We had the good fortune of connecting with Shaniqua Baker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shaniqua, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I am currently a Licensed Master Social Worker who helps people with their needs and barriers to medical care. At times, this causes me to consume my mind with my patient’s concerns. During the pandemic, I worked a hybrid schedule going between the clinic and home on various days. This caused me to have a difficult time separating home and work life. I noticed I did not have a way to decompress from my day.
One Saturday, I did a virtual paint class with the dance group from my church and found it relaxing. I started looking for other painting opportunities and decided to start painting at home for relaxation in my spare time. My husband began saying, “You should sell some of your art”. I initially turned down the idea for months then decided to begin the process of pursuing artistry and developed Colorful Shay’s. Sometimes we need others to recognize the greatness we do not see in ourselves. It’s amazing how God provided me with the mental outlet I needed by bringing out this talent during the pandemic.
Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
All of my artwork is created with love, precision, and uniqueness to amplify your current or future décor choices. There is magic in bringing raw materials together to forge a physical display of complexity, balance, organization, color, and feelings. I love being able to take a blank canvas and create whatever I want. I enjoy using lots of colors, different types of media, and trying new techniques. Becoming an artist has taught me that it’s never to late to discover talents and passions you weren’t aware of. I also learned that it’s okay if everyone does not like my art. I like it and that’s good enough!
What I would want people to know about my story is that I had to take a risk and step out of my comfort zone. When you step out of your comfort zone, growth happens. The journey of becoming an artist has been challenging because it was unfamiliar, and paint doesn’t always pour out the way you picture it. It’s a craft you must continue to enhance through trial and error.
I was very nervous to tell people I painted and even more nervous to show them some pieces I created. My husband encouraged me to show people and get their thoughts about my work. Well, the feedback was great! What caught me by surprise was when people began to ask me to do custom art for them. I was ecstatic but apprehensive because it was another step out of my comfort zone. Most of the work I do now is custom artwork for residential, office, and other unique spaces. If you desire a custom-made piece message me at www.colorfulshays.com and we can collaborate to bring your idea to life.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend was in town, I would take her to a few restaurants such as Grotto Downtown, Mikki’s Soulfood Cafe, TopWater Grill, Pappasito’s Cantina, Cool Runnings Jamaican Grill for some jerk chicken, The Turkey Leg Hut, Triple J’s Smokehouse, Sugar Rush for a good cupcake, and Red Dessert Dive. If it was the beginning of the year, I would most definitely take her to Rodeo Houston to eat, have some fun, and maybe attend a concert. I would also take her to the Houston Graffiti Building which exhibits amazing art done by some great artists. Lastly, she always wants to go shopping so we would swing by the Galleria, Houston Premium Outlets, or any of the many malls we have here. The interesting thing about Houston is there is always something going on somewhere around town.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are many people who provided me with encouragement, support, and love. I would like to first shoutout my husband for being my biggest supporter and pushing me to be greater in all that I do. He promotes my work, helps me with branding, and much more. I also want to give a shoutout to my mom, cousins, and friends who encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone. Finally, I want to thank the many people who have acquired my art for their unique spaces because that is what pushes me to continue painting.
Other: email: email@example.com
Photographer: Morrel Baker, III (my husband) Edited by: Melvin Fudge,III