We had the good fortune of connecting with Shan Fannin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shan, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Realizing that there will be a lot of rejection, and to not take it personally. Creatives often take rejection to heart, and it stings. Not setting my life on hold waiting for a reply has helped. I throw my hat in, and see what happens. Artists usually don’t know why a venue or exhibition didn’t choose our work. We may feel it is our best work to date, but it might not fit with the overall theme that other submissions convey. Not taking that rejection personally keeps us from getting discouraged. I have been a professional artist for 5yrs now, and I have a digital file full of rejection letters. I keep them as a reminder that I don’t give up. Pushing past a No tells ourselves and the world that we are stronger than that. I like to think of it as proving the world wrong about me and what I create. When I do get those acceptances, they are far more sweet because I didn’t give up in the past.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Being a professional artist is tough. Being a female artist that paints cars, motorcycles, and other forms of transportation is even tougher. I’ve had folks be surprised that I am a woman painting machinery. I like changing their perspective on what artists should create. I’ve had them suggest that I paint landscapes, florals, or children. Although I greatly respect artists that depict these subjects, they aren’t for me. I see beauty in the vehicles we’ve loved in the past, or those we long to own in the future. I believe my style is a bit unique as I paint with not only brushes, but my fingers and palms. Smearing paint on large canvases brings me great joy. I also love the push/pull of realism and abstract. I enjoy blurring the background and distorting many of the reflections while bringing the vehicle into a realistic light.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Honestly, I also have a small group of artist friends that I chat with daily through Messenger. We talk about what we are working on, our families, our frustrations, being hermits due to the pandemic, and more. They have been my lifeline to the arts and make me feel less alone. We’ve all had exhibitions canceled and have had to reevaluate our art this year.
All the images provided were taken be me or my husband 🙂