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Meet Shyama Golden

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shyama Golden.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My background is in oil painting and graphic design, but after a decade of working in the graphic and interactive design fields, I’ve focused my practice on figurative art. Primarily I work as an independent visual artist. I’m based in LA, but I’ve also lived in Austin, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and many different places in Texas where I grew up. I started out doing oil paintings, but I also work digitally when I want to create seamless patterns and looping animations.

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?
At first, it was a challenge to get the world to see me as an illustrator while I was still doing graphic design work. After a few years of stopping my design practice and focusing exclusively on illustration, I established myself as an illustrator. Now it can be a challenge for people to understand that I am probably an artist more than a real illustrator. I just take on illustration gigs when they happen to align with the kind of work I do as an artist.

Please tell us more about your art.
My style is labor-intensive and not typical of the modern illustration world, and at first this didn’t make sense financially, but in the end it worked out because people come to me looking for my specific style. My own background is South Asian, and I often depict hyphenated-Americans who are at the intersections of multiple identities. I’m especially interested in that performance of identity in my personal artwork.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Right now, it’s hard to plan for the future as we’re in the middle of a global pandemic! I don’t plan on changing much about my work but I’d like to set aside time to create more personal projects and experimental works. I like to use technology in my work in unconventional ways that still feel organic and human.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Bio photo: credit Julie Thompson

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