Just another artist’s struggles and successes


Nati Duron

Ashley DeVan, 20 year-old artist, turned her hobby into a passion when she began selling her art on Marietta Square in the summer of 2017. Her most personal favorite artwork, illustrates a person, drawn by lines, holding up a peace-sign with orange and blue designs in the background. This piece, most frequently used for advertisement for her sales, symbolizes DeVan as just another artist.

Nati Duron, Reporter/Videographer

The world of art holds a reputation as a difficult career to pursue, but 20 year-old Ashley DeVan proves otherwise. Through the streets of Marietta Square, DeVan never fails to present her true talent through different artistic mediums.

For DeVan, art became a passion from the first time she received her own art supplies as a child. In a society where an artist seldom becomes professional, she continues to beat the criticism and creates pieces that stun her community.

“I definitely consider art to be a passion. It’s something that has always been in my life and that I enjoyed. As a career, it definitely is something difficult to break into. If it works out, it works out. I’ll pursue it until I can’t,” DeVan said.

Inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s artwork, DeVan likes to experiment with different styles and incorporate dark colors with graceful images, mostly with ink or paint. She uses forms of hatching, a technique involving drawing parallel lines, in most of her pieces to construct gloomy and abstract sketches of everyday objects and scenery.

Nati Duron
DeVan uses a common technique called hatching to draw images with lines. In this art piece, DeVan took how others might see mountains as beautiful, and uses gloom to contradict the aesthetic. DeVan particularly sticks to hatching, as it fits her best interest for the art she creates.

Before enrolling into Kennesaw State University, she attended Hiram High School, and DeVan took part in the National Beta Convention. She presented an original piece, winning her way into state finals, and then national finals. She took home the 3rd place prize for the category of “Recycled Arts.” Winning the title brought a rush of pride and joy to DeVan, as the moment foreshadowed her success for the future.

A year ago, DeVan anxiously sent an application to Marietta officials asking to showcase her artwork at their annual Art Walks. So far, attending 12 in total, she sells her art to interested critics and regular pedestrians.  

Nati Duron
DeVan draws a forest depicted by lonely feel to contradict beauty and darkness. This recurring theme in her artwork reflects DeVan’s style and what she tends to create. Also using hatching, the lines create the image itself.

“[Selling artwork] is definitely a process. I‘ve been doing the Marietta event for about a year and a half now, and it took me more than several months to actually sell anything. It tends to be difficult, but it really is just about persistence,” DeVan said.  

To DeVan, promoting her art comes with tricky obstacles. Rising artists alike face the similar issue of trying to gain familiarity among a community, and DeVan feels this disadvantage lags her career and creates a struggle to reach her goals.

Social media became DeVan’s easiest outlet to sell her artwork. Her Etsy, JustAnotherArtist72, and Instagram, @justanotherartist72, detail the prices and display her pieces for viewers to purchase. Because she recently started uploading on Etsy, DeVan finds it challenging to gain viewership and sales from the site.

“I’ve only just recently started the Etsy thing and am still getting the hang of it. Getting my work out there, for me, is what tends to draw more attention,” DeVan said.

Artists can agree that support acts as a staple of the art business. For DeVan, the figure of help in her life comes from her mother. That strong connection between them helps fuel her love and passion for art, and it sparks her mother’s pride for her daughter.

“Most parents are like ‘Oh, don’t pursue art, get into something more practical,’ but she’s all the way in. She’s so supportive and always there for me. It’s really great actually,” DeVan said.

The future of DeVan’s career depends on her consistency of production and how well her work will sell. Although she began drawing as a hobby, the sudden change for a potential career motivates DeVan to forever make art.

“[In ten years,] if all things are going well, I’d love to [see myself] consistently selling artwork. If I could get to that phase of consistent client sell that would be amazing,” DeVan said.

Young and rising artists struggle everyday to catch their big break, but as DeVan strives to the top with her unique and grim style, she poses as a role model for those hidden creators.

DeVan plans to attend Marietta Square’s Art Walk on September 7th. Find her artwork by Marietta’s The Strand movie theater to experience DeVan showing off her passion.