Shannon Grissom, a long time friend through Twitter, is a polymath– a singer, an artist, an educator, a fundraiser who helps children with Prader-Willi Syndrome through her sock monkey line, a social media star, author, and a television personality!!! She can be directly reached at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
She recently gave this interview:
I’m kind of a late bloomer. I didn’t discover painting until I was 33! But I was hooked. Inspired and driven, I’d get up early each day to paint for a few hours before the start of my workday. This demanding schedule was worth the effort. By 1999, I was able to leave my day job, and began to do my art as a full-time business. And thus began the amazing ride…
At 44 I began production of the television series, Give Your Walls Some Soul. It grew from an audience of one station to over 50 stations across the country and over 10 million households, winning numerous awards.
At 46 I published my children’s book Monkey Made of Sockies. From that book came a line of licensed merchandise, the popular Monkey Made of Sockies golf club headcovers that have become a world-wide hit.
Today I’m an award-winning artist, television producer/host and author, and songwriter. My artwork is licensed and sold globally, and I am currently working on my third music CD.
I see art, music, writing, and multimedia as movements in my own unfinished symphony, and I always did like to paint big.
A child once told me that I have The Power of all Giggles! Her kind words made me smile from the inside out! It is my hope that through my creative work, I can share my smiles with you.
I maintain a studio in Coarsegold, CA and am the President of Yosemite Western Artists.
Were you interested in art as a child?
A wee bit. I remember drawing dogs. However most of my creative time during my youth was spent playing music. (Piano and clarinet.)
How did you get involved with art?
I took an adult education painting class at age 32 and was immediately hooked! I painted an apple. Oh it was rough, but I knew, from the very first class that I needed to take steps to do my art full time. Even back then I believed in the power of my thoughts. After the first class was over I made up business cards proclaiming myself an artist. Sounds a bit cheeky, but I’m a person of my word and the cards helped me take the steps to make it so. It was then that I started to paint every single day.
Please tell us about your training and how you transitioned to professional work.
I don’t have a formal education in the arts. I am mostly self taught. That being said, I studied extensively with Michael Linstrom. That was over 20 years ago and though I don’t paint like him, I am still greatly influenced by my time spent with him.
My day job was very stressful and I had nothing left at the end of the day. But I was determined to become a full time artist. I made the transition by getting up at 3:00 am every day and painting before work. It took me 5 years , but I was finally able to leave my day job. That was in 1998 and I’ve never looked back.
Can you tell us the name of an artist who has influenced you? What have you borrowed from them?
I have been greatly influenced by Janet Vanderhoof. Her color is fabulous! (I met her in one of Michel Libnstrom’s classes.) I still hear her in my head when I paint.
When someone walks into your show, what do you hope they will grasp or enjoy about your work?
I hope it will go straight to their heart in a beautiful soul embrace.
What’s coming up for your company and how do you see your work evolving?
I will be creating a lot more music and music related artwork, and I intend to greatly expand my licensing.
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