Design Kettle is all about inspiring, assisting,
and encouraging creative minds
with generating and telling their own stories.


Design Kettle is the brainchild of me, Ashley Hairston Doughty — the product of urban and suburban environments in the Midwest and Southeast.

Refusing to be called a “fine artist,” I have labeled myself a designer, illustrator, fiber and material artist, bookbinder… and writer. Phew!

I hold a BFA in Visual Communications from Washington University in St. Louis and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Over the past ten years, I’ve practiced design within large companies, at a small design firm, for non-profits, and as a freelancer. My varied experiences — intellectually, professionally, and personally — have had a great an impact on my approach to design. I love to share the things I’ve learned over time: the good, the bad, and the downright hideous.

I currently am an assistant professor of graphic design at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I previously taught graphic design and illustration at Middle Tennessee State University. Outside of work, I’m likely designing, drawing, writing, cooking, eating, traveling, or hanging out with my husband and our adorable chocolate lab puppy.

“The creativity is within you, and it’s one of your responsibilities to allow that creativity to blossom.”

Amos Kennedy, Jr., printmaker


I strive to educate, as well as create.

In addition to creating and developing projects, Design Kettle promotes discovery, exploration, process, and learning. I want my readers, customers, and clients to understand what makes an effective design and how to create a captivating visual story.

Want to brew some fresh ideas? Send us a message anytime at howdy[at]designkettle.com.


It all started with a passion for storytelling.

Every person has a unique history — a collection of experiences that define our views of the world. For me, these collected experiences began at a young age as my family moved from one city to the next.

Throughout all the transitions, my love of art and design remained constant. By the time I completed college, I had an understanding of what it took to be a good designer. My diverse knowledge and techniques allowed me to see the design world from many angles of the profession.

However, it wasn’t until graduate school that I delved deeply into visual storytelling. I began to explain my experiences—the negative, the positive, and the downright weird — through language and visual expression. The methodologies I developed would shift my entire creative process.

The result was art and design that was richer — more impactful. I put great stock in learning, brainstorming, drafting, and testing. This process is applied not only to my personal work, but to projects for clients, as well. To me, there is immense value in telling each story with authenticity and attentiveness. Allow me to help you tell your unique story!