We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashleigh Beverly and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashleigh, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I see risk as not only an effect of uncertainty, but also as a necessary step in reaching goals and attaining professional and personal success. The role that taking risks played in my life and career was viewing a risk as a leap of faith. Earlier this year, I made the decision to leave an unhealthy work environment. Without knowing my next move, I decided to bet on myself and knew that my self-worth, faith in myself/God and creative talents would be a far bigger risk positively than a negative one. By taking this leap, other opportunities began to be presented to me right after leaving. I’ve been able to apply this to life as well, because everything we do has risks and all art forms are founded on risks.. If you are afraid to risk anything to win, you limit your chances of reaching your fullest potential as a creative.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
What sets me apart is my ability to evoke emotion through design and create branding that empowers clients to feel a sense of pride for their brand. I am most proud of my professional growth and skills. I am most excited to see the growth of my brand in the future to be able to work with clients and brands that I admire. I got where I am today with strong work ethic, going beyond classroom assignments and client work to create passion projects in order to strengthen and flex my skills. I was also blessed to have supportive family, friends and fellow FAMU alumni, who encourage me/or continue to refer me for opportunities. This journey hasn’t been easy at all, but it’s been worth it. I’ve overcome adversity, toxic work environments, racism, loss of loved ones, feeling like I wasn’t good enough at times, applying for 500+ jobs, etc. Along the way, I’ve learned to maintain my faith in God during those low moments in my life and career. This year, I applied for many creative positions that didn’t turn into offers. In taking that leap, I witnessed God making me uncomfortable in my situation as He nudged me to trust Him to step out on faith to leave my job and run my business full-time. The week that I resigned, new freelance and job opportunities were coming my way. I encourage every creative to design beyond client projects to create passion projects that build their skillsets and to bet on themselves. I believe that strong work ethic accompanied with talent are foundation pieces that help set any creative apart. I’d like the world to know that as an artist, my job is to develop lasting client relationships, engage conversation and INSPIRE. I am anything, but ordinary.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I had to make an itinerary, food would definitely #1 on the stop lol. We’d go to Negril Village for jerk chicken and waffles, Slutty Vegan, Queen of Cream, Breakfast at Barney’s, Rocksteady to eat then go upstairs to their lounge for a chill vibe and to dance. I definitely love renting bikes to ride the beltline and stop at restaurants along the way. We’d definitely go to a music event or concert, I’m a 5 year vet at One Musicfest and we would go to the High Museum.
Alright, so let’s jump right in! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there a person, group, organization, book, etc. that you want to dedicate your shoutout to? Who else deserves a little credit and recognition in your story?
I’d say shoutout to my good friend from college, Thulani, who gave me the pep talk in college to tell my mom I was changing my major to graphic design. That conversation helped me figure out what I wanted to do and that doing what I love was more important than doing what my parents thought was best for me. In recent years, he was helpful in giving real workplace advice for difficult situationd. I appreciate him help me navigate through both. You need those type of friends around, who not only help, but hold you accountable when you’re trippin! I would also like to shoutout my therapist, Tiffany, who helped me build my confidence as a creative, while developing a solid exit plan, to walk away from a job that no longer served and valued me. Had it not been for her, I would probably still be at the same job, existing.
Lastly, I’m beyond thankful for the prayers, encouragement and advice from my parents, be it advice that I took or decided on my own, I’m blessed to have them to seek. And so many of my friends have inspired me to be a better creative watching them/or them speaking life over me. Words have power! This journey has been an interesting one and a little easier with support from so many. Forever blessed.
Photographer Justyn Thomas for all photos