Whether you’re an entrepreneur with a software business or an eccentric artist, everyone can learn something from Ashley Longshore’s advice.
The self-taught artist from Montgomery, Alabama has become something of a legend in pop feminism culture with her colorful, often bizarre paintings of high-powered celebrity women, consumerism and Lil Wayne. Thanks to her beauty-queen-meets-bawdy-businesswoman appeal, her career now includes the first-ever female solo show for Bergdorf Goodman, selling $1.3 million of paintings on Instagram in under two hours, and, most recently, collaborating with Gucci on the label’s “Do It Yourself” project. She also wrote a book, You Don’t Look Fat, You Look Crazy: An Unapologetic Guide to Being Ambitchous.
But her brash take on life and art wasn’t always so widely accepted, and it’s taken time, a lot of hard work, and even more optimism to go from misfit to someone whose work has young women practically clawing each other to get their hands on.
“How can I be the ultimate version of myself?” is something she asks herself frequently. And over the phone not long ago, Longshore explained to me how she goes about doing that, and how — regardless of your career — you can exercise the same optimism and “ambitchon.”