I'm Shannonquirky compassionate creative
I'm forever loved by four great Danes, one Morgan mare, six kitties, and one German shepherd. They are my family, my mentors, and my friends, and I can't imagine how I could enjoy life and thrive without them.
I like illustrating layered, emotional stories. Simple stuff that's a little weird and feels approachable.
I'm an autistic ADHDer who is chronically ill and eager to provide accommodations for families who need something a little different.
what's important to me
Inviting someone into your life to create art about your family requires a lot of intimacy (and courage). You need to feel secure about the artist you choose and I'll be as open with you as I can about who I am, what I'm like to work with, and what I value so you can make an informed decision.
Empathy has to exist for us to have a solid connection with one another. Lots of people define empathy as being able to understand what someone else is feeling, and I prefer to think of it as appreciating what someone else is experiencing. Empathy for me is considering as many aspects of the circumstance as I can and not putting myself in that position for the sake of imagination, but connecting with the other's experience without centering myself.
I can't know or understand what the world is like for anyone else; I still want to appreciate that their experience is unique, worthy, and valuable.
Compassion is doing something with empathy. It's one thing to feel something about someone else's situation, and it's a whole other deal to be moved to action.
When it comes to hard times, compassion is where it's at. It doesn't help me much when someone empathizes with my circumstance, but when they rest their compassion on me it makes a difference.
Compassion is responsive, strong, courageous, and often quiet.
equity and fairness
Argh. The "ism"s.
I believe you should have what you need when it comes to living a life that feels nurturing and meaningful to you. I don't believe that working ten times harder than the next person is the best way to build character, and I definitely don't believe that demographic information determines worthiness or value.
It's not about all of us having the same stuff. It's about having equitable access to opportunities (including accommodations) and being treated without discrimination in the process.
health + care
Access to responsive care for acute and long-term health (physical, mental, and emotional) concerns is something everyone deserves.
And what kind of care is necessary and wanted is none of my business.
It's safety, acceptance, celebration, and responsive nurturing all wrapped together. That feeling of being seen, heard, acknowledged, validated, and wanted by others is magical.
Animals of the non-human variety provide this for me in a way that most humans do not, and I have a feeling it might work that way for you, too.
curiosity and science
Curiosity invites me to notice what's different and weird. It's not about collecting knowledge for the sake of being smart, but more of a series of tiny delights in learning new things that I happen to find interesting.
What happens when I change this? What does this do? How does it work?
creativity and intuition
Creativity needs curiosity to bloom. It's the drive to tinker and experiment that leads to unexpected and sometimes upside-down ways of experiencing something familiar. Creativity brings a bit of novelty and playfulness to what is familiar, and that little twist of the unexpected can be like a squirt of lemon juice on the tongue - it's uncomfortable and brings up some stuff (like extra saliva), and as it works it's way through it feels like it increases awareness and sensitivity.
Intuition often leads me to practice creativity even when I don't wanna.
Things just feel better when I can arrange them how I like them, from the tiny things to the massive life decisions. I can make the best decisions for myself because I am the world's foremost expert in me. Sometimes I think I might know better than another, but that's based in my own experiences and preferences so it's neither grounded nor founded.
This comes up frequently in making art and in hospice care. I work to acknowledge where I am rightfully centered and the autonomy is mine, and where I am a contributor and the autonomy belongs to another.
Humans are meant to live in communities. As much as social expectations, culture, or trauma might encourage us to become fiercely independent, really good things happen in community. There we can rest and recover while someone else has a turn. There we can lend resources and labor when someone else has need.
I'm one of those wants-to-be-fiercely-independent people. Learning how to be in community with others has been, and will likely continue to be, one of the best things I can do for myself and for others.
stuff you should know up front
That's because I value connection over speed, and it's easier for me to connect when I take my time. I'm slow to return messages and slow to work through projects.
As a special bonus, the more pressure I receive to pick up the pace, the more I'm likely to drag it out. The good news is that I consider this when I set prices, so if you are willing to let the muses do their thing you'll be rewarded.
Photography is a general exception to this, especially when it's time sensitive due to health.
Totally at ease with animals, even the really toothy ones. People, not so much.
There may be pauses in our conversation that feel too long. I probably won't make a lot of eye contact, and I might be more direct than is comfortable for you. I tend to use a lot of words to say things, and sometimes I can't find words at all.
I don't come with the polished presentation that a lot of other photographers or artists have, and that's because I'd prefer to show up as I am. I think you deserve the actual me rather than the presentation version.
I'll show you how I experience things, and when you ask me to make changes that are outside of that, I'm gonna balk.
Eye boogers and slobber are part of the package. I don't edit things out to make them perfect. I don't create things that look like they could be ad campaigns just to create things that could be ad campaigns.
I make what's real and what it feels to me like you need to see.
I don't care if your house is dirty or under construction. I have no comments about what food you are feeding.
I love you and all the parts that make you who you are. Whom you love, the color of your skin, where your ancestors are from, your culture, how your brain and body work (and sometimes don't), what you believe or don't believe in terms of spirituality, your health, your economic status, what education you have.
What I won't accept is abuse or hatred, no matter where is it directed.
The way I do things might be a lot different from what you expect. That's not designed to give you a hard time - it's how I manage stuff.
I appreciate that you might have other ideas about what I should be doing or what would be easier. Chances are I've tried those things and they didn't feel good for me.
Most of my work is guided by the animals themselves because they tell me things. My process is unconventional and I like it that way.
When I'm not creating art for you, I'm managing disabilities, care, and accommodations for myself and my young person (The Boy). We have emergencies more than most families do and that impacts how and when I can show up for you.
I work hard to integrate all of this with rest and play so I can be responsive to everyone, including myself. When I can't, family comes first. I'll do what I can to give you as much notice as possible when something changes.