Interview with Shannon Vaught 08/14/2020
Shannon Vaught is a representational realist oil painter based out of Oceanside, California. Most of her work is centered around portraiture and figure painting. She received her BFA from Laguna College of Art + Design in 2019.
What projects are you currently working on? Lately I have mostly been working on commissioned pieces. I usually have a lot of pet portraits to do, but recently I have been doing more portraits of people which has been fun! Figure painting is what I enjoy doing the most.
How has this pandemic affected or shifted your practice? Honestly, my practice has not changed all that much since the beginning of quarantine. I think being a studio painter is an inherently lonely practice as it is – haha. So I have not been any more isolated than I normally am. I am teaching my first online class here soon, though. So that should be an interesting new frontier for me.
What has your journey been like as an artist? My journey as an artist started out like most, I think. I was always drawing as a kid and have always had an affinity for creative projects. By the time I got to high school I knew I didn’t want a “normal” career but I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. When I finally graduated and started applying to colleges was when I started to consider art as a career, but still I didn’t think being an artist was practical. So I went into art education. I quickly realized that wasn’t for me either so I transferred to an Art and Design school which almost made me give up on art as a whole. Then a professor there told me about a school out in California called the Laguna College of Art and Design. It was a school dedicated to a more classical approach to drawing and painting. Upon my acceptance, I packed up and moved 2,500 miles across the country and spent the next 3 years getting an education there. I just recently graduated in 2019 with my Bachelors in Drawing + Painting and have been working primarily as a commissioned artist ever since!
Do you have any tips for up-and-coming, or rising artists? Sure. I don’t think that a formal education is necessary for starters. I think there is so much pressure surrounding getting a degree but you don’t really need a degree to be an artist. Especially with all of the online resources available now-a-days. I think that if you want to learn to draw or paint badly enough, you will find a way. Secondly, don’t wait to start selling your art. Don’t wait until you are “good enough”, because you probably won’t ever think you are good enough. I still doubt myself and I have been selling work for almost 4 years now. It is so important to get yourself and your work out there early on so that later when you do feel ready to become an artist full time, it will be a much smoother transition because the clients and experience are already there.
Learn more about Shannon at: