Support Series — Shawna X

Shawna X

Meet Shawna (she/her)

A visual artist based in New York City, known for her vibrant and graphical image-making. She specializes in projects regarding cultural identity and motherhood, specifically pregnancy, labor, and rekindling the connection between mind and body. Currently, she is exploring the synchronicity between visceral and emotional expressions via traditional and AI outputs. She creates experiences in music, fashion, and technology, collaborating with clients such as New Yorker, MINI, and Academy Awards. She took some time to share with us her work and what Support means to her.

As a BIPOC creative, what does “support” mean to you?

Support is the feeling of comfort during difficult times, as well as the feeling of connection and joy in celebration during good times! Support is true connection and thus the ability to ask, give help, and true vulnerability.

Who has supported you and why was it meaningful?

So many people in my life, in small and big ways, all the time. Mostly my close community of family and friends. I have support in different ways, depending on the need, and I'm thankful I've developed a deep sense of emotional connection to feel supported.

What is a big challenge being a BIPOC creative in your industry?

The challenges extend beyond being a creative. It's in all aspects of my life. I believe growing up as a child of immigrants and as a minority in a largely homogenous area of the country had created an environment for me to adapt, seek understanding, and seek connection. Because of these challenges, I am able to deeply share the experience with so many other people in various communities.

Any words of advice or encouragement to BIPOC creatives just starting out?

We're truly lucky. We have each other!

What is your cultural heritage and how has it influenced your work?

I'm Chinese American, and the one thing I love about my ancestry is my ancestral gift of expressing powerful abstractions with subtlety. I see this really coming in the details, conversations, and even the language, especially in the creative community.

Why is BIPOC representation meaningful to you?

It makes me so happy to see representation in media, something I never had growing up. I truly feel like the world will be a more encompassing, compassionate place for my daughters and people like them, growing up in-between cultures and identity.

Why are telling BIPOC stories important to you?

It's not necessarily BIPOC stories, it's stories while being BIPOC, if that makes sense. I think storytelling should be important for everyone, as who else can communicate their experience better than themselves?


Shawna X

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