Shawna X’s art is bold, colorful, and very much in your face. Based in New York, she’s known for her vibrant and highly graphical image-making across mediums in digital, spatial and motion spaces. An independent artist and creative, Shawna X says she loves being an artist because of the different ways it pushes her to explore her vulnerability, however painful it is. “I’m a sadist in that way,” she joked in an interview with The Creative Independent. “I love the pain away.”
Her vulnerability seems to have paid off, with collaborations with clients in music, fashion, technology, including Adidas, Samsung, New Yorker, and Dr. Martens. But though successful in her field, she admits she’s still scared of the finished product, with every project she starts.
“I think way too much about the output, and that’s something that I need to pull away from because I think a big part of being a creator is the process,” she says. “You’re tapping into your inner child, your inner demons, your inner fairy godmother. A lot of times, especially with social media, you just see the output, and so people strive for the output more than the process, and I think I have fallen into that as well.” Her way of combating her inner demons? Not comparing herself to others, only to herself. “I do think fears hold you back from being productive,” she reflects.
Most of her projects revolve around cultural identity, the modern creative process, and analytical commentaries on social stereotypes. “I mostly enjoy the pre-project,” she admits, “going into nature, listening to music, reading graphic novels, going to shows or otherwise distracting my mind so it’s completely void of work and just focused on simple pleasures. You need to have a space for yourself to rejuvenate before you dive into any project, because chances are, you’re exerting your creative energy, and also your emotional energy for whatever work you will be doing.”
Take a look at some of her vibrant creations in the gallery below.