Alabama native uses Instagram as creative outlet


Raised in Montgomery, Alabama, Ashley Longshore now has her art studio in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photos courtesy of Kate Grace Bauer

Taylor Esche

Raised in Montgomery, Alabama, Longshore traded in her Auburn legacy to study English Literature halfway across the country at the University of Montana. Restless with her studies, she then stole her father’s American Express to purchase a paint kit.

“I started painting one day and I looked up and it had been like, six hours. I had never lost myself in anything like that before,” Longshore said.

Shortly after, young Longshore began copying Picasso paintings, trying to teach herself how to blend colors and capture the vibe of the painting’s the energy.

“I also loved how free [Picasso’s] style was, and the pops of color,” she said. “From painting the Picasso’s, I sort of broke into painting my own figurative pieces.”

Then graduation came, and Longshore encountered a college girl’s worst nightmare – being cut off by her father.

“I had to make my own money and I realized, sh–, America is all about status and money and what street you live on and what college you went to,” Longshore said. “I figured out ‘Hey, I want all this stuff.’ ”

In an attempt to reconcile for what she wanted but did not have, she began to incorporate symbols of wealth into her artwork. Many of her paintings feature vices of the elite, such as diamonds, Rolex watches, bottles high-end champagne, lines of glitter cocaine and the most potent of all – hundred dollar bills.

“Now I feel my art has evolved in such a way that I can focus on being a woman in America. For me, being an American Woman is about using all these f—ing amazing opportunities we have,” Longshore said. “I mean this is the best country in the world to be a woman.”

Equal parts entrepreneur and artist, Longshore is the ultimate capitalist.

“Regardless of what business you’re in, you have to think how you can get the most money out of your time,” Longshore said.

Opting out of a gallery system in which she would be required to share a large percentage of her revenue, Longshore took to the platform of Instagram to sell her paintings. Within minutes of posting a new 
painting to one of her 29.7k followers, Longshore can make upwards of $30,000 without ever leaving the comfort of her New Orleans studio.

“We have to embrace all this technology. I would encourage anyone – artist, entrepreneur, if you’re in business school – you’ve got to embrace this whole digital revolution and incorporate it into your business,” Longshore said.

Skipping the gallery process also allows Longshore to create lasting relationships with her collectors, many of whom are proud owners of multiple Longshore originals. With names like His Serene Highness Pierre d’Arenberg, Eli Manning, Salma Hayek and Blake Lively crowding her receipt book, it is no wonder how Longshore has become a household name among the rich and famous.

“You can just tell she’s cool,” said Abigail Kauffmann, a senior majoring in English. “Her paintings are beautiful and hilarious at the same time.”

Always tech savvy, Longshore is currently working on a collection of paintings derived from submitted selfies. Hoping to reach a total of 500, Longshore is fielding submissions and recreating them on canvas.

Longshore wishes to capture the things things that make someone beautiful – confidence, whimsey, humor, enthusiasm. It is an endeavor completely unique and unprecedented.

“People say selfies are vain but I don’t see it that way. No, no, no,” Longshore said. “If you put a picture like that online you feel confident, you feel like that’s the real you.”