If you are someone that loves art, you have probably seen Shaunt’e Lewis’ art around Indianapolis. Shaunt’e has painted an Indycar, an Indycar helmet, and has been featured in the New York Times.
This is the second mural Shaunt’e has created for us. The first mural was a collaboration with artist Artur Silva for our Carmel location. We asked Shaunt’e about her mural at our location in Indianapolis.
Q: Tell us about your experience as an artist. How did you get started?
A: I got started as a full-time artist about a year and a half ago. I have always been interested in painting and drawing, but I didn’t really pick it up until about 2016. I was a hair stylist before that for about fifteen years. During the pandemic, I had to shut down the salon and figure out how I was going to make it. So I picked up on art. I started selling artwork and it went very well. When it was time to go back to work, I didn’t want to go back to work, so I gave myself about 6 months, and that January I quit my hair styling career and became a full-time artist.
Q: What does being an artist mean to you?
A: Being an artist means the ability to have free time to do the things I want to be around my kids, to be creative, to show my kids that anything is possible. Me pursuing my art career was a big deal for me. People say, “Oh, you are going to be a starving artist,” so to show my kids that anything is possible as long as you are passionate and love the things that you do, it’s gonna work out. Art is always something I wanted to do and I am so happy that I get to fulfill my dreams.
Q: What makes the Jiffy Lube Mural Project so special?
A: The Jiffy Lube Mural Project gives artists like me the opportunity to show the world what we have to offer and it gives us this really large platform, the side of a building. To show the people driving by something bright, something happy, something different that most buildings don’t usually have. It is really special that Jiffy Lube is doing this and giving us the opportunity to showcase our work.
Q: What is your favorite thing about this project?
A: My favorite thing about the project is being able to create what I want without someone telling me, “It has to be this.” We come up with the ideas as artists as long as it is family-friendly, community-friendly. We get to use our own personality, our own expression, our own creativity and tell a story we want to tell.
Q: Tell us about your mural. What inspires you?
A: “Hope” is all about hope of course. I like to portray women, specifically women of color, but also speak to a wide variety of women. At this time in our lives, we all need a little hope, and I just wanted to display that in my mural. Even everyone in the community might be having a bad day, but they will drive by or walk by and see this bright colorful mural that says “Hope” and it might change someone’s life. That’s exactly what I want it to do, bring peace into people’s daily lives.
Q: Tell us about the painting process.
A: So I do a lot of painting, but I also do a lot of digital illustration. This piece, “Hope” was created digitally on my iPad. I drew everything by hand. I colored everything by hand. It was printed out and sent to a company for them to install. I like how the digital work captures the color exactly how I want it and captures the image exactly how I want it. There is no guesswork when transferring from my digital illustration to physical painting.