Shannon Contreras is a self-taught artist from the humble desert of Tucson, AZ. Through her illustrations of the natural world and depictions of the divine feminine, her creations invite us to seek the sacred in all things and serve to remind us of both the beauty and mystery of existence. Her work is particularly inspired by native folklore & mythology, indigenous symbols and textile patterns, as well as the rich culture buried within her homeland of the American Southwest. You can find prints and digital art offerings on her website: shannoncontreras.com and new work on her Instagram: @ shannoncontreras
In addition to her daily practice of creating, she is also passionately committed to a daily movement practice. Check out her weekly live-streamed bodyweight workouts and primal flows with her fiance, Josh Lujan https://www.twitch.tv/xaryu
Inspiration for Shannons Art
Her art as transformed over the years. She has always been enamored by folk art and native art. She has a lot of indigenous roots, which she wants to reconnect to more and her art is one way of doing that. She has always been drawn to symmetry. Native mythology, the sense of communicating a story through art, unraveling the deeper story and symbolism is something she loves and wants to take her art in that direction.
Lessons She Has Learned Over the Years
She creates her art for herself. When she looks back at her younger self, this art is something she wish she had in her life. She wants to see this out in the world, this is a story she believes needs to be said.
A lot of her previous art was created for likes or it was trendy. She has worked hard in recent months to go back to the reason for her art. Going through the process to find out who you really art and what message you want to send as your authentic self. Its a never-ending process of carving through those more ugly stages to realign and find who you are.
What messages does she want to send?
How can she create art that is authentic to her?
Personal Practices to Keep Her Grounded
She and her fiancé practice body movement every day. She commits every day to movement honoring her body and listening to what it needs. This movement she has found also gives herself inspiration for her art. It is a reminder of the sacred in all things.
Pausing throughout the day. Taking time to soak in the sun. Being out in nature. Looking up at the sky and reminding her of all that she is grateful for. The awe and mystery of everything.
Also talking with her partner. Having an amazing relationship that keeps her grounded. Asking the tough questions and bouncing off thoughts about what is true to herself. It is so important to have the support to grow and expand.
Advice for Creatives
You do not have to quit your day job right away. Just start. Put your art out into the world. Do not worry too much about how it is received. Still be working and maintain your stability. Share, and continue to create.
If you find that your being is asking you to take the leap, do it and trust yourself. Trust that you can make it work. Take small steps and course correct as needed. Be realistic with your skill, marketing, and where you are at financially.
Don't get so caught up in the minute details. Your website doesn't have to be perfect, your business cards don't have to be perfect. Let those things come later. Focus on creating and honing your craft. Find out if your art is something you want as a hobby just for you, or as a business. There is a lot that comes with your art being a business, that can often intrude on the act of creating for some people.