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Artist Spotlight: Shelby Elizabeth

Artist Spotlight: Shelby Elizabeth
1 - Are you originally from Austin? If not, why did you move here?

What’s your favorite thing about living in Austin?
My dad was in the Air Force so we moved around quite a bit! Before Texas I lived and went to college in Sarasota, FL. At the time I had a few friends/family living in Austin and I heard about Austin being a great art city, so we decided to move here. My favorite thing about Austin is the amount of art shows/festivals and different opportunities for artists. Also the awesome food. :) 

2 - How did you get your start as an artist?
I always drew, but I only decided to make it my career path my senior year of highschool. I just couldn't imagine doing anything else for 8-12hours every day, so I chose art. Then I decided to get my Bachelors in Illustration. 

3 - Is there a specific setting/ritual you have before you start creating? If so, what is it?
I like burning incense before drawing, and also making sure I have water nearby. I tend to always listen to a podcast or audiobook so I stay put and make art without getting too distracted.

4 - Your illustrations are so detailed and realistic! What’s your technical process from starting with a blank page to the finished piece? I.e. specific types of pencil, framework, references, etc.
I always sketch several thumbnails before getting started. From there I find a reference or several references that work for what I wanted to draw, and then I make a simple pencil drawing on the claybord that marks out large shapes and general contour lines, like the direction of the fur, etc. From there I use sakura micron pens, usually 005, 003 and 01 and a large brush pen. I start with the darkest areas first and block those out, then work from dark to light. I use a mixture of crosshatch and stippling ink techniques. Once the rendering is done, I will use scratchboard knives to carve out extra highlights and whiskers. In this way the process is both additive (when I add the ink) and subtractive (when I carve out the ink with the knife).
Owl Inking by Shelby

5 - What type of prints do you normally order for your art and why do you like them?
I order the cardstock digital prints. I like the weight of the paper and it also captures all of the detail I have from the original drawing. 

6 - What would you say is the most challenging aspect of being an artist?
Continuing to create and constantly revisiting ideas, revising currenty techniques and reinvograting your passion for art through new ideas and testing out new mediums. It is easy to fall into doing the same kind of projects and it can be very challenging to break yourself out of routine and draw new things. 

7 - What about the most rewarding?
The process itself is the most rewarding part of art for me and what keeps me working at it day after day. All of my work takes a lot of time, so you have to really love what you're doing in order to invest yourself into a piece. 

8 - Are there any specific things you turn to for inspiration?
Currently folklore, fairy tales and urban legends are inspiring my work. I love stories where the animals have character and come to life, and I also love symbolic imagery. 
Crow and Skull

9 - If you could study under or collab with any artist alive or dead who would it be and why?
Nicolas Delort is my all time artist hero haha, If I could do anything with him it would be amazing. He is also an ink artist that works on claybord. His compositions and use of contrast in his work is amazing and super inspiring. 

10 - What advice would you give to any aspiring artists out there looking to get their start?
My advice would to be persistent and adapt to change as much as you can. Just like with life, you come at your art with a different perspective and different emotions day to day, and moment to moment. It's important to let those feeling just wash over you and look at your art like it is a part of your body that you cannot give up. I think a lot of artists, myself included, struggle for a long time with the idea of what it means to be an artist, feelings of self worth if you are not constantly creating, and inadequacy when looking at other artists. It's important to remember that art is just a part of you that will always be there, and no one can take it away from you. 

11 - Lastly, do you have any upcoming events or markets where people can come to see your art or purchase prints?
Yes, in April my show season starts. The first weekend of April I will be in Dallas for the Deep Ellum Arts Festival. Second weekend of April I'll be in Houston for the Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival, and lastly back in Georgetown for the last weekend of April at the Red Poppy Festival. May I'll be showing at Blue Genie's May Market every weekend and the Pecan St Festival the first weekend of May. We'll see where the year takes us from there! :) My work is also always available online at my website, I also have prints hanging at Bennu Coffee off of Congress and the Furniture Mall of Texas in Austin. 
Shelby Boswell Art Booth
Shelby has been one of our favorite long term artists to work with, and we highly recommend you check out her art!
When it comes to art prints, we pride ourselves in high quality at an affordable cost. If you'd like to start getting digital art prints or fine art prints, take a look at our art printing page here. Stay tuned for more blogs on all things print shop!

1 comment

  • Sabrina Pier: June 01, 2022

    Shelby, your art is so inspiring! I’ve taken up an “art hobby” and have been trying different mediums, including drawing. You are so talented!

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