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> 39 > he/him > chris hemsworth
personalfull name > ashton miguel campos-blythe.
ash, ashley.pronouns > he/him.
gender > male.
age > 39.
birthday > june 28, 1979.
hometown > sydney, new south wales, australia.
education > rmit university.
languages > english, spanish.
occupation > freelance artist.
member group> animus.
movie> the road to el dorado.
request? > yee
family & platonicparents >
antonio campos, 64, chefsibling(s) >
none... for now ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)other >
relationshipssexual orientation > pansexual.
romantic orientation > panromantic.
marital status > married.
conrad campos-blythe.previous >
first girlfriend in high school
personalityfavorite film > pan's labyrinth.
favorite tv show > game of thrones.
favorite book > alice's adventures in wonderland.
favorite song > take on me by a-ha.
favorite emoji > .
favorite color > all of them.
art (painting, sculpting, sketching, etc), his husband, cute animals, desserts, nighttime, rain, sneaky kisses, indie music, drama moviesdislikes >
pears, bananas, pineapple (okay basically all yellow fruit), horror movies, people who live in the past, elitists, traffic, slow drivers, movies based off musicals
aboutRenowned artist, Ashton Campos-Blythe, explains where the muse for his latest art comes from and the themes of his recent collections
by Tulio Gomez
It's a warm and sunny Friday in San Diego, California when I meet Ashton Campos-Blythe in a local French-themed café near the art gallery where his latest art collection is being showcased. Over the years, Campos-Blythe will put out a few pieces to showcase at galleries but very rarely has he ever made multiple pieces that correlate with an overarching theme and released them at the same time. When he enters the café, the attention is drawn onto him even when he's trying to be modest. Campos-Blythe is a 6'3" broad man with blue eyes that can immediately draw you in. His hair is a bit unkempt and the stubble on his face reflects his laid-back appearance. Campos-Blythe is clad in denim jeans and a flannel shirt and looking the part of any normal person, if normal people were word famous artists with an unattainable beauty like his.
Good morning. It's very nice to meet you. I'm a big fan of your work.
"Thank you! The feeling is mutual. I'm a big fan of your magazine as well."
You humble me. Let's get down to business, I'm sure you're a very busy man.
"Not at all. I'll make all the time in the world for you."
[laughs] I'll be sure to use it wisely. So this recent exhibit of yours is very new for you, isn't it? You don't usually showcase collections like this where all the pieces are related to each other. What inspired you to do this?
"It is new for me, yes. I'm not the type of artist to host an exhibit like this but it's exciting for me. The thing about art is, there is no set pattern or style you have to follow. You can experiment and try new things. I was actually inspired by my mother to do this - go figure. She was talking to me about writing my biography, given that she's an English professor and all. I told her, 'Mum, I don't want a book written about me. I want people to know me through my art.' And that's when it hit me: make art that talks about my life. And rather than doing it periodically, I'll just create a whole exhibit that fits that theme and now, here we are."
Your mother seems to have a positive influence over you. Care to tell us about your upbringing?
"Of course. I was born in Sydney and I'm an only child. My mum is an English professor at the University of Sydney and my father is a professional chef. He's worked at a ton of different restaurants and can make basically anything. But I'll share some things with you that can't find on Wikipedia. Most people assume that all artists have a tortured past and that's where their inspiration comes from but not me. My childhood was a great one. I won't deny it, I was a little spoiled. My parents encouraged me from a young age to follow my passion and didn't enforce or push any of their beliefs and dreams on me. I was allowed to be my own person. I'm very thankful for the support my parents have given me and I wouldn't be where I am today without them."
I'm sure they'll be glad to read that once the issue is published.
"I hope so, otherwise I'll never hear the end of it. [laughs]"
You're an alumni of RMIT University, which is ranked quite highly for art and design worldwide. What did your experience there teach you?
"University is a time of exploration for everybody, regardless of your major. I didn't choose RMIT because of it's ranking but because I thought it would be the right fit for me. I had incredible professors who helped me craft and perfect my style. They were my first art critics and some of the pieces I made for this exhibit are actually revisions of some works from my uni days. I want them to know I took their advice to heart but still added my own twist to it. I didn't always follow their instructions [laughs]."
Anything else you care to share about your times at RMIT?
"I'll just share some advice I learned: don't force yourself to be anything other than who you really are. Don't change yourself to impress or please anybody. You're there to learn and grow as a person and being fake will do nothing to improve who you are. My first year, everyone thought I was some jock frat boy type because of how tall I am and for the first semester, I played into their perception of me and I was miserable. After realizing that I couldn't fake it for the rest of my schooling, I said, 'screw it, I'm gonna be the real me and if they don't like that, that's their problem.' And it worked. I made real, genuine friends that I still keep in contact with and I was happier."
Your career didn't start right after you graduated and you struggled for a while to make a name for yourself in the art world. How did you overcome this?
"Nobody immediately makes a name for themselves in the art world. It takes years. Nobody's first public exhibit has the next Mona Lisa in it. Just like any other field, it takes years of practice and networking. When I graduated, I had no idea what I wanted to do or what I wanted to make. Did I want to be a photographer? Did I want to be a painter? Most artists fit one niche area and are fine with it but I wasn't, I wanted to do it all and I knew I wouldn't find it at home so I actually moved out of Australia and traveled around Europe and the United States to find inspiration. I did street art for a while and freelance photography to make ends meet but I didn't really try to put myself or my art out there. I would intern at galleries, talk to the artists and the critics that attended and began to introduce myself and get my name out there. It took many years but it eventually worked. My advice is: you just need to be patient."
You were very open and honest in the beginning of your career, which some argued was ignorant and others say was brave and put you on the map. Care to comment?
"If you're referring to me 'coming out of the closet' so to speak, I don't see it as brave or ignorant. I was just being honest about who I was. It's never been a secret, not from my family, friends, or anyone really. It's just who I am. I don't see how it's relevant to my art either. I understand that representation is important and of course, I want to be seen as a role model for LGBT kids who want to do art but I don't want the pansexual label to always be applied to my name, if that makes any sense."
Absolutely. And you have some art dedicated to your husband, right? Does he know?
"No, it's a surprise [laughs]. He hasn't been to the exhibit yet. I'm putting it off until the right moment, but yes, I do have some pieces dedicated to him. There's a painting dedicated to the first moment we met, back when he was modeling for my sketching class and there's a sculpture I made in his likeness. I have to share his beauty with the world, after all."
I'm not going to lie, that's quite adorable. But I'm afraid our time is nearly up. Do you have any closing comments?
"Uh, yes, go see my exhibit [laughs]. But honestly, I hope people take some of my advice from this interview and it inspires someone to start making art. Thank you so much for this interview, I had a lovely time."
I did too. Thank you for meeting with me. You're as joyful as everyone says you are.
"Stop, you're going to make me blush."
spirit relationBoth Ashton and Miguel are free-spirited, fun-loving and adventurous people. They're both empathetic and loyal to their friends (and lovers) and are willing to go to great lengths to help and protect them. Both are guilty of having their head in the clouds and being fantasy-oriented but they both can create big ideas of their own. They're also both outgoing and charismatic as well.
While Miguel is skilled at the lute, Ashton's artistry comes in the form of physical art rather than music but they're both creative in that regard. Miguel and Ashton both enjoy entertaining people, caring for others, and are able to see the beauty and potential of the world around them. They can also both be a bit over-confident and impulsive which can land them in trouble but they're always able to smooth talk their way out of it.
bellamy panell > thread, louis tomlinson