Dinosaurtoast attracted us by the name…. What does it mean? We got to catch up with Ashley Church the photographer, creative director, artist and brains behind the photography label dinosaurtoast to hear what she's been up to. We were drawn to her bright, vibrant style and we always love chatting with successful, creative women.
Waffles & New York Pizza
Mapei – Don’t Wait
Where do you live?
Well, my good friend just got a pug puppy and I’m his Aunty… So yes! He hangs out at the studio with us all day and chews on my shoelaces. He’s very cute. His name is Lemmy. I also have a cat that lives at home with Mum and Dad. He’s rad. He’s nearly 14. He’s talkative!
Do you consider yourself a feminist?
Yep totally do. I am apart of a bad ass all girl art collective called Holla Graphix and in a recent interview we got asked this question as a group. It was really interesting hearing everyone’s take on feminism and what it meant to each of the Holla gals.
The all girl collective was born out of one of the girls, Pinky Fang, asking an ex to be in an all male art collective and getting told no because she was female. There was a general consensus that equality between the sexes hadn’t been achieved to the level we wished it had by now, but that equality of the sexes wasn’t as brushed under the carpet as it was in the 50’s-60’s.
For me personally, I totally believe women and men should be equals. I however also believe the word “feminist/feminism” has taken on some negative connotations due to the riots & stereotypes associated with the word from history past. Maybe we as females should come up with a new word?
What makes you get up in the morning?
Coffee. Haha! Lucky Wellington has an abundance of great coffee makers and coffee beans.
Oh and of course creating art for a living. Choosing my own schedule.The fact that I’ve been working for myself for 6 months now and I’ve been able to eat and pay my rent is my definition of success at present and I truly love it. I love being able to say yes to creative projects and collaborations. I’m totally driven to get out of bed and do something each day because it’s my breakfast on the hook if I don’t.
Another cool thing I’ve noticed working for myself is I never have Monday-itis anymore! Every Monday rules!!!
Where does your creative inspiration come from?
A few places, actually! My artist Granddad, my friends, my family and travelling!
My granddad a world-renowned sculpture artist who totally changed his career and started making larger than life size bronze sculptures when he was 55 years old. He was very successful following his passion, which gives me the drive to continue doing what I love to.
Xoe Hall – A good girlfriend of mine (we share a studio) inspires me everyday. She’s been a “full-time” artist, muralist and glitteriest for about 10 years now and I get to work alongside her!!! Lucky me!!!
My partner Dave is a fellow artist/musician and he’s constantly drawing and designing new designs for his T-shirt business Thirteen. He keeps me on my game, questions my motives and shows me what real determination is. He is very supportive of me doing what I love.
So I guess people, people inspire me the most. People & travel and the thought that I could potentially not be here tomorrow so gotta make the most of everyday. (Sorry for the cheese but it’s true).
What drew you to the Pop Art style in particular?
I’ve always loved pop art! I focused my whole 7th form art board on Roy Lichtenstein and his Benday dots. I guess the bold artistic expression, standing out from the crowd and bright colours draw me to the pop art style. It’s what comes naturally to me.
Where does the (super cool!) name dinosaurtoast come from?
Not telling ;-)
Grrrrrr……One day we will find out!!
Do you have a favourite(s) project you have worked on?
Many, many projects! So many of my fashion shoots as each shoot is totally different, the vibe/mood and the people involved in creating it…
Just to name a few:
- The Pop Rebellion with Xoe Hall,
- Girl. Exhibition put together by Becca O’Shea, Sarah Burton and myself!
- Deuce and a Quarter shot at Greenmantle Estate – an idea I creative directed.
- I Love Paris Shoes campaign that I also creative directed from start to finish.
- I photograph a lot for Wellington’s Capital Magazine as well, the photo projects are always fun and a cool way to meet new people & see new places!
I’m working on a few collaborative projects and installation pieces at the moment that are also very exciting and pushing me in new directions! Can’t wait to see where they take me.
At Le Petite Mania, we have many discussions with creative women - what have been the ups and downs of working in the creative industry?
Ups – Inspiring others to create or do something with their creative flare. Or just to simply start doing something. I love when my photography allows another artist/designer to notice, acknowledge and appreciate something they’ve personally made/designed/spent a lot of time working on themselves.
Definitely meeting other creative people and collaborating with them has been an up as well. So many amazing creatives in Wellington, seriously we are lucky to live here!
Downs – People taking advantage of you or undervaluing your job, under appreciating the value that art brings to a community, wanting work done for free.
How did you get your name out into the big wide world after you finished studying?
Worked hard, made lots of work, built up a portfolio, networked, networked, networked. Chose a name that set me apart and was a bit memorable. Collaborated with other artists. Taught myself how to be business and social media savvy. Got in touch with the people who were doing what I wanted to be doing and asked them how they got there. Asked for constructive criticism on my work so I could improve my technique, I am always learning new things. We never stop learning!
I wasn’t afraid to try new things, even if I was I would push myself out of my comfort zone as you never know what you will come across or who you will meet. I had many goals in mind and made small steps towards fulfilling them.
Have fun with what you’re doing, if you love what you’re doing others will love it too and talk about it!
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