SHANNON M. VALENTINE
Fantasy Artist

 

Artist’s Statement / Bio

"For children in their most impressionable years, there is, in fantasy, the highest of stimulating and educational powers." -Arthur Rackham

I have always been an artist. As a child, I used to talk about becoming a professional artist, a children’s book illustrator or a Disney cartoonist. I used to fill spiral notebooks with drawings of unicorns, fairies and strange, beautiful worlds. I would spend hours looking through picture books and trying to copy the illustrations that I saw. I would create stories or comics based on these images. I began to appreciate the beauty that could be found in the smallest of details and the movement that could be evoked from a single drawn line.

When I was about 6, my dad bought me an artist’s easel. He taught me how to paint and the importance of balance, composition, depth and perspective. In high school I started taking formal art classes on the weekends at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where I eventually earned my BFA. But life took me down a different path and I now find myself with a career in finance and technology. However, I have always found time to create and eventually I returned to drawing my little fairies and magical creatures as I did when I was a child. For as a child, I yearned for the ideal that could only exist in fantasy, and apparently that is something I have never outgrown.

I’ve been greatly influenced by the decorative and stylized art of Alphonse Mucha and Eyvind Earle, the linear and graphic art of Aubrey Beardsley, and the romantic illustrative worlds of Gustaf Tenggren and Arthur Rackham. I work mostly in graphite, colored pencil, ink, watercolor and gouache. I am attracted to these traditional mediums because to me they evoke a sense of timelessness and gentle softness that I feel are perfectly suited to fantasy art. I am, in a sense, channeling my inner little girl when I start a new piece. I hope to convey through my art a world that is free of worries and full of beauty and the ideal. A magical and fantastic world that is somewhat plausible and tangible if only because maybe it did exist at one time in the mind of the viewer.

Thank you for visiting my gallery. If you have any questions regarding upcoming shows or would like to purchase prints of my work, please email me at svalentineart@yahoo.com.