"I have several Ashley Trabue pieces in my home and love them all. My favorite is a figure painting based off a self-portrait I took of myself naked. 

It's hard to put into words what it feels like as a person in recovery from an eating disorder to have a custom painted portrait of myself in my home. 

It is an absolute treasure and brings me incredible joy every time I look at it. 

Ashley creates a unique and empowering experience throughout the art-creating and buying process. Anyone who gets the privilege of working with her to create a custom piece is very lucky."

"Ashley Trabue is magic. 

I was wanting a piece of art that spoke “powerful, able and strong” just by looking at it. She created custom art for me that totally blew away my expectations. 

I hung it by my bedroom door so I could see it as I walk out everyday. I feel seen, heard and known when I look at that portrait. Every dang time. 



"Anyone considering custom/original art work created by Ashley should do it!

Her process is very transparent and she involves her clients every step of the way. She helped me connect to my custom art through journaling prompts and meditative exercises.

I loved working with her so much."

More so than young boys who are more often applauded for their ideas and actions, children raised as female tend to receive more validation based on how they appear and are often implicitly or explicitly taught that their appearance matters or has impact on others.

So what happens next? Well, maybe we start taking a little longer getting ready. Fixing our hair. Picking at our skin. Wondering what others think of our outfit -- we start seeing ourselves from an outsider's perspective.

This is called self-objectification, and research shows (JG Breines, 2008) it lowers our quality of life, increases anxiety, body shame, distractibility and contributes to diminished feelings of vitality and flow. 

The good news? We can take BACK our body by reclaiming how we experience ourselves. 

Tara Well, Ph.D shares that research finds, "looking at one’s own reflection with no goal other than to be present with oneself reduces stress and increases self-compassion and has no effects on narcissism.

Female participants report greater comfort with their appearance (e.g., more comfortable not wearing makeup) and more focused attention on their internal feelings than their external appearance after doing the practice regularly (Well, 2017)."

Living in a world powered by the male gaze can have some not-so-hot implications for us as its non-male recipients. 

let seeing yourself be an act of creativity

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