Tiny Talks is an interview series with Tiny Spoon’s talented contributors. This week we spoke with Shannon Gardner from Issue 8, Cut/Copy/Paste: The Original! Find her artwork, “Mother Monster,” “Nighttime Hue,” “A Joke to You,” and “Don’t Stop or We’ll Die” in our eighth issue!
Tiny Spoon: What kindles your creativity?
Shannon: Watching horror movies and studying paranormal kindles my creativity. The spontaneous process of nature inspires me to explore Earth’s unfound beauty and imitate its natural imperfections. I enjoy creating art depicting paranormal elements and iconography.
Tiny Spoon: Are there any artists/ heroines/ idols/ friends that you look up to?
Shannon: I am inspired by German Expressionism artists like: Edvard Munch, and Tim Burton. Surrealist artists like; Picasso and Claude Cahun. Expressionists like Egon Schiele and Contemporaries like Polka-Dot artist Yayoi Kusama. My process is similar to artists who encourage exploring the taboo and Surrealist/Psychic Automatism or the act of creating art disconnected from consciousness. My work focuses on exploring the unconscious mind as a way of creating art, resulting in innate, dream-like imagery.
Tiny Spoon: Are there any natural entities that move your work?
Shannon: Supernatural entities continue to inspire my work, paranormal phenomenon. The surrealist unbridled reign to the consciousness is how I approach art making. I have an ambition to spend my life studying the occult and paranormal. I enjoy projects that involve a proactive and sustainable message.
Tiny Spoon: We love insight into the creative process. Could you share what it is like for you, either with your work that appears in Tiny Spoon or in general?
Shannon: I enjoy line and dot work, stippling and cross-hatching, clusters of value implying crisp texture and depth, giving the illusion of change through time. My serendipitous approach to watercolor and ink creates a profound contrasting aura with my surrealist illustrations. Through my process, I attempt to disassociate my hand from my consciousness, work directly from instinct. As a result, I have found my best work is created when I’m not thinking.
I often draw on paper with an ink pen an interesting idea, inspire in the spur of the moment. I enjoy creating multiple line pieces over a relatively short period of time. The pieces sit unfinished until I find enough time where I can devote myself to paint all the pieces with watercolor. This makes a cohesive palette of color throughout multiple pieces.
Shannon: I usually paint when I work in my studio. I enjoy painting from a used palate, working off pigment from previous sessions to avoid wasting materials. I find working on paintings in the mornings while working on drawings at night yields the best results. I am currently working more in collage, assemblage, and sculpture. I have always worked in 2D with an emphasis on the outline, so when branching out to 3D I am enjoying playing with the minimalist relationship between figurative and abstract work.
I have much confidence in my work; as a result, I have been featured in dozens of publications worldwide. I understand that if you apply yourself the worst outcome is a formal rejection with appreciation of your submission. I have the ability to create a plethora of work in order to meet deadlines and ensure quality work.
Tiny Spoon: Do you have any current or future projects that you are working on that you would like to share?
Shannon: I’m currently working with Collage-Lab where I’ll be teaching a workshop on how to incorporate hand-drawn illustrations and collage. There I will explain Surrealist Automatism and how to think of collage making as a spontaneous process.
I am also involved with an online Zine called Continue The Voice. Released quarterly as a platform to share art and voices of all kinds. My original illustrations are featured throughout and exclusively on the Coorie Moments pages.
Tiny Spoon: What book, artwork, music, etc., would you recommend to others?
Shannon: A book that I’m currently into is called, Begone Satan: A Soul Stirring Account of Diabolical Possession in Iowa, a 19th century exorcism of a woman local to where I am from. For inspiration I would suggest researching and finding books from your childhood that encouraged you to read as a child or that inspired you in any way. Revisiting those stories may help or unlock things that can benefit you in the future.
Tiny Spoon: Is there anything else you would like others to know about you, your creations, or beyond?
Shannon: What I value most in my work is honesty and confidence. As an artist I strive not to be a perfectionist, I seek to make mistakes. Appreciating the process of nature, death, and decay I practice the Asian technique of Wabi Sabi; the aesthetic within imperfections. I strive to explore the unearthed beauty and imitate the natural imperfections. I live for crooked lines and brushstrokes. The human journey is not a straight line but a labyrinth of twists and turns, an imperfect spiral with one way in and out. Through my work I hope to embody those imperfections. My goal is to show the audience the importance of appreciating people, emotions, achievements and pain. I strive to evoke a haunted aura of remembrance that death and decay reflects the evident future of life. All parts of Earth’s cycle should be celebrated, not overlooked or forgotten.
Tiny Spoon: Where can people learn more about what you do?
Shannon: You may purchase my work here.
View my original artwork quarterly here.
Sign up for my newsletter at UneasyViewing@gmail.com