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Life and Work with Abbey Withey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Abbey Withey.

Abbey, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to draw and paint. My dad would bring home large foam core presentation boards from his work and I loved to use the large, blank backs of them as my canvas. When I was a freshman at Chaparral High School, I began to take art more seriously and eventually pursued this passion into the Fine Arts School at the University of Arizona, graduating in 2012 with a Visual Communications degree. I dabbled in the agency world (as so many of us do) and eventually found myself living in New York City. I became inspired by so many people following their creative dreams and decided to pursue art as not only a passion but a career. Since then, I’ve moved back to the city I love most, Phoenix, and have been so fortunate to be a part of the growing arts and culture community here.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Being an artist is a constant battle of your brain and your hand. For me, it took a long time to learn to embrace my style. It’s incredibly tempting to look at other artists work and wanting to emulate that or at least find shreds of inspiration in it, but truth is that anything you can do to battle that and “keep the blinders on” will help you tremendously. Once you settle into your work, your aesthetic might not be right for a lot of projects, and that’s okay. Alternatively, your style will eventually become the reason you are hired.

My best advice for young women in the creative world: Keep the blinders on, make dope shit, ask for more money, and be nice.

Please tell us about Jane Goat.
I’m a muralist, lettering artist, and illustrator. I specialize in large format paintings and lettering/typography design. Sometimes, this is applied to murals and installations in businesses or residential properties, other times it’s for logos and package design. I have a pretty easily recognizable aesthetic, which I think sets me apart from other artists in Phoenix. I love playing with clever copy, color, and bold lines and I take a lot of pride in the detail of my murals. 95% of the time, I use brushes as opposed to spray paint and stencils. Therefore, my murals take a bit longer to install, but I believe it’s worth it because the detail and line work create a unique experience that you normally don’t get from murals. I try to make it very immersive and dynamic.

Were there people and/or experiences you had in your childhood that you feel laid the foundation for your success?
I’m not sure how to answer this question. I think we’re all shaped by our experiences in life, but I was definitely born with a passion to draw. I was fortunate to have parents that helped encourage that.

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Image Credit:

Jane Goat

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