Self-taught artist Ashley McDonald was published in a ‘Youth Art’ article in The New Zealand Artist Magazine in July August 2016, and has continued on with her remarkable journey. Seven years later she catches up with us and in her own words, tells us her story.
My artistic journey began by accident. When I was in my early teens I would paint and draw for school homework (or just for fun). I’d draw things I was interested in - such as birds and fish. One day I painted a portrait of my pet Siamese fighting fish. I posted the end result online to a group of tropical fish enthusiasts. Almost immediately I had comments asking me whether I would take commissions and if I could ship internationally. It was quite overwhelming, as I was in my early teens at the time - I had no idea if I could even send art outside of New Zealand. My first commissioned piece was completed at age 15 and was shipped to the United Kingdom. My artistic career snowballed from there. Once my first commission arrived in the UK, the owner posted the piece online, bringing more queries and future commissions. Before this, I had never thought about selling my artwork.