Shawna X is not one to shy from making a statement. An independent artist, she’s known for her eye-popping images that are created across mediums in digital, spatial, and motion spaces. Her projects tend to revolve around loaded subjects like cultural identity, the modern creative process, and analytical commentaries on social stereotypes.
“I mostly enjoy the pre-project,” she said in an interview with The Creative Independent. Her pre-project state includes: “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.” According to her, it’s vital that you have a space for yourself to rejuvenate before you dive into any project, as chances are, you’re exerting your creative energy, and also your emotional energy for whatever work you will be doing.
Of course, exerting her creative energy is exactly the thing she’s looking for. In fact, Shawna X admits that what she loves about being an artist is the different ways it pushes her to explore her vulnerability, however painful it is. “I’m a sadist in that way,” she joked. “I love the pain away.”
Being a creator means that the process us equally important as the outcome. “You’re tapping into your inner child, your inner demons, your inner fairy godmother,” she explains. “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.” But with clients as big as Adidas, Samsung, New Yorker, and Dr. Martens, it’s clear that she’s found the secret to staying creative and active.