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Shawn Ashman – using art to evoke change

Published:Sunday | May 28, 2023 | 12:48 AM
Blind and Fair Justice - acrylic on canvas by Shawn Ashman
Blind and Fair Justice - acrylic on canvas by Shawn Ashman
“A time to remember” - acrylic on canvas by Shawn Ashman
“A time to remember” - acrylic on canvas by Shawn Ashman

Fine artist Shawn Ashman has always had a desire to express herself. She started her artistic journey as a young girl in Grants Penand used her art to express her thoughts as she basked in its therapeutic effect while creating. Since then, she has developed a stellar reputation as a globally celebrated artist.

Though her career first started in an entirely different industry, Ashman’s unwavering passion and deep appreciation eventually led her to becoming a full-time artist.

“While my career was initially centred on information technology, I have always had a passion for art, so I believe it was destined to become my profession full time. I enjoy the beauty of creating and seeing my finished work, but the peace and serenity that the designing process brings makes it that much more valuable,” Ashman said.

She completed her Masters in Management Information Systems and was informally mentored by painter Basil Clayton. She then enrolled in a course at the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts, where she learnt landscape painting

“I am very appreciative of the guidance I received on this artistic journey, and my learning has not stopped. I have developed over the years, and I am still exploring new ideas in new ways so much so that I have found my favourite technique: cubism,” Ashman said.

Ashman introduced the ‘Draw It Out’ programme through which she has published therapeutic art journals, one of which is specifically designed for children to colour, journal, and doodle as a way to healthily express themselves. Another is for parents to complete activities on their own or with their children, fostering a safe space to work together casually or when facing issues in their relationship.

Her dedication to her craft and the desire to make an impact with art ultimately led her to partner with Red Stripe. Her most recent painting, “Partnering for Growth”, was presented to Prime Minister Andrew Holness by Red Stripe at the company’s recent launch of the $2.2 billion Cellars Expansion Project.

“Creating the art piece was surely not an easy feat. However, working with the stakeholders, I designed numerous iterations, working to ensure that we were depicting all the elements that Red Stripe required. While creating, I was inspired by the purpose of the piece: sustainability. Red Stripe’s continued efforts to promote sustainability in the most impactful ways and its effect on our environment gave me a great sense of pride that I could have been a part of this project. After all, I always strive for my art to send a positive message and make a profound impact.”

Ashman continues to partner with numerous organisations to boost her artistic ventures, using her passion, knowledge, and skills to make an impact on the wider society.