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Meet Shannisha Donnerson of SimplySplatter in North Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shannisha Donnerson.

Shannisha, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
A combination of southern hospitality, Saturday morning cartoons, a hint of sugary cereal, a dash of peace and quiet from having my two brothers sleep while I spent time watching cartoons until noon came to form the creature known as Shannisha. (Nisha) Coming from the south Memphis, Tennessee, I’ve known from a very young age what I wanted to do with my life; to be an artist. Someone who brings colorful characters to life! There were moments where I didn’t really know the path, but the goal was always clear as day.

There wasn’t enough copy paper, birthday sketchbooks or Christmas dollar store coloring set to contain all the creativity I had consuming my brain. I drew every single day growing up. My family was extremely supportive of my creative habits; though originally, they wanted me to become a fashion designer. To which, I started making clothes for all of my Barbie Dolls or BRATZ dolls out of colored construction paper, but even then I only enjoyed the drawing part of that. I wanted more. I wanted to see them move. I wanted to see them leap off the pages. I wanted to be in animation! That’s why I wondered why I watched cartoons, but I was really WATCHING. Studying the movements. Breaking down one pose to the next. I was learning, teaching myself without even knowing what I was doing myself. That is until I enrolled in an art school of course. Stationed in North Hollywood I continue to learn, grow and meet new people. I can’t wait for an industry job, but in the meantime, I am happy growing and meeting new people here.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Of course not! Dreams worth reaching are NEVER that easy, not even close. There were times where I thought to myself, “maybe this isn’t what I want to do.” “Maybe this isn’t for me.” Times where I didn’t think I was good enough. Times where I didn’t understand things in my classes. Times where I was going to fail, but I had to put in extra work just to pass. Having the courage to finally move to California, MILES away from home. Being out here can seem lonely, especially when my family is miles away and two hours ahead as far as a phone call goes. There are moments now where I constantly compare my work to others and think to myself, “What am I doing here?” In a place that seems so foreign, so far and so much competition it can be very intimidating to someone so new to it all.

We’d love to hear more about your art.
Illustrations. Character Designs. Graphic Designs. I am known for bringing out the beauty and the child-like wonder in my commissioners’ eyes. I specialize in bringing your creations to life. The things you can’t seem to create yourself. I like to draw women of all shapes, sizes and colors; mostly women of color, for sometimes we don’t always see our own colors portrayed often. I am proud that I have come this far. Proud to see how much my work had improved over the years and it’s only going to get better from here.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I plan to gain experience working in the industry: Cartoonetwork, Adult Swim, Nickelodeon, Disney and the smaller companies of course. Once I have established that I will work for years until I reached a point of power, president, CEO, vice president to help the children of this world see and love the cartoons as much as I did as a child. To help someone else find their dream in watching the wonders of cartoons.

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Shannisha Donnerson

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