We had the good fortune of connecting with Shawn Machie and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shawn, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk taking…that’s every new opportunity…every door that opens and/or closes. But you can take time to calculate those risks, so instead of taking a big loss you’ll take a minor loss or if things go well and all your ducks are in a row, you’ll have a big win.
Selling art on the side you think: is it done? What else can I do to improve it? Will folks love it and want to buy it. But once you put it out there, over time you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t work and you’ll start to grow, build confidence, and work smarter.
After a while that risk isn’t a risk any more, it becomes a business model; plus no one will want to take a chance on you especially if you don’t risk it and take that first step.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What sets me apart…I guess it’s the experience. Most folks that buy my art don’t just leave with a piece of art, they leave with a joke, or an awesome conversation about a series or character or maybe just a smile.
How’d I get here and was it easy? Well, I’ve been drawing every day since I was born, made some REALLY awesome connections after setting up in artist alley for the first time. They gave me solid advice and I listened, followed it, and tweaked it to work for me. I also took risks and jumped into the unknown…some were hits and others were misses.
If anything, I would want folks to know, if you want to be an artist…go for it, don’t wait for some big company to notice you. Draw any chance you get even if it’s for 15 minutes. learn from other artists, study them. Get out and meet folks, find your inspiration and live in it. Also don’t take critiques personally or else your craft won’t grow…listen to it, think about it, see if it works for you…or completely ignore it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Ah a journey through the Houston area with a friend. First stop would be Bedrock City on Washington, they’re all good, but this one has my subscription box. Then hit up Star Pizza which is not too far from there OR you go straight to Katy catch a movie at Alamo Drafthouse.
Another dope spot is Kinokuniya which is also in Katy. Which is a Japanese book store. You can legit spend the whole day there as right next door you got Kura Revolving Sushi along with some other really great Asian restaurants and on the other side of Kinokuniya you have SomiSomi Ice Cream, a Japanese soft serve joint. and to top it all off depending on what weekend you go; you get an outdoor market with lots of different artists.
But let’s go back to the Heights, you have a wide variety of shops Super Happy Incredible Toys, Replay Games, Misfit Toys. Then for drinks, when I go out…Underdogs is usually my goto…it’s chill, not crowded, you can hear yourself and the folks around you…and the folks who work there are cool too.
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?
Actually, there’s quite a few folks I’d have to give cred too. Lori Grande, Nick Dillard, and Jereme Brown. In 2017 we hit up the artist alley at Comicpalooza. It hits me, I could have been doing this since high school which was like 2000 – 2005. But they took that first step with me and we pitched in to buy a booth together in artist alley the very next year. Since then, I’ve been selling my art and pushing myself to improve almost every week.
As for mentors, Shakenbake Art, Iridescent Manga, I’M A NINJA, and Mostafa Moussa, they’re advice helped a lot with the professional side of things.