Ashley St. Lawrence: Trinidad History Museum’s Third Creative in Residence
Ashley St. Lawrence is the newest artist to participate in the Trinidad History Museum’s new Creatives in Residence program. This program, an initiative we began only last year, provides the opportunity for artists from around the country to come to Trinidad and experience the local southern Colorado culture and share their art with the community. St. Lawrence’s tenure at the museum began in December, and she’ll remain in Trinidad for several months, practicing her craft and sharing her knowledge and experiences. She was kind enough to answer a few questions about herself and her art for us.
What’s your art medium? What drew you to it, and what sets it apart from other types or styles?
I’m a graphic artist with a heavy focus on comic book art. Most of the work I do is done digitally through programs such as Clip Studio or Photoshop. Graphic artists aim for their work to be intrinsically understood by their audience. I need to produce several images that work together as well as individually, like traditional art, to tell a story without words. While working digitally is common in the field, while I’ve been here in Trinidad I’ve been working on a handful of traditional paintings and hand-drawn comic pages for my own personal enjoyment.
How does your history (personal and cultural) impact your art or your creative process?
The nature of graphic art and design is meant to move forward and not to get attached to projects or ideas. Most of my art is produced to what my clients or editors want. On a personal front, when I was a child I was a bit of a loner. Drawing comics was something that brought me happiness, and that never really went away.
What led to you becoming interested in the Creative in Residence program?
My Aunt Carmela Vanore volunteers at the Trinidad History Museum. She’s been trying for a while to get me to come out and spend some time in the town, and she let me know about the Creative in Residence program. When I saw what the program had to offer, I thought it would be a fun adventure that would give me a chance to work on some new art, experience a new place, and expand my horizons.
What sort of art are you creating, or do you hope to create, during your time in Trinidad?
I find myself painting a bit more than I do when I’m in New Jersey. But at the same time, I’m still doing a lot of graphic art. I have a side business selling T-shirts that I’ve designed, so I’m hoping that while I’m here I’ll be inspired to not only come up with some cool designs but also to make steps in some projects I haven’t had time to work on in a while.
As an artist, what inspires you about Trinidad in particular and Colorado as a whole?
People here seem to be really interested in art. Where I come from, there’s a lot of eye-rolling when you say you’re a professional artist. But the history of this town and its connection to artists in the past help make this a place of creativity. Inspiration just flows out of places that are creative.
All of the art featured in this article was produced by Ashley St. Lawrence while she’s been in Colorado. Please call or visit the Trinidad History Museum to learn more about her art or the Creative in Residence program.