Idaho, and especially Boise, has loved and appreciated Ashely Dreyfus’s art for years. Her eccentric characters and vibrant, charming environments pop up in windows and on the walls of Boise businesses as seasons change and holidays come and go. She’s a beloved local artist who, over the last couple of years, exploded in popularity nationwide – most recently with her piece, “There’s No Place Like Home” being chosen to win PBR’s ninth annual Art Can Contest. We spoke with her about her widespread recognition, and the pathways it’s opened for her and her artwork, at the Ashley Dreyfus PBR Art Can Release Party last night.
“Yeah, it’s honestly felt so crazy! Like, right now, can’t even believe how many people are here tonight!” she laughed, craning her neck to see the line that stretched outside Garden City’s Push and Pour patio and into the street. “I’ve just been doing my thing for years, and then when the pandemic hit, I think something in the algorithm really just worked out for me on social media. My art started to sell like crazy, and my following just blew up. At one point I was gaining thousands of followers a day! It was totally wild.”
As we chatted, we stood beside her overflowing merch table, people purchasing Dreyfus stickers and shirts, coloring books, and slipping signature Pabst/Dreyfus coozies on beer cans. Ashely wore a bright green sport coat, purple checked pants, and a wide-collared blouse covered in large butterflies – all very characteristic of her endearing and immediately likable personality. I asked her how she felt this new popularity, and these larger projects with organizations like Pabst Blue Ribbon, have impacted her approach to her art now, and the relationship to her art in the future.
“Well you know, when I make art, I go to this back room in my house, I close the door back there, and I sit down and do it. So much of my art I never expect to leave those four walls, so when I see an order come in from Spain or Germany, or I’m traveling and I’m in Seattle or whatever, and I see someone wearing my shirt, it just overwhelms me with joy and gratitude. I’m like, ‘Oh my god that’s my art! What?”
We laugh as she takes a moment to sign a coloring book and give a hug to a fan, then continues. “You know, this might sound crazy, but when I do my art, I think I’m kind of different in that I see exactly what I’m going to make before I do it. Then I just sit down in my room and put it to paper. But like, I know what it’s going to be beforehand, and I think that’s why this kind of work, like for Pabst, or the art I’ve done for businesses around Boise, really works so well for me.
“But I can’t wait to get my work out there and try new and exciting things. Like for example, I’m in the process of working with a company to create a whole deck of cards! It’s putting my art out there in new and unique ways, that excites me the most.”
Want to learn more about Dreyfus art or purchase a piece for yourself?
Check out her website at https://www.dreyfusart.com/