MOUNT LAUREL >> Ashley Cavanaugh has done a lot in her 31 years. She’s held various management positions, delved into the fine arts and even practiced equine massage therapy.

“Equine massage therapy is literally sports massage for horses. It's more than just massage though; I am trained in anatomy and gait analysis, as well as a handful of other bodywork techniques, and I've worked alongside vets to help diagnose problems,” Cavanaugh shared. “Although the work was fulfilling, it could become physically dangerous, as even the most well-trained horse can unintentionally hurt you. I eventually grew tired of getting banged up, so I decided on a different path.”

When the Tabernacle native decided to pursue a career that would enable her to apply her artistic skills, she knew that Rowan College at Burlington County could help her reach this goal.

“RCBC was close, accessible and in my budget range for this shift in my life,” Cavanaugh shared.

Cavanaugh’s natural penchant for design and acute attention to detail lead her to pursue a graphic design major. During her time at RCBC, she’s taken off in her studies, joined the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and was even selected to illustrate the children’s book “Randle Finds his Light.” Through this project, Cavanaugh honed her illustration skills while adding other essential skills to her arsenal, including contract review, client relations and time management.

“The children’s book was very difficult, but I enjoyed the challenge. I don’t think people realize how much time is spent illustrating a book until they actually experience it. I probably illustrated it in its entirety multiple times over. Each time, something changed to the point where what I initially started with was completely different than the end result. That was probably the most difficult part about it, trying to translate someone else’s vision onto paper. Communication was key -- which is a critical skill I took away from this project,” Cavanaugh said.

Though she’s well-versed in many aspects of graphic design, Ashley prefers creating display work, including book covers, advertisement labels, magazine layouts, posters and more. She’s prepared to graduate from RCBC upon completion of the fall 2020 semester and looks forward to continuing her studies at a four-year college.

When she’s not busy designing, Cavanaugh enjoys riding her Tennessee walking horse named General (G for short).

“I've only had G for a few years now, but I've known him since I started riding seriously at the age of 12. We really don’t know much about his background. He came off a truck headed to slaughter from the south. He had a hole in his chest, and I assume whoever put him on that truck didn't want to pay the vet bills, but that was before I met him,” Cavanaugh explained. “You could tell he had been through a lot; it took years for him to get over a lot of his issues, and he's still not a fan of the color yellow, but he'll be 31 in January, and he's a good, sweet soul.”

Cavanaugh also enjoys playing video games and is an avid fine artist, who enjoys painting and creating images with her hands on paper and canvas, not just on the computer or a screen. She looks forward to making her mark on the graphic design industry.

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