Meet the Artist: Shannon Hurliman

My name is Shannon, and I am a self-taught lettering artist. I began practicing lettering in January 2021, after my beloved grandmother (an amazing artist in many mediums) unexpectedly died. Throughout life, she routinely asked me to letter/write things on her artwork, and lettering gave me a medium to work through my grief in a way that honored my love for her. It has since expanded to other forms of art and turned into a hobby I love, and I am thrilled to carry a part of her legacy forward.  My username CrabbyMermaid is a nod to my beach-loving grandma, the woman who never taught me how to bake pies, but did teach me how to bake clay.  

My husband, three children, and I live in Central Illinois, where I am a nurse who spends the cold, grey winters dreaming of beaches and sunshine.  My “free time” is spent being my kids’ sports chauffeur, working out, and practicing art (and, as always, laundry).

KINGART asks: Like many, you lead a very busy life, working full-time and juggling the responsibilities of an active family that you of course also want to spend time with. How do you carve out time for your creative pursuits?

Well…it can be tricky.  In a perfect world, I would work on art every day, and I go through phases where I do. But, to be very honest, usually my sleep “suffers” for my creative pursuits (it is almost midnight now and I’m just finishing up!)  And with a 445am alarm for work, my midnight/1am art-quitting-times often enhance my coffee addiction. But when I get on a roll with an art project, I have a difficult time stepping away! 

KINGART asks: When you approach projects are you generally making something for a specific purpose, refining your style or looking to be creative and explore new things? Any tips for jumpstarting your creativity?

Yes, yes, and yes. Sometimes I like to work on flowers bc I am not very good with a “loose” style (I long to be like Seema!). Sometimes someone will commission work, so it’s for a purpose.  I also have many things saved on Instagram of techniques that I really want to try…..and when all else fails, I usually have a running list of things I want to try to paint, or sayings I want to letter.  

Discover what Shannon she shared about pencil grip, preferred notebook styles, and ways to reduce smudging as a lefty in her previously written post on the topic


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