We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley neville and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, why did you pursue a creative career?
Art has always been a passion of mine. It’s in my blood. The first time I picked up a pencil was at five years old. It just felt right. I had dreams of one day working for Walt Disney and becoming an animator. Though, I am not, I thoroughly enjoy what I do. Every day, I am still using my God-given gift to create. I am currently a brand strategist and graphic designer. What I love most about my career is having the ability to bring my client’s vision to fruition. It all starts with a sketch. Whether it’s creating 100 concepts for a logo design, organizing a mood board for inspiration, it’s nothing more thriving to know I was a part of their journey of making their brand’s identity come to life.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Art is what gives me peace and what keeps me moving forward. One thing that sets me apart is my ability to not follow trends but, try to be authentically me. My design style is very diverse. It can be clean, professional, modern, bold, fun, whacky, and unique. A lot of graphic designers aren’t artists so that also gives me some leverage. Being an entrepreneur is a lot of hard work. Days when I wanted to give up or take off, I didn’t. I wasn’t where I wanted to be, so I had to take the proper steps to get where I am now. It took a lot of discipline and some isolation in order to accomplish my goals.
The business was a success and the money was rolling in. Nonetheless, I was managing 15-25 clients per month as a solo entrepreneur. It became exhausting. The challenges I faced were being unorganized, drained, had low performance, couldn’t reach my deadlines, and was tired. I was shipping products, designing, managing my books, writing thank you cards, meeting clients, zoom calls, forwarding emails, and boom my battery became so low that I didn’t have the energy to even create. I needed to find balance. I found it. I encourage all entrepreneurs to do so as well. Take time away from your business to regroup so you can perform and give your best self as well as provide great service. When you’re burned out, problems seem insurmountable. However, with every problem, there is a solution.
I’ve learned a lot. I have grown so much as an entrepreneur and business owner over the past two years. I encourage you never to give up your dreams. You owe it to yourself to experience the life you desire by doing the things you love. Consistency is key. Tune out the doubters. Their vision is not yours. It’s hard, but you won’t regret it. I am a living testimony.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favorite place to go in my area is the Black Friday Market. It’s a great place to shop. It allows black business owners and entrepreneurs to sell their products. As far as places to eat and drink, that would be Beyù Caffè. They have incredible food, great music, and the vibe is awesome.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shout out my mother, Wilda Carter Neville, and my twin sister, April Graham. They have supported me since I explored my talent for art at a young age. She is one who signed me up for art lessons, entered me in the contest when I had doubts, and bought me the supplies I needed to excel. I am forever grateful for her, as well as my sister for believing in my creative abilities and supporting me in my venture of entrepreneurship.