At times, an artist will create through hardship, expressing their vulnerable emotions, and create their ideas, which is influenced from life itself. 2D and 3D artist, Ashley Gray, back in 2011, received his Master of Arts Degree at Teesside University in Computer Games Art. He is meticulous with the details he chooses with 3D sculpting, letting his art inspired by (American horror writer and poet) Edgar Allan Poe and (Norwegian painter) Edvard Munch, speak to the open-minded. Fortunate enough, he was humbled enough to take time out of his schedule for an interview to talk about art.
“Saviour of The Plague": Wanted to re-render this zombie superman with less paint… Ashley Gray ©. Oct. 2, 2018. All Rights Reserved.
We know from your previous interviews that you have an MA in Computer Games Art, that you secured a job as a librarian in London, and that the work you’re most proud of is ‘Ethereal Blue.’ What does ‘Ethereal Blue’ represent to you and what can people learn by looking at this piece?
To me, it is a reminder of what good we are and I would say I hope to remind people that there is good in the world and it is them, but is not an easy path. A lot of my work has a theme of care or suffering and the weight of reality as we know it. There is a wide space between who we are day to day and who we can be, or turn into when something huge and devastating happens. It’s like we snap out of something and rush to aid people we don’t even know, but we remember:
knowing them is not important they are human beings just like me, because they are human beings. A child of light is the best way to general visualize this. It’s not a religious thing. To me, it’s a real thing.
“Left in Darkness": although U are gracious, guilt will still consume me… Ashley Gray ©. July 20, 2012. All Rights Reserved.
If you could sit down and talk to anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
This one is hard, I have a strong believe if the good of humanity and its darkness or that dynamic, so I would talk with people who have shown this to me in a strong way. For example Edgar Allan Poe's raven or the scream by Edvard Munch are strong well know depictions of a psychological despair. I feel the world we have made makes us sick so someone who understands that strongly or someone (who I don’t know) who has an understanding of what it takes to cure us.
What’s your favorite game and can you compare it to your art?
I don’t play a lot of games, surprisingly. My work is influenced mostly by films. I play a fair bit of DOTA 2. It’s an online team battle type game, but my art has no comparisons. I have a few images of Batman with a few games over the last few years. Games focus on mostly the cooler aspects of being a character or person, mostly in action like fighting as well as Batman can, my works main focus is thought and feeling or mood, the quieter moments that character would spend alone in thought.
“Venom Spawn" https://slave01.cgsociety.org/a8iv/venom-spawn. Ashley Gray ©. Nov. 15, 2020. All Rights Reserved.
What’s the best advice anyone’s ever given you?
You owe no one, nothing. I am quite a helpful supportive person, the type people always say, 'that's not your problem' to or 'why are you thinking about them, they definitely are not thinking about you' I have a strange relationship with empathy, so its something I keep in my mind this phrase from my brother.
Do you feel like digital art may be worth just as much as the Mona Lisa one day?
It could be. It’s interesting because as an artist, I understand what goes into my medium, how difficult or complex 3D can be, so yes. I would say yes. But most people have a strong understanding of painting or drawing arts. It is well established. It is the reason I stay away from making just character images or 3D stuff, art is more than just the medium we use, but as 3D is quite new, people are struggling with that.
“Ethereal Blue": most people are not fortunate enough to somewhat understand their matrix… Ashley Gray ©. June 5, 2018. All Rights Reserved.
During your creative process, do you allow others access to see incomplete projects?
Not much no, sometimes I will post work in progress on social media but the process is mostly grey shots until the end and though it looks good to me and I guess people who use my 3D program who understand what they see, most do not. The paint up at the end makes the piece for most of my audience, so they don't care much for the process.
For inquiries, you can contact Ashley Gray via email or follow him on Facebook.
artFix. “ASHLEY GRAY ‘WHY SUFFER ALONE’ A SOLO EXHIBITION.” https://www.artfix.org.uk/ashley-gray-why-suffer-alone-a-solo-exhibition/. 11 Oct., 2019.
Creativepool. “Member Spotlight: The Dreams of Ashley Gray.” https://creativepool.com/human/articles/member-spotlight-the-dreams-of-ashley-gray.23309. 29 May, 2020.
slave01. CGSociety. “You Never Asked.” https://slave01.cgsociety.org/i2xr/you-never-asked. 14, Oct. 2018.
slave01. CGSociety. “Mesmerized 3.” https://slave01.cgsociety.org/ppgf/mesmerized-3. 14 Feb., 2018.
slave01. CGSociety. “Saviour of The Plague.” https://slave01.cgsociety.org/656d/saviour-of-the-plagu. 2 Oct. 2017.
Slave01. CGSociety. “Venom Spawn.” https://slave01.cgsociety.org/a8iv/venom-spawn. 15 Nov, 2020.
slave01. CGSociety. “Left In Darkness.” https://slave01.cgsociety.org/shvl/left-in-darkness. 20 July, 2012.
slave01. CGSociety. “Ethereal Blue.” https://slave01.cgsociety.org/lj0e/ethereal-blue. 5 June, 2018.