Hello, a little about me; I am Shayna. I have almost always been a maker, designer and artist.
In my youth I was highly influenced by nature and arts through my family. My great uncle was probably the reason why I felt so connected to nature as he would take me on walks and show me what plants could be used for what and/or eaten. This might be why I still enjoy exploring new trails through the bushes today. My grandpa showed me different types of music; from the jigs he would play on his old radio that sat on top of the fridge, to his musical instrument playing of the; piano, accordion, violin or whatever other instrument he could get his hands on. He would always tell me stories about the items he had created, meanwhile my grandma was always mending clothes, making costumes, upholstering her chairs and couches and always, always doing some sort of home reno, and she still is today. My mother claims she doesn’t know how to sew but she was the first one to get me into clothing design, letting me design costumes when I was a teen. I am grateful for how they inspired me to create and to constantly push my skills to new levels.
Down a long gravel road just outside of Lockport I grew up playing with the clay that came from under our house and enjoying the endless fields behind it. I would make massive snow forts in the snow drifts in the winter and I had a chipmunk that I would visit with in the summer months. Making was always part of my life. From sketching to painting still lifes and portraits, photorealism was partially how I got started as an artist. But it always left me wanting to be more expressive and tell more of a story, though it would take me years to come back to this. Because of my desire to design and intense attention to detail I decided to hone my soft design skills through clothing design, pattern making and upholstery during and after high school. More recently I had decided to go back to school to learn how to create furniture from the bottom up. I obtained a Bachelor of Design degree in Industrial Design at Emily Carr University in 2020 while I explored other various art forms. There I rediscovered clay and how therapeutic and tactile ceramics could be. It was there I realized my love for expression and exploration through installation, sound art and photography.
As a multidisciplinary artist who enjoys working within various mediums, I create visually contextual work, mainly focused within photography. To me, art is a way to speak, express, explore, engage, and understand an experience as a whole. Subject matter changes as I explore my thoughts based on experiences and interactions from the past and present and I tend to offer up a different view due to my multiple chemical sensitivity. Additionally, as a designer I find it isn’t about making something completely new, it’s about reevaluating how we currently create, interact and how it affects the world around us. It is important to create meaningful, intentional products, using an empathic eye to conduct research and consider the needs of each item as it is designed.
As a Métis person hailing from a small community in Manitoba and growing up with endless fields surrounding me, I feel very strongly linked to the plains land I am from. It is like a breath of fresh air to be down a gravel road with fields on both sides as I feel the wind on my skin and hear the sounds as it runs past the tall prairie grasses.
Check out my various skills