Sit Down With Our March '21 Featured Artist

Shane Vorhaben

Instagram / @svorhaben
Featured Artist / March 2021 ScrawlrBox

Shane Vorhaben is a 49 year old artist/entertainer/future hairstylist (you’re never too old to learn something new!) from Branson, Missouri.

He grew up in The Lone Star state of Texas, and began drawing at a very young age, like most kids do. Unfortunately most people stop drawing at some point. Probably from lack of encouragement or other interests getting in the way. Well, like I say, you’re never too old to start again. When you draw or paint you unlock a world of imagination.

Start small. Just make some marks. Get used to the way the pen/pencil feels on the paper. Do it everyday... if only for a few minutes. Not only will you be amazed at how quickly you progress, but it’s also a great way to relax and relieve stress. So, get a little notebook/sketchpad and doodle/draw in it everyday! You can thank me later.

How Did You Begin Your Journey As An Artist?

How did you begin your journey as an artistI’ve been drawing for as long as I remember. I specifically remember being obsessed with Spiderman as a kid and drawing him over and over. I also loved to copy things out of Mad Magazine (Don Martin was my favourite). I continued drawing, and studied art in college. Lots of life drawing classes, which I loved, but at some point I got tired of having to look at things to draw. It didn’t fulfil me creatively. I actually stopped drawing for a little while, then I discovered Juxtapoz magazine. It opened up a whole new world to me. I didn’t realize that art like that existed. From that point on, I started drawing from my own imagination. I’ll occasionally use a photo for reference if I’m drawing an insect or something, but for the most part I just sit down with a piece of paper and see what happens.

What advice would you give to aspiring artists?

Draw ALL THE TIME!! Carry a sketchbook everywhere, and don’t be precious about it. I need to remember that myself. I want my sketchbooks to look perfect, so I’ll tear pictures out sometimes. Then I’ll have to remind myself that the sketchbook is there for mistakes.. for experimenting.. to learn and to grow. Just have at least one sketchbook that you throw everything at.

What role/influence do you think art has in everyday life? 

Well, unfortunately, I think most people (At least in the USA) don’t think about art that much. It’s not that they don’t appreciate it, they just don’t really think about it. They might go to the occasional museum, but that’s about it. I really wish people would try keeping a sketchbook. It really is relaxing and rewarding. I also think it opens your eyes to all the art around you that you might not otherwise notice. Art, in all its forms can really open your eyes and change the way you see the world.

Do you prefer working in black & white or colour?

That’s a hard question! When it comes down to it, I’d have to say black and white. There’s just something about a pen and a blank sheet of paper that I love. It’s pure, it’s honest, and you can’t hide from it. Now, that said, I do love colour. Sometimes just a pop of colour can take something to the next level. For me it can be overwhelming. I don’t really work digitally so I just go in with whatever colour I think will look good. Therefore, I’ve made many...many mistakes. But , in the end, a lesson is learned. That lesson is usually, “ I should have worked that out in the sketchbook first! “ 

Who/what is your main source of inspiration?

Probably other artists. I’m constantly looking through Instagram and art books just to see what people are doing. It really gets the creative juices flowing. I think the key is to just be inspired and not try to create in someone else’s style. Stay true to yourself. That’s where you’re going to shine.

What is the thing you enjoy most about being an artist?

Creating my own world. I love the feeling of taking a blank piece of paper and creating exactly what was in my mind. It’s very satisfying to me. I also love talking about art with other artists. It’s nice to hear their perspective and approach. I can also talk pens and paper all day long.

What is your favourite medium to work with and why?

Overall, pen and ink. I love fineliners for sure, but if hard pressed, I’d have to go with fountain pens. I love all the inks you get to choose from. I love how the ink shades. And I just love the actual pens; the way they look, the way they feel, and the way they glide across the paper. A fountain pen on Tomoe River paper is hard to beat. My next is a Pilot Custom 823 in amber. The only drawback is the cost.......but, if treated right, they should last a lifetime.

What kind of projects do you most enjoy working on and why?

Honestly , I don’t make my living with art. It’s the one thing that’s totally mine. I do it because it truly makes me happy. I have sold art through Etsy in the past, and I really need to start doing that again. It’s always thrilling to get to send art around the world. I would like to do an art book with pictures, stories and poems. Something that doesn’t have to be read linear. Hopefully I can make this happen soon!

What kind of music do you listen to?

I’m kind of all over the map on this one. One of my all time favourite singers is Otis Redding. I love the emotion his voice conveys. Let’s see... I love The Cure, Counting Crows, Run DMC ( I’m showing my age) ... the Avett Brothers.. The Alabama Shakes..The Teskey Brothers are a new discovery... There are so, so many. I just love music. When I’m drawing though, I usually listen to Podcasts. ( Armchair Expert, Criminal, Reply-All, WTF are some of my favourites .)

As Featured in the March 2021 ScrawlrBox

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