| Carsen Smithwick

Meet Made to Paint

Ashtin McNicoll has been a creative her whole life, starting during her primary education career when she took art as an elective. After failing the Talented Art Program admission test twice, she was officially admitted when she was 10 years old where she learned the basics of every medium and form of visual art. Ashtin eventually attended LSU for their art program to study photography, but ended up graduating in human sciences concentrating in Child & Family Studies. She didn’t enjoy painting until after leaving LSU’s art program in 2015. 

Ashtin’s love of people, painting, and needing to find a way to cope with grief drove her to paint. Her business’s name, Made to Paint, felt right as it was born from her love of painting and a broken heart. She lost her best friend in 2018 from a blood clot, and needed a way to keep her mind busy on sleepless nights. Ashtin states that painting is “what I am made to do now - and to some extent - for the rest of my life.” Ashtin’s favorite bible verse is Psalm 138:8 that states “The Lord will vindicate me; your love, Lord, endures forever - do not abandon the works of your hands.” The last part of the verse is her own personal prayer because the Lord wants her to keep using her hands for His Will.

Outside of painting and attending markets, including Local Pop-Up ones, you can usually find Ashtin busy at her church, or drinking coffee at a local coffee shop. Her and her husband lead a youth group every week, and she loves hanging out and playing with her teenage daughter, two toddler boys, their dog, and their chickens. Something that Ashtin has been wanting to work on for a while is a Marvel & New Orleans scenery mashup called “The Avengers Take on the Big Easy.” She’s hoping to start working on it by the end of the year. 

A fun fact Ashtin shared is that she is actually hard-of-hearing. She used to be legally deaf from otosclerosis in both of her ears, which is something not many people know. She has spent seven years having surgeries to prevent any further deafness, but her doctors predicted she would lose the rest of her hearing by the time she was 21 years old. Fortunately, at 19 years old after praying, God restored her hearing and she hasn’t depended on hearing aids since.

Currently, her customs are closed, but keep an eye out on her Instagram for updates on this and which market to find her at next! You can also check out her website for originals, prints, and stickers she has already made. Her products make perfect gifts for pretty much everyone! She even has designs for almost every Louisiana college and the SEC West. Ashtin has also hosted workshops at Local Supply before, so keep an eye out for any future workshops that may happen!

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