Shawn Artis is a self-taught visual artist who was adopted at birth by a loving couple who just so happened to have the last name of Artis. Since early childhood Shawn displayed an uncanny ability to express himself through art. Never seeing either one of his biological parents, he took a strong interest in portraitures in his attempt to piece together his unknown past and deal with the pain of not knowing his origins. In addition to portraitures, he was also drawn to multi-dimensional abstract art where he would capture his emotions and views on life and challenge the boundaries of traditional art. His prolific style and out-of the-box approach has quickly established him as one of the top emerging visual artists in the nation!
Known for his philanthropic efforts, as a contributing artist Shawn has worked with numerous companies such as Starbucks, McDonalds, Urban Souls Dance Company, Yellowstone Academy, the YWCA, The Center for Hearing and Speech, IKEA, Stella Artois, Budweiser, the National Basketball Association, as well as the National Football League. His work has been displayed at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Houston Museum of African American Culture, the Lawndale Art Center, The Glassell School of Art, Midtown Arts & Theater Center, Texas Southern University, the University of Houston, the Art Institute of Houston, the East End Gallery, the Montrose Cultural Center, The Breakfast Klub, and the Midtown Art Museum.
He's had multiple recognitions as one of the top artists in the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series in partnership with Russell and Danny Simmons’ RUSH Philanthropic Arts Foundation. Shawn has also been the featured artist on numerous occasions in Houston’s Via Colori Street Painting Festival. Via Colori is a huge annual fundraising event associated with The Center for Hearing and Speech that raises awareness about speech and hearing impairments.
His early influences include Ernie Barnes and John Biggers, who have both stimulated him to expand his subject matter and art form. Shawn has gone on to create artwork for celebrities such as Cedric the Entertainer, Erykah Badu, and Houston's own Debra Duncan. However, his biggest influence and artistic muse has been his daughter, Ari, whose birth inspired him to create artwork that’s diverse, inspirational, and spiritually impactful.