Ashley Longshore feels powerfully connected to New Orleans. "There is an undercurrent of weirdness that as an artist I was drawn to," says the self-taught painter and Alabama native, whose Magazine Street gallery showcases her flamboyant style. Known for paintings that depict iconic women such as Audrey Hepburn and Frida Kahlo and explore themes of status, consumerism, beauty and bravery, Longshore has become a sought-after brand. Her success has inspired women, locals and Southerners in particular, but her message of personal empowerment is for everyone.
"You must work like your life depends on it and be kind to yourself along the way," Longshore says.
What is inspiring you now?
All the opportunities we have as Americans to be entrepreneurs. There are not a lot of places in the world where we have this freedom. It's amazing, especially being a woman. I love exploring the roles of status and greed in this country. Thankfully, there's a neverending amount of inspiration.
Words of wisdom?
The advantage of being an American entrepreneur is that the sky is the limit. You just have to put in the work and build amazing relationships. Making your own money allows you the freedom to love who you really want and gives you the power to be as creative as you imagined, and that is true freedom.
Favorite style secret?
Statement pieces, color, sparkle, oversized rings, shiny clutches, massive pots of orchids. Embrace your uniqueness and find accessories that express who you really are. For me, the bigger the better. I prefer to be unforgettable [rather] than to blend in with the crowd. And please, whatever you do, don't go in public with a camel toe. (You know when you have one... help me help you.)
Favorite place to hang out?
With all my friends and my team barbecuing in the garden of my studio, listening to some old-school R&B and laughing uncontrollably.