Interview with Fantasy Artist Shawna Erback
by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt
SchulmanArt: How long have you been an artist?
Shawna Erback: The first painting I remember creating was of a beautiful black horse when I was only 12 years old that I gave to my father on his birthday. I can still see that painting in my mind as if I painted it yesterday. I would give almost anything to see and hold that painting again, but it’s gone.
Where did you study art?
I don’t have any professional training. Creating art is in my family. I grew up painting and drawing with my Nona. Bob Ross, who I love, was always on TV in the background.
What are your inspirations?
I keep my eyes and ears open all the time. My next creation could be inspired by a word I hear, a leaf I saw or a neat rock that I find in my son’s pocket when I’m doing the laundry.
What has been your most exciting moment as an artist?
I’ve been blessed with many exciting moments but the one that I’ll never forget is the day one of my dreams came true. DreamWorks emailed me to send in a concept sketch after I sent them my website. I heard of a new fine art program they were launching thanks to my Google Alert and I applied right away and heard back the same night! Now I get to create beautiful paintings for their fine art program based on their animated films like How To Train Your Dragon. When they added me to their website as one of their international artists, that was a great day for me and my family.
What is your studio space like?
Last summer I had an idea to move my studio out of my house. We renovated a space downtown and spent tons of money and time. After the second week of my doors being opened, I realized I made a mistake. I felt trapped like I was in a 9-5 job and couldn’t believe what a dumb idea that was! I didn’t want to tell my husband, after the months of work he just did for me! When I finally did he just rolled his eyes and said I guess you want me to move everything back this weekend? lI learned an expensive lesson about how to appreciate what I already had in the room just off of my kitchen. Being at home with my kids and family is where I need to be!
That’s a great story! What is the view out your studio window now?
I live on a mountain and have a wonderful view of the whole valley and town below, we live in bear country and it’s not uncommon for us to see a bear or two right outside my studio window. This fall there was even a cougar spotted in my yard by one of my neighbors. I’m still wondering where my head was at to want to give my natural space up for a 400 square foot box downtown.
|You can follow Shawna’s blog
You have recurring “characters” in your paintings. How do they come to you?
I have these visions. I usually get them at night. My sad moon character is my one of my favourite characters that I dreamed up one night. I love him, he is always protecting and worrying about the little girl in my paintings. Lots of my paintings are in memory of my dad and you can see the darker side in them. Over the last couple years I’ve noticed that my paintings are brighter with a lighter feel and my collectors have noticed that too because they tell me. I guess it’s a direct link to how I’ve been changing. I still do the odd darker side painting though. It’s such a part of me, but I can see things have changed as I go through my images from time to time.
What’s on the easel now?
I’ve been invited to the Wow Creations, Oscars gift lounge in Beverly Hills next month as their feature artist during Oscar week, so right now I have a set of four paintings on the go that I’ll presenting to the Oscar nominees, stars and guests (they will each have a print to take home as a gift). I’m creating a Celebration Of Film Collection and my first painting has been revealed which is Little Red Riding Hood. I’m posting all of the updates on my blog
page. The next three will be revealed soon.
Mentioned in this blog port: @shawnaerback, @dreamworksstudio
etsy name – http://www.etsy.com/shop/shawnaerback