This week’s creative space belongs to visual artist, Shannon Sphar. Shannon is a multidisciplinary artist who began exploring her creative interests at an early age, and has continued to create for over 20 years.
Join us as we learn more about Shannon's creative career, and discuss creating an ideal environment for working, and the importance of optimizing space.
What do you create?
I create visual art with a focus on gouache and acrylic painting.
What is your background and how did you get started? How long have you been creating art?
I have enjoyed making art since my first art class at school in kindergarten. I continued art classes into high school where I was in a four year Honors art program. Since finishing school, I have continued with art independently and have been in some shows. I am working on putting my work and myself out there more to become more involved in the creative community in my area. In total, I have been creating art for about 25 years.
How long have you been working from your art space, and can you explain the process of acquiring it?
My art space is in my home. I have moved to different areas and living situations but I have always had my art desk to work at. I have been working from my art desk from home for about 9 years now and my set up is quite simple. It consists of my foldable desk, my rolling chair, a couple organization carts for materials, and various pen holders to store tools.
How would you describe your designated workspace, and what would you consider some of the pros and cons of working from it?
My workspace is convenient. I have access to it at any and all times since I'm working on my art at home. A con is that my desk can get crowded and messy because I don't have everything organized yet. I often end up putting stuff that's taking up space on my desk on the floor so that I have more room to work and then I'll put it back after I'm done.
What is your favorite part of your workspace? Do you have a favorite piece you've created in your space?
My favorite part of my workspace is my cork board with my acrylic paints hanging. I think it makes for a nice visual element and it's an easy and visible way to store some of my paints. My favorite piece I've created in my space is my Mac Miller gouache painting. I feel like I was really in tune with the painting the whole time I was creating it, and although it took me a long time to complete it, I was fully engrossed the whole time.
Are there any new projects or pieces you're currently working on?
I am working on a painting from Usher's Tiny Desk performance.
Do you have a favorite song or sound that helps you get into a creative mood or fill your space with creative energy?
I need music on in the background while I'm working because it is my primary muse for me to create. My playlists can vary depending on my mood so I tend to go with the flow in terms of what I listen to. I like to find curated playlists on YouTube that will introduce me to new music, or if I have a specific song/genre in mind, I will stick to that and let that guide me as I work.
What advice would you give another artist on cultivating a designated art space?
Your art space will be determined by how much space you have, the ease of access to the tools and materials you are using, the scale of art you make, and many other factors. No matter the size of your art space, make it one that is easy to access and you can pick up materials and start working as quickly as possible. The less time you have to spend getting ready to work the better, so organizing or having systems really helps.
Thank you, Shannon, for sharing your creative space with us! Be sure to check out more of our Studio Tours here.
We want to know the process behind the pieces we love. Studio Tours provides an intimate setting for visitors to get to know artists where they’re most comfortable — in their creative spaces.
Our Creative Spaces interview series highlights the work of makers and doers across all creative mediums, in an ever changing themed interview format. We want to provide an outlet for creators to share their stories, their process, and most importantly their art, in their own words.