Deep in the heart of New Orleans there’s an art empire turning the industry upside down - headed by Ashley Longshore and her predominantly female team, they’ve built a sustainable model utilizing social media and Longshore’s vibrant personality to build a celebrity collector base - all without ever stepping foot into a gallery. Inspiring a tidal wave of artists to follow a similar path, she has developed a personality and company that flips a middle finger to the traditional gallery model while championing for artists to recognize their own self worth and retain the 50% that usually is lost to a gallery - to that we say ‘fuck yeah’!
We had the pleasure to discuss with Longshore the usefulness of social media for her brand - as well as its ability to act as a resourceful tool for a future generation of artists.
How did you begin to bring social media into play in your business/industry?
It’s free. How could I not? It’s such a great tool - it ain’t the answer but its a very useful way to stay connected to your collectors. I was broke as fuck and had no choice but to use all of this social media.
How do you think social media has transformed the way artists and fans/followers interact?
It’s a direct line to the creative main vein. You can circumvent the middle man, you can be friends with the artists you love - it’s just so astounding and incredible to have this technology.
How would you describe the way you utilize social media as an artist?
It’s like a nitrous booster in a race car. Information travels so fast; the connectivity, sharing what I love, what makes me laugh, what inspired me, my thoughts - its a journal that I let everyone read.
How do you think Instagram and other social platforms has and will contribute to the art world as a whole?
Connectivity and communication are key. It allows artists to connect - artists need that - artists need to be seen and celebrated. It’s vulnerable to put yourself out there, and then of course the ability to sell direct and not have to give up 50%… THAT is a banger. Artists need fucking money! For rent, supplies, to go after inspiration.... BOOM!
Do you feel as if you reach a wider audience by having a large social media presence?
That is like me asking you if you dance naked in times square, will more people see your junk? The answer is YES.
As an established artist, what makes it important for you to have your own platform and be able to communicate with your audience and consumers directly rather than be affiliated with any galleries?
I know my collectors. I know my audience. I know my business.... that is important for me. It may not be to another artist - my way ain’t the only way - but it works for me. Every artist can curate their own path.
You have created such an admiring brand for yourself as an artist but also as a bad ass female boss—where does your inspiration come from?
It comes from using my liberty..... it comes from my female mentors... it comes from self love.
What is one thing you always need in your studio? What is the most surprising thing we would find in your studio?
I must have music and organization and also i like it 68 degrees.... surprising?
Hmmmmm... i have an altar for people I paint who have passed. I light candles by their photo and offer Frida for example a cig and some whiskey and flowers to thank them for their spirit. I am grateful.
Are there any exciting projects you are working on that you can tell us about?
Yes. Fucking huge ones..... wait til September!!!! I cant talk about 4 of the projects! But my first big Rizzoli coffee table book comes out in September!!! Squeeeeee!