I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. I taught myself how to draw by copying cartoons off of the TV while I was in pre-school. In elementary school I would go through a 500 sheet stack of printer paper a week, and I never went anywhere with out something to draw on. Because of my talents, I was always known as the “art girl” at school, and I remember teaching other kids how to draw after school and at our community center.
I always had a wide range of styles: I was encouraged throughout my elementary schooling to depict the world both realistically, and through a cartoon style. When Manga came to America I fell in love. When I was nine, Pokemon was the coolest thing on the planet and Anime was an easy style for me to adopt. When I was thirteen, I attended the first ever Anime Boston with a booth in their Arist’s Alley. I was selling fan art from the series InuYasha and my work was so well received that I continued to sell at Artist’s Alleys for a number of years. I was at the very first Connecticon in Hartford, and the first Another Anime Convention in Manchester, NH selling my fan art (from many different series) in Artist’s Alley. In 2006 and 2007 I wrote, illustrated, and published the first two volumes of an original Manga series titled, Celestial Condemnation. I promoted and sold the series myself at Artist Alleys around New England, but the project has been put on hold until further notice while I finish school and evaluate what I really want to do with my Illustration degree.
The exposure that I gained from selling my work in Artist Alleys prompted me to purchase a website where I could display, promote, and possibly sell my work or services as an artist. In 2005 I built my own website, and gave it the name ‘Shaunart.’ Unfortunately, Shaunart.com was already taken, by and Another Artist named Shaun, who still owns the .com domain. But I have grown to be quite fond of my .net. I think it looks prettier anyway! I am a self-taught web designer, and have fiddled around with Tripod, WordPress, Dreamweaver, Joomla, and now LiveSite. My website has ballooned over the years into a sizable domain, two blogs, a facebook fan page, an Etsy, and a Twitter.
Shortly after building my website back in 2005, I began teaching how to draw workshops in libraries and community centers in the Boston area, as well as taking commissions for portraits, advertisements, logos, and murals. while in high school I took every art class that I could fit into my schedule, and I was awarded the superlative “most artistic” during my senior year. I graduated from Highschool fourth in my class in 2008.
Of course, drawing wasn’t my only interest growing up. I always loved science and history, I kept a scrap-book, crafted, and started cosplaying! Cosplay for me started by accident when I was nine, and wanted to be the Pokemon “Ghastly” for Halloween. Once I started going to Anime Conventions, I learned that this dressing up as your favorite characters has a name, and that thousands of other people around the country were doing it to. Cosplay is what inspired me to teach myself how to sew, and I have made all of my costumes ever since. I also made my own prom dress for junior prom, but that I had help from my mom for!
In the fall of 2008 I started college at the University of Hartford Art School to become an illustrator. While at the University, I learned how to sculpt, design, craft, and draw better than I ever would have achieved on my own. My skills have improved dramatically in those four years, and I have gained a solid foundation in design that will support my artwork for the rest of my life. While in college I continued to cosplay and attend conventions, though now I go in costume for fun more than I go to sell my work. Regardless, conventions have provided me with wonderful networking opportunities, and I have met so many fantastic people over the years through my attendance!
I graduated from the Hartford Art School Summa Cum Laude, with a 3.98 GPA, and at the very top of my class. Now I work as a full-time Medical Illustrator creating learning-aids for pharmaceutical companies. Everyday I learn new things about science and medicine while practicing design professionally. My day-time work may not be as whimsical as the projects that I work on in my free time, but it is another wondering learning experience! I still manage to find time to craft and make art for myself, but the projects that I dedicate myself to now have to be very important to me because I have so much less time to devote to them.