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A woman lays on the ground, eyes closed — bright red sunglasses perched near her head. Her eyes are painted a bright purple, and there’s a large tattoo visible on her shoulder. Her name is “Bathing Beauty,” and she is just one of Lansing artist Shawn Green’s paintings that blend fashion with art. Green, who primarily works with markers, pastels and colored pencils, describes her artistic style as “colorful and contemporary.”
“What keeps me inspired is how many beautiful things there are out there,” she said. “I love to capture the beauty of life. There’s a lot of bad things, but there’s so much beauty and I like to capture that in my drawings.”
What kinds of “beautiful” things do you try to capture in your art?
I’m a very fashion-oriented person, I love fashion — I actually went to school for it.
When I got there I learned the designers and their styles and thought that’s the way wanted to go. I did some modeling, movies and pageants on national and local levels, and I incorporated that into my artwork. I went to school because I thought I was going to go into fashion full-time and become a fashion designer. As I got older and continued going to school, I shifted more toward the business aspect, but I never got away from art.
That’s the kind of person I am. I love fashion and makeup — the whole works.
How did you find your passion for art and fashion?
I have always been fascinated about color and fashion from a very early age. Living in the household with four sisters, and having to share each others clothing, prompted me to dream about having my own things that I didn’t have to share. I used to sit and daydream about becoming a model and living in Paris. I used to see these beautiful models in magazines wearing extraordinary designs, and I used to day dream that I was the designer, and they were wearing my clothes. I began to draw models at an early age and use all kinds of mediums like pencil, markers, acrylic paint, water colors and color pastels.
How does fashion influence your art? Fashion spills over into my artwork. It’s fascinating to me. I love the colors and seeing photographer take pictures to capture the moment. Seeing the angles and colors in the background inspires me. I take that and capitalize on it, making it into something that I can work with.
Tell me about a time you saw something that inspired you and made it your own.
With “Bathing Beauty,” I added more to her than what the original looked like. I capitalized on that and added more style to it — bright red sunglasses and the magazine cover next to her. I get inventive. I launched a clothing line called “Lady Luscious Contour” and she’s actually printed on the clothing.
How did you develop your style? I am self-gifted and self-talented. I was just born with a gift to draw. I’ve always had the ability to take a pencil and crayon in my hand and do drawings, so I took art classes in high school. By the time I went to the Art Institute of Atlanta, I already had the ability to draw so they taught me the technicalities of it. They taught me the professional tools you’d need and about different mediums. I took classes and tried everything I could get my hands on. I ended up experimenting and putting everything I learned together, and “Bathing Beauty” is a result of that.
Where can people find your artwork? I don’t currently have my work displayed, but I’ve had it shown in art galleries like Atlanta, Houston, New York, Las Vegas and East Lansing. I designed a book cover for the Michigan Health and Human Services training manual. My artwork is also on my clothing line, which can be found at shopvida.com/collections/shawngreen601.
Call for submissions
This summer, City Pulse will feature local art on our cover for up to eight issues: June 27-Aug. 29, excluding our Aug. 15 anniversary issue. Submission guidelines: Anyone living in Ingham, Eaton or Clinton counties may submit entries. Artists agree to give the originals to the Arts Council of Greater Lansing, which places them in the silent auction at its annual Holiday Glitter fundraiser. The artists receive 30 percent.
Submissions should be print quality (300 dpi).
The available space is 10.25 inches wide by 6.5 inches high. Your art need not be exactly that, but it needs to be a rectangle of roughly those proportions — or able to be cropped to those proportions — for us to make it work.
Submit an original piece of art to lansingarts.slideroom.com. For more information, please call the Arts Council at (517) 372-4636.