Instagram: @spencerashley_

1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

My name is Genevieve and I’m a non-binary illustrator from a small town in Southern Ontario.

2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

My work aesthetic is bright, fun, and weird. I think people are sometimes surprised by how my work tends to have dark overtones or provokes a more thoughtful response because of how it looks on the surface. I like to make work but that carries significantly serious or emotional meaning. I approach life similarly, I try to have as much fun as I can, but I am often coming from a serious and emotional place.

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

My favourite medium is plain old digital. I like how fast it allows me to work, and the freedom to change things as I go. I love to sketch in thick black markers though, it just feels fantastic.

4. What is your artistic process like?

My artistic process is spontaneous. I often create final images from random drawings in my sketchbook. I often work backward, having the idea of a concept first and then finding something I’ve drawn over the years that just fit or if there’s a really weird character I haven’t added into a final yet, I’ll often start there. 

I make the best work when I’m not thinking and allow the “flow” to take over. I’ve made it a habit to make compositions that are energetic and full of movement. 

5. Who and/or what inspires your work? 

I think what inspires my work mostly has been relationships of all kinds. Whether that’s the relationship I have with a particular object, person, or event. Or, relationships that get formed between pop cultures like sports, celebrities, or memes. 

As well, I love weird stuff left behind my people – like handmade flyers and classified ads. I love seeing glimpses of any person’s particular life. It’s interesting to see what you can take from as little information as possible. I am fascinated by seeing people reveal their true selves.

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

Art plays a role in my life by helping me to process feelings. A lot of my work, which I tend to keep to myself is exploring highly emotional moments into messy comics and diary-like drawings. They often are sprawled over 10 -15 pages in one go. It changes the way I view the world by knowing I have a safe space that I create and manage.

7. Where did you study?

I studied at Sheridan College in Ontario. I took the Honours Bachelors of Illustration program and graduated this year. I had a great college experience, and thank my peers for helping me grow!

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I hope to have branched out farther into the work I do, for instance, murals or sculpture. I see myself having confidence in knowing that I have the capabilities to be a freelancer full-time.

9. What about in ten?

Oh boy, ten years. I hope to have finally settled on a place to live permanently and have formed solid life-long friendships to carry me through. I would love to end up in Montreal, but my mind changes all the time about where I would be best suited. 

10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

With my work, I hope to achieve a consistent commentary on what I see. I hope to make work that is about the good things in life, but more importantly, I like to make work that showcases morality and questions things. 

11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?

My favourite food is ice cream, but it has to have chunks of stuff in it. I like Ben and Jerry’s P.B & Cookies (vanilla non-dairy with chocolate sandwich cookies & crunchy P.B swirls).

12. Favourite book?

I don’t have one (sorry).

13. Favourite genre of music? 

Oh man, big question. I love “synthy” weird stuff right now, though.

14. What are your hobbies? 

My hobbies are pretty basic stuff -exercise, journaling, practicing mindfulness, hiking, thrifting. 

15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

I have no idea.