Phoenix is brimming with creativity. And every other year, we put the spotlight on 100 of the city's creative forces. Leading up to the release of this year's Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome to the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today: 43. Ashley Cooper.
Late nights and early mornings are business as usual for Ashley Cooper.
The Mesa-based textile designer, illustrator, and blogger runs an eponymous design studio and is in the midst of launching a stationery line in addition to working on greeting cards, commissioned illustrations, web banners for companies like Brickyard Buffalo, and a "top secret project" she says she's excited about but can't provide details -- yet.
"I think I'm lucky (most days) that workspace is in my home," says Cooper, a 28-year-old mother of three including a newborn.
Cooper, who was a Big Brain Award finalist in 2013, scatters her work throughout the day and punctuates it with time with her kids and husband. While her kids play, she catches up on e-mails, fills orders, and works on illustrations and commissioned pieces.
And things aren't slowing down for Cooper any time soon. She has a few collaborations in the works, including one with a local artist and a few with fashion bloggers.
"If I have a full week of deadlines, you can usually find me working late into the midnight hour," she says. "At night with some headphones on, a quiet house, and usually a piece of chocolate is when I can really focus and zone in on what I'm working on."
I came to Phoenix with my family in 1995 from Seattle, Washington.
I make art because it feeds my soul. I am a creative person to the core, it's how I look at most things. I have always loved creating and trying to make things more beautiful.
I'm most productive when I have some music playing and usually late at night. I work out of my home, so I'm also most productive when my home is clean and tidy. It makes my mind work better and more clear because I can focus solely on what I am creating.
My inspiration wall is full of ripped out pages from fashion magazines, work from other artists that I love and images of beautiful places from around the world. Of course pictures of my children are always a part of my inspiration wall.
I've learned most from mentors like artist and textile designer, Heather Bailey. Also, I've found that using resources from the internet like Pinterest have really helped me hone in on what I like and what my ultimate aesthetic is as an artist.
Good work should always leaves you content or happy and never make you second guess what you've created.
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The Phoenix creative scene could use more settings to bring creative people together.
See the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives:
100. Bill Dambrova 99. Niki Blaker 98. Jeff Slim 97. Beth May 96. Doug Bell 95. Daniel Langhans 94. Nanibaa Beck 93. Nicole Royse 92. Ib Andersen 91. Casandra Hernandez 90. Chris Reed 89. Shelby Maticic 88. Olivia Timmons 87. Courtney Price 86. Travis Mills 85. Catrina Kahler 84. Angel Castro 83. Cole Reed 82. Lisa Albinger 81. Larry Madrigal 80. Julieta Felix 79. Lauren Strohacker 78. Levi Christiansen 77. Thomas Porter 76. Carrie Leigh Hobson 75. Cody Carpenter 74. Jon Jenkins 73. Aurelie Flores 72. Michelle Ponce 71. Devin Fleenor 70. Noelle Martinez 69. Bucky Miller 68. Liliana Gomez 67. Jake Friedman 66. Clarita Lulić 65. Randy Murray 64. Mo Neuharth 63. Jeremy Hamman 62. La Muñeca 61. Kevin Goldman 60. Emily Costello 59. Kerstin Dale 58. Vara Ayanna 57. Nathaniel Lewis 56. Ruben Gonzales 55. Lisa Poje 54. Bobby Zokaites 53. Frances Smith Cohen 52. Julie Rada 51. David Miller 50. Xanthia Walker 49. Kyllan Maney 48. Cary Truelick 47. Constance McBride 46. James D. Porter 45. Allyson Boggess 44. Abigail Lynch