Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Oh hello Ashley Ronning, you fruity piece of pie!

It's so exciting to have the amazing Ashley Ronning in the header this month. Her playful and vibrant work is right at home here.

Anyone else craving a strawberry iced doughnut?


Can you tell us a little bit about your life and work?

My name is Ashley and I am an illustrator living in Melbourne. I just moved into my very first studio which is a beautiful ten minute plant-lined bike ride away, so I'm feeling pretty excited about spring and summer! I love drawing with ink, and painting with watercolour and gouache. I make zines whenever I can and risograph print them, and I am always trying to learn everything I can about risograph printing. I have a few riso experiments in mind to start soon. I also love making pinatas!

What inspired to to be an Artist/ Designer?

I suppose when I realised I really couldn't be doing anything else with my life, that's when it started! I love being creative as a job. At first I thought it would harm my creativity for personal projects, but I have found a way to make it all melt together into one big messy creative work/life blob. Even though it is a lot of hard work and sometimes takes away my sleep time, it allows me a lot of freedom I'd struggle to get with a real job.

Is there an artist that you turn to for inspiration when you need it? 

Plenty! When I'm feeling a bit down and drained of inspiration, I check out the work of people like Carla McCraeLeona FietzBeci OrpinKitiya PalaskasMinna GilliganGinette Lapalme and heaps more, I could go on for ages. I also like to do a bit of a tumblr surf if I am really stuck. 

What is your favourite colour?

It switches between bottle green, mint green, firetruck red, risograph pink, donut pink and deep blue. I couldn't pick one!

Is there a symbol that you find yourself using repeatedly in your work? Can you explain it to us?

I suppose I draw a lot of donuts!! I really love donuts as a beautiful, cute object, and as a tasty treat. They can instantly liven up a design, and I love putting a twist on them by writing words in donuts! Mmmm, I'm hungry now.

 What is your happiest childhood memory?

This would probably be my family's yearly easter egg hunts on my grandma and grandfather's farm, or pretending to be a fairy in the garden of my childhood home. I'd sprinkle glitter inside the tulips! Until I ran into a spider in a tulip, that put an end to the glitter spreading.

What is  your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement would probably be earning a place in the Lamington Drive illustration residency last year. The three artists I shared the space with all became amazing friends, and it was an incredible opportunity that got my work that little bit further out into the world. I also got to meet a lot of people I really admire through the gallery. I wouldn't trade that experience for anything! 

Did it take long to truly develop your own style? It is so unique and identifiable.

I think I started on the path of the style I have now when I was around sixteen. Gravity Won't Get You High by The Grates came out and I instantly fell in love with the style of John Patterson (Grates guitarist and artist). He made fantastic art for all the singles, tshirts and tour posters for that album and it really really drove me in that direction of illustration; fun, bright, poppy, gross and silly. They commissioned a number of other amazing people to create work for some of their album covers and merch, so they sent me in a great direction for inspiration! I'm glad I found them when I was a teen!! And then I guess years, my own experiences and other artists have created my present style.

Thanks so very much Ashley. Keep spreading your illustration glitter across Australia and the globe (dressed as a fairy, go on). 

You can see more of Lady Ronning's work here and please do grab yourself and your favourite friend one of her prints here.


  1. I love donuts! Drawing donuts, eating donuts, talking about donuts... ;) Love the new header and Ashley's style too.

  2. Ashley you are fabulous. Especially love Em's new header! And I'm an old fan of The Grates too. Matter of fact, you've just taken me on a nostalgia trip back to all the old grungey stuff I used to listen to while smoking a thousand ciggies, raging against the machine and dreaming about tomorrow. x

  3. Be still my sugar glazed heart. Adore the heading. Love Ashley's work. Great collaboration


Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em