Step Inside the Dreamy Home and Studio of Artist Ashleigh Holmes
Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we’re celebrating innovators, artisans and crafters of all types, taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we head to the beachside studio and home of artist, Ashleigh Holmes, one of Australia's most exciting emerging talents.
Known for her large-scale acrylic paintings, the Northern Beaches based talent has garnered a following thanks to her layered, abstract works that feel at once new and familiar. With layered neutrals, Holmes' work nods to nature, creating a sense of calm into any space they're styled into. It's no surprise then, that her studio and home, both located on Sydney's Northern Beaches, embody the same relaxed style. Tactile, natural materials are key in the spaces Holmes calls home, with warm textiles and statement pieces complementing her many creations that take pride of place on the walls. Here, we sit down with Holmes to talk about her long family history of artists, her favourite decor pieces and her trick to getting 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Bed Threads: Hi Ashleigh! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?
Ashleigh Holmes: I create artworks!
How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?
Ever since I was young, I’ve been a hands-on learner, being able to physically create my vision is something that goes hand in hand with my personality. Taking a thought and turning into something you can view comes naturally! I act quiet intuitively in my life when making decisions and I feel that is how the process of my work goes, too.
When did you start creating art and painting? And what inspired you to go down this route with your career?
I’m a fourth-generation artist. Both my great grandma, grandma and mum have all practised art as a career, so it was something I naturally fell in love with. I have pictures of myself covered in paint at the age of 3 and I knew early on this was something I would pursue.
Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?
I start with the idea, sometimes the thought or idea comes through in the early hours of the morning or sporadically throughout the day. I ponder on the direction of the piece, and once I have a clear direction of what I want it to be I’ll put paint to canvas.
What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to grow your creative business?
As a tool, having a mentor is necessary, someone to help guide you. In strategy, I’d say keep clear to your vision and what feels right to you.
What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt since you started your business?
You can’t please everyone; but if you stay true to you it will always feel right.
Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self/ or someone looking to start their own creative business?
Be sure you’re 100% committed to your craft!
What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you’ve started?
Being able to create each day and support myself full time as an artist is the best thing that’s happened.
Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?
How did you initially know this was the space for you?
It’s my family home, I didn’t have too much say 15 years ago! We love it here.
Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?
I did redesign my room and create an art studio in-house before moving to a dedicated studio of my own in Brookvale.
What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?
For the studio space I wanted to create an area that was light and gave me clarity. So the design is white and simplistic so it doesn’t interfere with the artworks themselves.
What are your favourite pieces in your home?
My dog! (But my record player is second to that.)
Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?
We just bought a beautiful piece of art from a friend James Ettelson's recent exhibition. The piece is called ‘princess’ filled with detail and blue and pink hues.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
The kitchen! It’s a hub for family and friend time.
What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?
Keep it simple and light-filled.
What does getting a good night’s sleep mean to you?
Getting a good 8 hours, wrapped in nice linen, of course.
Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?
Yes! I’m preparing for a solo exhibition on October 18th. All are welcome! It will be at my studio in Brookvale.