Alumni Spotlight, People
Visual Arts alum Ashleigh Green takes up residence in arts communities around the world
February 9, 2016
Creative and Critical Studies
Okanagan (Kelowna, BC)
Bachelor of Fine Arts, UBC Okanagan (2014)
“Go Global is a wonderfully unique opportunity to travel and obtain a broader education.”
VISUAL ARTIST ASHLEIGH GREEN has managed to squeeze a lot of living into a few short years.
Since graduating from UBC’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (FCCS), she’s roamed the globe taking inspiration from each new environment. She is an artist, illustrator, graphic designer, and animator passionate about capturing and sharing the richness of the world around her.
The elegant simplicity of her style lends itself to typography, logo and publication design, photo collages, magazine and cookbook layouts, and more. Her minimalistic drawing work is typified by muted colours or restrained palettes, and a focus on everyday things such as rocks, moss, plants, people, animals, houses, and ice.
Green graduated in 2014 and has been on the road ever since. The Kelowna resident recently completed an artist residency in Seyðisfjörður, Iceland and is now travelling through Europe.
The residency was not her first. Green spent a semester at the Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland as part of UBC Okanagan’s Go Global program. She also completed an illustration residency at the School of Visual Art in New York.
Being able to study in Scotland while earning UBC credits was an incredible opportunity Green recommends other UBC students take advantage of. She says it provided her with a fresh outlook on art in general and her work in particular.
“It changed the way I viewed my own work and challenged me to find my voice,” she says. “It’s a wonderfully unique opportunity to travel and obtain a broader education while paying the same UBC tuition.”
Green was inspired by a talk by FCCS Associate Professor Renay Egami, who described artist residences as a place where artists can fully immerse themselves in their practice without interruption or demands of the working world.
“I immediately knew this would be my next step after graduation,” Green says.
The residencies have allowed her to explore the world and continue evolving as a person and an artist.
“I knew that taking part in residencies would be the best way to continue making art after university, meet other artists, and work in engaging environments while travelling.”
DISCOVERING A NICHE
Green spent her first two years at UBC searching for a way to apply her artwork to something more than standalone images intended for gallery walls. She found her niche in illustration.
It provides her with a way to collaborate with different artists and produce work with purpose, including three books she illustrated while working as a visual artist/research assistant for Professor Nancy Holmes’ Dig Your Neighbourhood: Rutland project.
Green excelled at UBC’s Okanagan campus in part because of ready access to exceptional professors. She also took advantage of access to studios 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“I would recommend any prospective BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) students at UBCO to take advantage of the 24/7 access to facilities to experiment, explore personal projects, and collaborate with whomever is willing,” she says.
“There is so much available to you here and it’s a great way to engage with professors and to get to know the majority of your classmates in a personal way.”
Green also worked on campus for Aboriginal Programs & Services, creating a variety of promotional materials and mentoring other students. She says both experiences enriched her education by providing her with professional muscles best flexed outside of the classroom.
Look around, she says. Explore. Focus on the small details of your surroundings. See patterns. Make connections. And share the richness of the world.
—with files from Brandon Taylor