Who is {the}shawnamiller, you wonder? I am a practicing artist – I say “practicing” because I have yet to master any of the arts. This artistic path I have chosen has been a challenging one – over the years I have allowed my extreme lack of self-artistic value to rule and override any sense of artistic need within me.

I have only now been able to really focus on who I am with regards to my art. I could tell you all of the “struggles” that I have had over the years – but I will save that rant for some other day.  

I am not saying that my past experiences do not shape my art – it is so much more than that. However, I have found that I have allowed them to cloud my focus and determination. Growing up I was just a chubby girl who was not “art-nerd” enough to fit into the art cliques and I was too afraid of myself to fully understand my artistic value. I was full of anger, confusion, and sadness – and until only in the last few years have I began to understand the importance of these with regards to who I am as a woman and as an artist.

For me, art is more than just the end-game, instead it is the process – the gnawing feeling of needing to create something that is original to me, something that is honest about who I am, and something that allows me to be honest with myself. That last part has become more important over the years – sure I can be “honest” – but being honest with myself is a totally different matter.

I have wondered over the years (almost detrimentally at some points) as to why I have chosen the art field. Am I just a lazy person who is trying to define her importance by being an “artist”? Am I trying to fool myself into not becoming a sad office worker...again? Why do I practice art? Because I need to.

Creating art for the sake of creating art has been an aim that I have long coveted (so much so that I have included it in past artist statements). Since I was a small child I have romanticized the life of the artist. Being able to voice who you were with colors, static movement, shapes, and spaces held me in awe. I thought that art was beautiful, real, and had a voice of its own. 

I practice art because art is beautiful, real, and has a voice. I practice art because I need to. I practice art because I am a woman and an artist. I practice art because it is a challenge. I practice art because I can.