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Rising Stars: Meet Aspen Gage

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aspen Gage.

Hi Aspen, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I have been an artist for as long as I can remember, and I have known that I have wanted to be an artist full-time since I began college. Shortly after my college graduation, I got married and decided that I might as well do two big life leaps at the same time! So in the same month as my wedding, June of 2021, I established my business: Paper Trees Studio.

When I said that I have been an artist for as long as I can remember, I really mean it. One of my earliest memories was taking sharpies to my beautifully white nursery walls and creating what I thought were works of art, much to my poor mother’s chagrin.

But I eventually graduated from sharpie on walls to charcoal and graphite, which turned into pen and ink and then eventually watercolor and gouache. I still dabble in different 2D mediums, but I have found that what inspires me most often looks its best when brought to life in color.

All of my artwork is strongly tied to literature, nature, & home – I hope that it brings a sense of comfort and joy to all those who see it and that it will bring light into this otherwise dark world.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I think I can confidently say that my road has not been smooth, but it has probably been smoother than others starting business ventures.

There are several things that I had accounted for, like starting costs, and I did a lot of the technical work myself (building a website, logo, etc.) Strangely enough, one of the main things that I had not accounted for was the fact that I would have to build a clientele in my new home state.

For about a year before Paper Trees came to be, I had been establishing a clientele in my old home state. These clients carried my business for me for several months, and I am so thankful for them. However, shortly after officially starting Paper Trees Studio, I moved to another state and felt like I had to start from scratch.

Since much of my income is currently being commissioned, it was hard to find clients in a new state. I had to come up with creative ways, other than social media, to meet new people and get my work in front of them.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
My main mediums are Watercolor and pen & ink. My passion is bringing classic stories, beautiful places in the world, and the ineffable comfort of “home”, to life.

Recently, this has taken the form of painting wedding venues for Brides-to-be to use on their wedding invitations, creating artwork of homes for realtors to use as closing gifts for their clients, and working my way through classic stories and bringing those characters and places to life.

To me, there is nothing quite like seeing my work create joy in others the same way that it does for me. And I think that is part of what makes my artwork unique. The subject matter of my work, especially the literary influences, can be deemed somewhat childish.

However, I have taken these childish things and made their appeal to adults. I like to say that I try to create my illustrations in such a way that their influence is subtle, so that, if you didn’t know the story that inspired it, you may not make the connection.

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
Not particularly! To be honest, my work wasn’t particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. If anything, it gave me MORE opportunities to create work and hone my style.

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