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Meet Shideh Ghandeharizadeh

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shideh Ghandeharizadeh.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I’m an LA native, born and raised in Cheviot Hills. I believe I am very early in my artistic journey. In high school, I thought I’d be pursuing a career in Engineering and was very involved in a lot of STEM extracurriculars, like Robotics and MESA. In my senior year, I started researching arts careers and when I realized that it is economically viable to work in the arts and support yourself I did a full 180. I applied only to art schools for college and had my eyes set on the USC Animation program. I was initially rejected but I spent a year focusing on improving my art and was accepted a year later. I’ve been in the program for three years and every day, I feel so blessed that I took the jump and changed my track. The program has given me the space to think about what I want to do with my art and how I’d like to pursue it in the future. I’ve tried to break my fear of economic instability and go for what I really want to be. I want to pursue a career as a freelancer in illustration and motion graphics.

Please tell us about your art.
I make illustrations that celebrate all body types. I’ve always had a lot of body issues. I often feel insecure when seeing myself in my underwear. I made my first zine “Girls+Plants” to try to work through that and try to celebrate different body types in different kinds of underwear. I want whoever reads my zines to feel beautiful and proud of how they look.

On a more surface level, I just like drawing pretty things. I really believe in art for aesthetic’s sake. If people only like my art because it’s pretty to look at, that still makes me very happy.

I’ve been focused on making my art more shareable- so I’ve recently been very into making mini zines, prints, and stickers. I want my art to travel outside of my house.

We often hear from artists that being an artist can be lonely. Any advice for those looking to connect with other artists?
My university was great was to connect with other artists. I really have a strong network of artist friends there. My friends from childhood are also artists so I’ve been very blessed in that way. However, I’ve found social media is an amazing way to connect to other artists. Even artists who are bigger will sometimes reply if you reach out or comment. Public art events are another great way. I’ve only started tabling and vending this summer and I’ve made so many great artist friends through that. Not only can you connect with other artists who are tabling, but even people just walking around typically have an arts background and are so open to talking. I think zine fests are just a really great way to get in touch with your local art community.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I’m always posting my art on my Instagram. I also have a twitter and facebook page. I’m also trying to attend more art festivals, and I’ll be vending at Pomona Zinefest in October. You can see what events I’m at on my Instagram. I’m launching a website very soon so people can buy my art, but for right now, my art is only available at art festivals. Just a simple like or follow on social media means a lot in regards to support.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Diego Velazco

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