Ashleymarie Sey Lively, Bubble Pop Gallery + Sey Studios
My name is Ashleymarie Sey Lively. I go by Sey for short. I was born and raised in Bakersfield, CA. After graduating from BC I went on to CSU Long Beach where I earned my BFA in Illustration with an emphasis in Animation. It was there where I had my first taste of curating my own gallery shows. I co-curated with my art sister Jacqueline Monroe and felt this calling ever since to own my own gallery space. I currently live in town with my husband, two artistic kids, and our fur baby, Luna Belle.
I've been an artist since before I can remember. Started my Etsy shop in 2010, right after graduation. My shop is still going strong and recently I've added my own Patreon in the mix. It wasn't until the end of 2017 that this dream of the gallery popped up into reality.
When did you know this was your calling and/or what led you to this profession or business?
My talents always lent themselves to the creative side. I make art that makes people laugh, giggle, and smile. I want to bring love and light into the world. I teach privately and put on Bubble Pop Gallery shows to bring out the creative side of everyone. I want artists to come together and push themselves with the show themes, and that is exactly the feedback I have received. At the same time, I wanted to rise up popular arts and creatives and showcase outside artists in town, as well as feature local artists under the same roof.
Where there any struggles and/or challenges?
Of course there are struggles. 2017 wasn't the first time I tried. I proposed the idea to a few locations, but The Fox Theater of Bakersfield was the first that gave me the chance to bring our pop up gallery to life! I love pop culture and comic cons, and pop up galleries, aren't new, but one hasn't really been done in Bakersfield. I wanted to merge the idea and bring it! So here we are. Another struggle has been funding these events, just takes a smile and stepping outside my comfort zone to ask. I would rather be working on art all day, but curating art shows takes more than that. Since we pay for space and time, I have to get out in the community and find the perfect businesses and philanthropists who want to support the arts and making our community an even more beautiful place. I also wasn't sure if offering art classes for kids and students was going to be a thing, but it turns out it is a huge hit! One I am seriously adding to more this year.
Did you ever expect to be where you are now?
There have been some dark times where I felt my art wasn't meant to go anywhere, that I wasn't meant to be anything. But it is. Everyone has their own unique gift, skill, and craft and we have to use what we were blessed with and share it with the world. I don't want to be famous, I want to make an impact where ever I am to bring out the happiness this world has to offer. Did I ever expect to be where I am now? I dreamt of it. I hoped. I wished. I planned out so many inspiration boards. And I'm grateful for every struggle and for the patience it took to get here, because I've learned so much with each 'setback' and step.
Who or what inspired you? Who inspires you now?
I'm inspired by my peers who make their dreams a reality. The Rising Tide Society has definitely inspired me and connected me with like minded creative individuals in our area.
What are you most passionate about?
I'm passionate about art, about honing in the creativity individuals, and bringing art to those who can't make it, but want to own it! It takes all types.
Why do you love doing what you do? What is your mission?
I do what I do, to bring happy into the world. The future generations need an outlet to be creative. Putting on monthly pop up shows that gets them in contact with their muses, mentors, and peers helps us all grow.
If you could give one bit of advice to a younger version of yourself or to other women out there… what would it be?
If you can dream it, be it. Ok, a little Rocky Horror reference, but seriously, don't talk down to yourself. There are so many options out there to pursue your dreams, whatever they may be. If you're interested in something, ask those you find inspiring. Most times, we are willing to talk, but we just need to be asked. Write down your goals and start after them now. Why wait? It's ok if it doesn't work out. Maybe you need to try harder... maybe the market isn't there and you need to tweak and reassess.
What do you love about our community?
There are so many hidden artists in our community who have never been given the chance to showcase their talent for one reason or another. You would be surprised by how many talented people in every age group! I love that you can be an engineer in the oil industry, a kid who hasn't even hit their teens, a teacher, etc. and there is this secret artist waiting to pop out!
Any upcoming events, campaigns or something you’d like to promote?
March we have our Mash-Up Art Show opening on First Friday. Following months we will have our 90s Art Show, Video Game Art Show, 2nd Annual Tiki Bubble Beach Party, Sports Art Show, and more! We are always looking for artists to feature in our upcoming shows. We also have an amazing Sponsorship and Advertising opportunities for those seeking to support! All you have to do is email me at BubblePopGallery@gmail.com.
Show some love for local creatives and follow Ashleymarie on Instagram @seystudios and her amazing gallery @bubblepopgallery.
Do yourself a favor and listen to Ashleymarie’s interview with Robin from iHeart Radio by clicking below!
Photo Cred: Theresa Wooner Photography