Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday Maker - Studio deShan

Hi de Shan, so nice to meet you.

Were you creative as a child?

It all started when I decided I wished I had a tail...

My mother ran my father's business from home, before I was school-age and she would get stacks of butchers paper, make a few marks on a sheet and then tell me to "go wild", and I did.

Every day I have her to thank for my creative wild side...

How would you describe your work?

Big eyes, big face, big personality... it probably falls into the lowbrow art movement, very pop culture, lots of sass and a dash of darkness...

All the characters I draw come from my show *100 drawings in 100 days (see note below...)

How has your work evolved since you started?

Well it started with my 100 ideas which was hard, and I drew some guy's shoes when I was on the ferry one day... now I get inundated with suggestions from people that I only have to draw them, and they are all becoming more and more detailed every year because I am able to just focus on drawing, not worrying about "what" to draw...

How did you start selling Etsy?

A friend of mine in the US started her shop on Etsy and I fell in love with Etsy... so it was meant to be, we're a perfect match!

Who or what inspires you?

I am inspired by a glossy magazine, a fresh pack of pencils, pens, or a new sketchbook. the smell of the ocean and the idea of tufted little fox ears on hair clips... seriously, a pot plant could inspire me!

Do you reduce, reuse, recycle as part of your creative process?

I do as much as I can - I only use paper bags and I have a stamp with my logo on it that I use instead of stickers. Also,  all of my suppliers are local to me, like within 25 km of my studio!

I try to keep it all on the Sunshine Coast so we support each other rather than getting supplies from overseas.

Can you describe your studio?

My studio always has at least two dozen projects in progress, in varying states of "done-ness". I normally have to high-step (and even leap) over piles of creations to get to the easel… It’s my daily accidental work out ^_^

I am one of those artists who requires noisy trains and buses and lots of birds squawking and some fantastic music playing really loudly in order to create. Oh good grief I work in chaos! I paint with distractions full on! The studio is practically ON a train station, so it's noisy, but it's a small town, so it's quiet when the trains aren't running... The studio is kept in a state of perpetual organized chaos!

Plus I have shelves, lots of them, and an easel, loads of paints in one of those large plastic shoe organisers, so that each colour family has a section and more coffee cups filled with brushes than i care to mention...

How did your business name come about?

My friend and I were throwing around names when I was first setting up a website 15 years ago.
It needed to sound like what I do is art, but also a bit posh.  I wanted to call it "That Art Girl" but it was taken...

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?

I am trying to get down to Sydney and Melbourne into some of the markets there and possibly Japan at some stage.

Do you have a tip for other creatives wanting to break into the handmade market?

Do your research in your area of expertise in other markets overseas - so google and get on Pinterest etc., to find stall layout ideas before diving in.

Go to some markets personally and find what excites you, and try to create that sense of wonder in your own way.

What's a typical creative day for you?

Work out first, coffee, procrastinate, make a list and then start crossing off that list.

Do you have a favourite quote?

"Well behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Do you have a favourite CD you like listening to while creating?

Either Cake or Garbage

What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?

A gorgeous black and white striped vase that I use in my stall's so Dr Seuss!

Where can we find you online?


"Lamington" in Noosa
"Maisy Moo" in Caloundra

The Eumundi Markets
The Young Designers Market at Southbank
Caloundra Street Fair

Have you been a BrisStyle member very long?

Not quite a year.

And how did you find out about BrisStyle?

From fellow stall holders at The Eumundi Markets.

And what made you decide to join BrisStyle?

I like to be able to reach more people who may not know about my art yet and be more accessible to those in other areas, not just mine.

Why do you craft?

It's my oxygen.

* These are my coloured prints from my annual original pen and ink drawing series “100 Drawings in 100 Days ”, which I have done every year for 5 years.

This began when I was an abstract painter and felt the need to start drawing again to 'get back to basics'.

Now in its 5th year, the show is held in November and is a silent auction for one night, 100 minutes and the starting bid is $100. A percentage of the sales then go to RedKite Charity for children with cancer, a charity that I have grown with over the years.

All of the characters I have drawn are at the request of my customers at the markets, and followers on Instagram and Facebook - I like to involve them in my process so that they feel more connected with my art and the pieces they will then go on to own.

I have created many sets of characters from movies, musicians, TV shows, as well as historical figures, and have a range of calendars, matted prints on paper, limited edition canvas prints and greeting cards.

The originals are all pen and ink in black and white, and I then colour them one-by-one with Photoshop to create this luxe rendition of each character. And don’t worry, they usually have other companions… stay tuned and check back often as I will probably have the whole set soon!