Could you introduce yourself?
Hi! I’m Ransom Ashley, a photographer and actor from Shreveport, LA.
What’s your life philosophy? How do you try to apply that to your work?
This is a difficult one. My life philosophy hinges on being true to oneself and loving others for who they are. Much of my work hinges on authenticity in that it explores the people and things closest to me. My photography is very much a derivative of my truth as a unique southern boy growing up in a small town, trying to find a sense of peace in an environment that wasn’t so hospitable to my individuality.
Could you tell us what you think makes you stand apart in the art industry?
My art is very explorative of identity and very much inspired by my experience studying psychology. Even my more contrived photographs are a product of a journey that is my own, whether it be related to my coming of age experience or my exploration of life in my birthplace. Honestly, I don’t concern myself with standing apart as much as I concern myself with finding my truth and creating work that means something to me.
How would you describe your art style? Do you feel like it reflects you?
My art style is very much informed by my various other interests. It’s a balance between the contemporary and this “stuck in time” feeling that I was always enamored with because of my small (formerly very stagnant) town. I definitely see my background in theater and psychology manifesting itself in my work in various ways, making it the ultimate reflection of who I am as both an artist and a person.
Who are the individuals in your work? Friends, family, strangers?
All of the people in my work are my friends and family. I find that shooting them creates an environment conducive to authentic exploration for the both of us. Also, many of my photos are taken during real experiences, hinging on being more documentary oriented.
What are a few tips for other artists that might be reading this?
Don’t worry too much about what other people are doing. Look around you and focus on your personal story and the things about your own life that interest you or the things that inspire in you stories that you believe need to be told. Whatever you do, create for yourself first. This is what will give your work authenticity.
If you had to choose any music album that captures the emotion of your work, what would it be and why?
My work is constantly evolving but I would probably have to say Blue Neighbourhood by Troye Sivan. His music has this emotional curiosity within it that was so characteristic of my youth.
What's one thing that has to do with art that others might not know about you?
I was an actor before I was a photographer and grew up doing theatrical productions.. So my whole love affair with storytelling started with theater, which I’m sure you can see hints of in my work.
Do you have any rituals you do before you start your creative process for a new project, to get your mind and energy in the right place?
I usually watch films and listen to music. So much of my photography is inspired by music and cinema.
What’s a typical day for you?
Right now, I am finishing my psychology degree so a typical day for me is quite crazy. I will wake up, head to class, hurry home on my lunch break to love on my beautiful niece, go back to school, come home and film any auditions or finalize any images I’m working on, work on my homework while finding time to read scripts or plan upcoming shoots and pitches... Each day has a different rhythm though, especially with me trying to balance all of my passions while finishing school!
Coffee or tea?
Tea. My favorite is Ginger.
What are some of your goals for 2017?
In 2017, I would like to find a gallery to represent my photography work and I would also love to be a part of some interesting film projects. Basically, the same with every passing year, I would just love to be a part of telling beautiful stories in any capacity.
What makes you happy?
Being with those I love. Creating meaningful art. Combining the two and creating meaningful art with those I love.
Any closing comments?
Honestly, just chase your dreams and believe in yourself! You are worth it!