Illustrate your passion: Artist spotlight on Shannon O’Brien

Artist Spotlight - Shannon O'Brien.jpgArtist Spotlight Piece - Sell Out.jpg
By Kristen Botas, Contributing Writer

Senior illustration major, Shannon O’ Brien from Upton, Worcester County specializes in the art of illustration. Her preferred program to use is Photoshop.

O’ Brien is The Torch’s own Illustrator, and the mastermind behind our weekly comic, Arnie’s Comic Corner.

A favorite of the artist, “Sell Out” is described as simply “A pup selling a bunch of stolen toys on a gritty city street.”  The work is drawn by the artist herself and than brought to life in Photoshop.

“Since high school, I wanted to do animation but I’ve wanted to be an illustrator for a very long time.” she said.

“Animation in general inspires me to draw. People around me inspire me to draw. There is just a difference in personalities from person to person that I just  love and want to capture their emotion.”  said the artist  of the first thing that inspires her to draw.

The next thing that inspires the artist starts from her home and childhood.

“My parents are really supportive of me and with my art. Normally, I feel like parents want their child to be a doctor or a lawyer but my parents always supported me no matter what. As a child my father would hang my pictures up and he still does to this day.”

The artist describes her childhood as “growing up on Bill Watterson and his famous cartoon Calvin and Hobbes.” For those who are not familiar with the cartoon its is the adventures of a boy and his tiger.

“I had a lot of friends that were artists growing up and I was the only one to go to art school,” said O’ Brien.

What do the artist hope to do after her soon up coming graduation?

“One day, I hope to illustrate children’s books, graphic novels, newspapers, I’m really open to any thing. It’s what ever I can get into, but my end goal is to animate a movie or go back to school for 3D animation.”

The artist is also very appreciative of her time here at Umass Dartmouth.“ The professors and students in my major are awesome. We’re like one weird happy family. I go to my professors for everything for school to personal advice. Our major is very small so we are very close.”

The artist described some of her favorite things about illustrations. “ The fun thing to do is to work with writers and graphic designers. It’s such a important value as an artist to be able to communicate with others.”

When the artist isn’t drawing you can catch her watching YouTube videos, playing video games, hanging out with friends or practicing her love for animation. She is also the Social Media Chairman of the UMass Dartmouth Animation Club that meets every Thursday evening.

The artist has a message to spread. “Just keep working hard and you can achieve your goals. College is tough but it’s worth it.”

To contact O’ Brien or just to view her work feel free to check her out on her Facebook or her Instagram.

Photo Courtesy: Pictured: Shannon O’Brien
Photo Courtesy: Shannon O’Brien, “Sell Out”


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