Creator Series // Ashley Rodriguez

We are super excited to introduce you to Ashley of Thorn + Sparrow. It was an honor to collaborate with her on our branding for our new blog! She is wonderful to work with....we can't speak highly enough about her. Thanks so much, Ashley! xoxo

[#1] Share with us a snippet of your story.
I'm married to my absolute best friend and super handsome musician, who has taught me so much about love and life and being comfortable in my own skin... he's one of my favorites parts of my story and I could just chat all day about him! But don't worry, I won't. :) I live in northwest montana with said wonderful husband and our pet bunny, and as a southern california native I can't believe how much I love it here. There's no where else I'd rather be!

When I was about 5, before I started kindergarten, I was molested a few times by my babysitter's teenage son. It's something I kept secret for a long time, I felt trapped by shame and I let that define me internally, which I believe kept me stagnant. After going through a Beth Moore study in 2011, I finally felt the relief of my childhood burden... I gave it to Jesus and felt a rush of healing. I really feel like that was the start of a domino effect because ever since that moment, God has been opening so many doors to share my faith, step out of my comfort zone, and finally use the gifts He has given me, and I don't feel defined by it anymore. It makes my redemption through Christ so much sweeter, and lays the foundation for the meaning behind my business name....   

[#2] What is the story behind Thorn + Sparrow?
When I started thinking about what my business name would be, I knew I wanted it to reflect the life change that had recently happened - I always wanted to see the name and be reminded of what Christ has brought me through and the freedom he continually gives. It's a reminder that no matter what happens, however difficult, God will get me through it. So I prayed about it, read my bible, and almost immediately I knew what it was going to be, but I sat on it for a couple of days and decided I couldn't get it out of my head so I went for it!  

[#3] What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day usually starts out with a homemade breakfast with my husband, both of us in the kitchen tag-teaming the meal! Then we'll chat about the day's plans, have some devo time, get ready, and send each other off with a kiss and 'I love you'... actually, it's usually my husband that's being 'sent off' to work, since my workspace is at home. It's funny, the roles have totally reversed --- I used to work full time in an office and he was the full time artist/musician. Now, he works for Fresh Life Church [and still has a home studio] and I'm the full time artist. :)

Next, I'll dive into the emails for a bit, then brainstorm/sketch/paint/scan/design/blog for pretty much the rest of the day. I usually have a few projects going at once so there's always something to be done! I'll take little breaks here and there to get coffee, eat a snack, browse pinterest and read a few of my favorite blogs. The day goes by so fast and before I know it, I'm having to think of something to make for dinner... which is usually eaten pretty late. Thank goodness my husband is so gracious! I have to say, I have so much admiration for all moms [creative or not] because I just can't fathom how they do it all!! Go moms!

Now that it's warm outside, we'll take a walk after dinner, visit our pet rabbit [who lives in the barn], and chat about the day's festivities and future plans we've been dreaming up... then we usually cuddle up on the couch to watch a movie and head off to bed around midnight. It's such a fun full day and I'm so thankful for each moment! 
[#4] How did you discover your passion for paper goods design and illustration?
I know it sounds cliche, but I've been drawing for as long as I can remember... I literally can't think of a time that I didn't have an artistic drive. My dad has always been an artist and he must've recognized the same passion in my little self and sowed into that - letting me sculpt leftover chunks of clay [he was a full time ceramic artist at the time] and urged me to keep at it. 

I took every art class I could in high school and ended up selling two of my paintings to my school... it was the first time I had sold any of my work and it's something I'll never forget. I was shocked and excited and I knew I wanted to be doing more of it. There was always an urge, a drive to create, but I didn't pursue it after I graduated highschool... I think I got stuck in the 'corporate america' mentality, that's just 'what you should do' I thought. 

In 2011, we found ourselves in montana [invited by our dear friend Crystal Lewis], where I rediscovered my love and drive for art again... and with the help of some encouraging friends, I started thorn + sparrow, where my passion gets to thrive!!

[#5] What is your favorite material to work with?
That's a tough one! I love working with ink + watercolor day to day but I also really love painting with acrylic on canvas... it's so inspiring.  



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