I just want to thank you so much for stopping by. I’m so grateful and thrilled to be able to share this journey with you.
Ever since I can remember, I was making things. I didn’t have any actual friends growing up, just a bunch of mean girls who I thought were my friends… and weird acquaintances who only seemed to care about me when I was standing in front of them. I was also an only child until around the age of 12 when my dad remarried and his new wife had a daughter, and together they had a son, and even then, I was still an only child since he lived in Pacific Time, and I lived so close to Eastern Time that whenever I visited my great-grandma, I always thought it was funny to call home from the future.
Growing up an only child without friends who genuinely liked me for me meant that I spent a lot of time by myself inventing ways to entertain myself. I actually remember the day that we got Cable and being able to watch the Disney Channel for the first time (free for the first 30 days). I remember taking old VHS tapes with nothing special on them and recording shows so that I could watch them again (and again and again and again) when we didn’t have Disney any more. Disney actually introduced me (I think) to Michael Jackson with his song Annie Are You Ok? And then later when Alien Ant Farm did a cover of it, it brought back memories of watching that tape with my dolls in my lap (because they wanted to watch it too).
I watched cartoons and played with dolls well past when most kids had stopped. I vaguely remember a conversation with my former step-dad where he asked me (with slightly accusatory and unhappy with me undertones) about why I still watched cartoons and played with dolls. My dolls weren’t just toys. They were friends who shared their lives with me. They each had names and histories and soap-opera style lives that they let me be a part of, which through no fault of my own, changed and evolved in the exact way that I watched the world around me change. Did you know that Barbie actually hated that name because she was named after her great-aunt Barb who was a shrill, chain-smoking alcoholic and she much preferred to be called by her middle name, Sarah? Yeah. I didn’t either until she told me. She also enjoyed bed-frame rappelling in her spare time.
At any rate, growing up as an only child left me with a lot of quiet time to let my mind wander, and even more time to go through my mom’s stash of computer paper (the really awesome kind with the pre-cut holes that you could weave yarn through to make into books, comic books, plays, and all sorts of things, not the other kind with the perforated hole margins going down both sides that was really only fun for tearing off in looooooooong strings and turning into pom-poms). It actually wasn’t until about three months ago that I found out that all those craft kits that I begged for and used until I didn’t have any more pieces, most kids don’t actually play with… because my kids don’t play with them, and I had to call my mom and ask her what was wrong with them. (The kids, not the kits…)
After I graduated high school and moved out, I hit a “patch” of life that has felt like it was systematically breaking down my already mediocre self-esteem and self-worth. That patch lasted for what has effectively been half of my actual time on Earth. As of writing this, I will be 35 in 9 days… so that’s roughly 17 years of a bad patch. Don’t get me wrong, I take full accountability for everything that I did the led me into listening to all the wrong people who broke me and wore me down into barely the shadow of the person that I once was, because I didn’t realize it at the time, but I let them. I am also taking full responsibility to get back to the person that I used to be, which is partly what this site is about… but it’s mostly about the art.
There is a meme that I saw on Pinterest (of course) that struck a chord with me so hard, I don’t think I will ever forget it.
And this… this is exactly what I am doing.
Hi. I’m Shannon. Welcome to Shannon Makes.