Ashkahn Half Of The Things Print
All of the inspirations for my prints come from personal experience. So "I don't understand half of the things you say but I laugh anyway" is something that happens to me over and over when I encounter people. I thought it was a funny concept and wanted to communicate that in a simple and direct way.
Ashkahn True Love Print
The Daniel Johnston song is what inspired this one. It's one of my all time favorites. I melt like cheese every time it comes on. The statement is also one of hope and optimism with an ironic edge and almost sad edge. The clash of feeling is something I love and try to embrace in my work.
Ashkahn American Badass Print
I was stuck in traffic one day and looked up at a giant American flag on the side of the freeway. The images of a snake as the red stripes and skulls instead of stars just came to me. The graphic history of the Unites States is interesting to me as well. Statements like “Don't tread on me” and biker gangs are cool. Where do you find the quotes or words you use in your work? Do you draw all of the text by hand?
It's a combination of personal writings, bits and pieces from poems, movies, random passerby's and songs to name a few. If an idea that comes to my mind doesn't leave me alone, and the energy is so intense, then I will sit down and flush it out of my brain. It's an instant feeling whether or not I know something is going to work or not. I have to feel taken by it. All of the text and graphics are done by hand. I use pen and ink or cut paper. I feel like that gives it a unique and warm feeling so that hopefully people will connect to it.
Are any of your works directed to anyone in particular? If so, can you give us an example?
Aw, if I told you then it would take away the mystery! And mystery keeps things interesting.
What else inspires you when working? What is the process like for you when working?
Everything inspires me. The weather, sounds, feeling, future, love—the list goes on and on. My process is no process. I try and keep things fresh and go about each project in a different way. Sometimes I leave the studio to clear my head and sketch. Other times I stare at the computer screen for hours until 5am hoping for something to hit me. Tracing paper and pens keep me happy.
When did you first start making your art?
Ever since I was a kid but "professionally" thought out college. It all snowballed from there. Where did you go to school? What was your major, and what do you think is the most important thing you learned there?
I attended Otis College of Art & Design for school. I started majoring in graphic design and illustration but that became very boring to me, so I switched to fine art painting. I was very fortunate to have both sides of thinking which helped my work a lot. I had the more structured and organized way of working along side the intellectual brain fart world of understanding how to explain my work.
Were you a big doodler in school notebooks?
I was a huge doodler. That’s all I did in school. I barely paid attention, haha. I'd find a seat in the back of each class and draw, draw, draw, draw, draw nonstop. I'd keep a manila folder on my desk to cover my tracks just in case a teacher decided to come by. You could expect to find weird characters, horrible poems, random big words and a lot of wannabe graffiti tags. Your website has a few different options for products (prints, cards, and pencils). What is your favorite and what is something you want to try in the future?
I love them all but my favorites right now are the cards and prints. They are such a sweet medium. You give cards to people you love or thank or hate or miss, and people display the prints in their awesome homes forever and ever to help brighten every moment. I'd like to try furniture and weird sculptural accessories! I have tons of ideas waiting to pop for this!
If you had to use one quote to describe yourself, what would it be?
"If you can't surprise yourself, how do you expect to surprise anyone else?" - Julian Schnabel