The Honest Illustrations of Ashley Ronning

With more than 20k followers on Instagram, illustrator Ashley Ronning is a rising star in the illustration scene. Her work includes drawing, risograph printing, and zine-making, with selected clients as big as frankie, Milk Records, PBS FM, and Poison City Records.

Describing her career course as a “wobbly path”, Ronning went back and forth between illustration and design. “I had gone to uni in Canberra to study arts but soon found it wasn’t for me,” she recalled in an interview with the Shillington Design Blog. “I moved to Melbourne in 2011 and studied part-time at Shillington. One of my teachers Steph nudged me towards pursuing graphic design and prop making in film and tv. I did that between hospo work for a few years, while quietly working on my illustration skills in my down time.”

After deciding that film wasn’t for her, she slowly built up illustration commissions until she managed to make it a full-time job in 2015. “I’ve also been working on my side project since 2016, Helio Press,” she adds. “That’s where I do riso printing and publishing.” With her illustrations having a handmade, underground feel to them, her work comes off as very personal and honest.

“I’m constantly finding the best way to represent an idea through my work,” she notes, “whether its a commission or my own personal work. There are down sides of course, like trying to keep regular work going and boring business stuff, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything right now.” We’re glad she’s sticking to it.