A gray and brown short-haired dog sitting on a bed

Art Director Ashley Burch instructs her dog, Lady Bird, on a shoot for this issue. Photo by Brandon Jakobeit.

The devil may be in the details, but in magazine publishing, that’s also where the magic lies. Our resident magician, Art Director Ashley Burch, is passionate about the details. Whether it’s styling dishes for a food story, baking multiple pies to create the perfect scene for a cover photo, or finding the ideal font to reflect the emotion of a piece of writing, her keen eye ensures every element is precise and contributes to a more beautiful whole.

For this month’s cover story, Ashley wrangled her German shorthaired pointer, Lady Bird, for a pet product photo shoot. “I’m always looking for ways to be on set and get out from behind my computer screen,” she says. “And I think with anything we do, the more people you get involved—editor, photographer, art director—better ideas and better photos happen.”

Ashley spends the bulk of her time laying out stories in the magazine. With 12 years of experience in graphic design—10 at magazines—she says she mainly relies on instinct when it comes to conceptualizing pages. “I really love to read—my college minor was in English and creative writing, and I have done some writing myself—so I get a lot of tone and perspective from the actual copy,” she says. “It’s not an exact science. It’s more of an emotion that translates into fonts, colors, how we edit and filter the photos, and what the photos need to look like.”

When she’s not designing and detailing, Ashley loves to explore the state with her husband and two young sons. She especially enjoys visiting the restaurants we cover in the magazine. Before the pandemic, she traveled to Palo Duro Canyon for the first time with her then-nearly 1-year-old son and extended family to check out one of the canyon-rim lodgings we’d recently featured. “We had the best time exploring Canyon, going to the TEXAS Outdoor Musical, and just hanging out and playing board games,” she recalls. “It’s gorgeous there, and you can’t beat the view.”

Emily Roberts Stone
Editor in Chief

From the February 2022 issue

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