See her portfolio here.
(Took this in January 2008).
This is my newest blog feature "A Seattle Q & A." Being born and raised in Seattle, I've come to meet a lot of stylish and unique people, who do a lot of cool things, so I thought I'd ask them some questions.
1. What trait(s) or characteristic(s) do you get from your grandparents?
My great, great grandfather on my mother's side, Bill Doolin, was the leader of an Oklahoma outlaw gang called "The Doolin-Dalton Gang". He was killed by the sheriff during an ambush while trying to escape the country with his wife and infant son. There's a picture of him, deceased and speckled with buckshot, if you type his name into Google. The story I heard from my grandmother is that prior to his attempted escape, he sent a letter to the sheriff asking to surrender himself peacefully (as he had a new son, and wanted to change his outlawin' ways), but the sheriff said no. I've always enjoyed attributing my rebelliousness to my outlaw heritage, but in reality, I know it came straight from my dad.
My father's parents drank a lot, and I didn't know them very well. However, I used to drink a lot, and that most likely came from them. Their names were Victor and Delight (Harriet, actually, I think, but we called her "Dee"). Victor was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, and was pretty grumpy and intimidating. Dee was sweet and shy. They had a series of Yorkshire Terriers, all named "Midget". When Midget died, they'd just buy another Yorkie and keep the same (accidentally offensive) name. I'm not sure how many Midgets they went through. I know there was at least three. Actually, I guess I inherited that from them too; I usually keep a pet goldfish, and I always name them "Abraham". Not after Abe Lincoln. It's just the name that our childhood goldfish had. Come to think of it, I wonder if dad ever replaced Abraham without us knowing! I would bet money that he did. There's no way that fish was alive for almost a decade.
2. What's the best part about living in the Seattle?
The weather is uncomfortable for nine months out of the year, so when spring comes, and we get a little bit of vitamin D in our system, most of the city goes bonkers with excitement. Shorts and flip-flops in 60-degree weather, which doesn't look all that appropriate, but the excitement is contagious.
Summer in Seattle is beautiful and lush. The air in Seattle smells and feels cleaner than most cities I've visited. There are a lot of political lefties, which I like. The music community is tight-knit and has a high ratio of good bands, which is exciting.
I think the climate in Seattle keeps people indoors a lot of the time, leading to a large output of creative work. I don't think it's as hard to get creative projects off the ground here, because there's a strong population of proactive creative types. A majority of the people I know have their hand in at least one or two creative projects or bands, and there's room for crossover. That's probably my favorite thing about Seattle, socially.
3. What do you always carry with you?
My turquoise and sterling pinky-ring and watch (which is missing the clock part) are always on my left hand and wrist. They are both intended as reminders: The ring is always on my little finger, thusly, I am always where I am. A reminder to be present. I have trouble perceiving time, as it is linear, conceptual and perpetually moving, so the ring is intended to ground me. Time changes constantly, but the ring is still there. Which also explains the watch, in a way. It's got no face, just the glass, and you can see my wrist underneath. It's supposed to remind me to slow down. I tend to get wrapped up in the big picture, which can cause a sense of urgency or impatience when dealing with the small things. Things take as long as they do. The watch is a reminder to be calm and wait. The process is necessary. The journey is the destination. I lose track of that sometimes.
Otherwise, I have cigarettes, a lighter, my wallet, my medication, keys, a compact pad of paper and pen. If I'm out of the house during the evening, I most likely also have a little bit of marijuana.
4. If you could have dinner with any deceased author, who and why?
Probably Mark Twain. He didn't adhere to social norms, and had intellectual depth, but with a boundless sense of humor. That might be a milk-toast choice, but in all honesty, most of my favorite authors are still alive, and I'm terrible at remembering authors' names and titles. Even when I like them!
5. Worst food indulgence? (the more secretive the better).
There have been at least three days in the last six months during which I ate nothing all day except for MoonPies. Ever since I stopped drinking, I get wild sugar cravings. Lately, it's been those Hostess cakes with the white, curly line on top. I used to like vienna sausages in the can. Oh, and cheese hot dogs! But I haven't had those in forever.
6. If Obama were coming to your house for dinner, you would prepare your famous __________. (Include your recipe if you want!)
White Trash Christmas Casserole, probably. I can't tell you the recipe. It's a family secret. Oh, and my dad's clam dip. I don't have any recipes classy enough for a president, so I say it'd be better to just slum it. They both taste very good.
7. If you had to make rules (like Fight Club), what would rule #1 always be?
8. No one knows _______________ about me. (fill in the blank). Make it as serious as you want to.
I have OCD. It helps me be able to organize and draw well, but I can become rigid about right vs. wrong, or how I think things should be organized, literally and figuratively. Trivial things can become vitally important to me, and I can attach greater meaning to small things. I have a hard time with "gray areas". All that said, learning about OCD's traits has helped me be more conscious of how I think and act. I'm growing to appreciate my brain, as I'm learning how to control and use its strong points.
I'm not sure if this has anything to do with the OCD, but I have visual images for almost everything. Like, emotions, for example. Each specific feeling has a color, shape and texture in my mind, sometimes even a smell or taste. I make most of my drawings (besides the portraits) without looking at an image, and often times I can draw things accurately on my first attempt. I just discovered this. It's really fun and challenging to test it.
9. Is the Seattle freeze fictitious? How do you know?
I don't know what the Seattle freeze is! How do I not know? I'm a townie!
10. Where is the best place to eat dinner?
Next to loved ones. At home, or at someone else's home, or outside.
Some of Shannon's work: