sharmaine is a Pop Culture Illustrator whose commissioned work can be seen on BET, MTV2, and The Shaderoom with plans on working on a web series.
How did you get into drawing?
As a young child growing up, I always found myself interested in art. Also, I have a lot of artistic family members, so I think it just runs in my blood.
Who would you say is your most significant influence?
My most significant influences are Matt Groening and Klasky-Csupo.
What influenced your decision to mix cartoons and pop culture?
My decision to mix my illustrations with cartoons and pop culture was to produce something eye-catching and clever so, I love to incorporate a dab of nostalgia with a bit of pop culture on the side to add a little flair to my pieces.
What piece of yours is your favorite, and why?
My favorite piece is my rendition of Space Jam with Colin Kapernick. That’s one of my favorite pieces because Space Jam was one of my favorite movies growing up, and I respect Colin Kapernick’s decision to stand for something he truly believes in.
Has anyone unexpected reached out to you about your art? If so, who and how did that conversation go?
Yes, there have been a few unexpected from MTV2, BET, The Shaderoom. BET was interested in interviewing me and my artwork. MTV2 was intrigued by my collection pieces of Martin Lawrence and want my permission to place it on their social media sites.
The Shaderoom is familiar with my work and wanted me to create a commission piece for them. I am so appreciative to have been recognized by all platforms, but these stuck out to me because I grew up on BET & MTV, and I stay tuned to The Shaderoom.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Five years from now, I see myself as an artist, that is recognized for my talent and creative style internationally – while establishing an empire to includes creating televised award-winning cartoon series that become widely known throughout the world.
To expanding my brand from illustrations/paintings to clothing to movies, books, and furniture, the list is endless.
If you could compare yourself to any cartoon character, who would it be and why?
Good question! If were to compare myself to a cartoon, I think it would be Lisa Simpson because we have similar characteristics, she’s innovative, she marches to the beat of her own drum and overall determined.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be, and why?
I would love to collaborate with Matt Groening or Klasky-Csupo. I think it would be absolutely amazing working alongside the creators of the longest-running television series, let alone one of my favorite shows growing up.
What’s one piece of advice you’ve received that has shaped you as an artist?
A small talk conversation pushed me into what I actually wanted to create as an artist, and it changed my career. A simple, “Do you, and watch the support follow,” definitely help to shape me as an artist today.
What’s next for Ashleigh? (i.e., speaking engagements, workshops, exhibitions, Etc.
As I continue to create illustrations and paintings, I am currently working on animating for my web series on YouTube. I’ll be making a few appearances on podcast shows via YouTube and Twitter.
Right now, I have a few pieces in T.I’s Trap Music Museum in Atlanta. I have a showcase in New York that I will be featured in. 2020 holds significant opportunities and big decision making for me as well. Just stay tuned in there’s definitely more to come of Ashleigh Sharmaine.