Artist Shana Smith hasn't been in Spokane long, but is already making a big impact on the local art scene. She is a University of Montana graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art however she attributes a majority of her artistic studies to an extensive family line of artists teaching her their artistic secrets from birth.
Shana is a painter and a sculptor and is most well known for her contemporary wildlife paintings and sculptures, however her personal work tends to focus more on conceptual figurative pieces. She also works commercially in air brushing roller-coaster cars and other theme park based aesthetics work.
Shana has painted in her free time for the past 20+ years, but she is now a full-time artists and constantly has 3 easels in use in her studio.
When asked what work she most enjoyed doing, Shana says, "All of it! I love diving into my personal work and creating series that matter to me, but love giving my brain a break and working on wildlife pieces that tend to be more of a technical study and are just fun relaxing painting. Commissions are also super fun because I get to work on pieces stray from my own themes and styles. Commissions allow me to work with a variety of subjects and in a variety of style."
What themes do you pursue?
Personally I tend to pursue physiologically influenced figurative pieces, or Western wildlife. I toss it up whenever I feel the need to.
Do you have a favorite piece of artwork that you’ve created?
I have a few, butost notably, just because it's so cool to have done, was sculpting and painting the front end of the 2016 released Joker Ride for DC Comics and Six flags Discovery Kingdom.
Professionally, what’s your goal or is there a dream project that you would like to create?
I just want to work on as many pieces in as many mediums as my life allows me. The past few years I've had an itch to investigate chainsaw carving.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
I've been humbled by so many beautiful compliments, that I attribute my continued devotion to art to the so many people who have encouraged me to do so.
What role does the artist have in society?
HMmmm ..to remind humanity that there is beauty left in the world maybe. The arts satisfy the needs of the soul.
What advice would you offer to young emerging artists?
If you physically need to paint to exist, then give it your all and never stop learning. Do it for yourself. Be true to yourself. Don't berate yourself in the beginning if it seems hard. Just focus on creating in your free time. Let selling art be something that happens with time, in the beginning just focus on painting what makes you happy to paint. If you keep going eventually you will start selling your work.. and then... When you feel ready, Give it your all...
In addition to participating in this Saturday's Pro-Am Event you can currently find Shana's show 'Perceptions of an Artist' at Kolva Sullivan 115 S. Adams Street with a closing reception on Friday the 26th of January from 5-8.