“Paint what makes you happy, and if it makes you happy, someone else is bound to like it, too.”
Those powerful words helped inspire Susan Shorter to stop struggling to please her professors and follow her passion of creating fantasy art, art that tells a story or makes you wonder about the character/story behind the piece. “Some might find it cliché to want to paint fairies and mermaids, but it makes me happy. I love to create beautiful, colorful things that can take me to another place, and at the end of the day, I’m pleased with that. I love to play with color and lighting, and I just love to work from the human form. Lately, I have been drawn to drawing elderly people; there is so much story etched in the wrinkle patterns on their faces.”
Susan is no stranger to the world of art. Her mom put her in her first gallery show when she was only three years old and she won the children’s competition (and she still has the tiny award). After that, she never stopped drawing. In high school, Susan started driving up to Indianapolis to take Saturday courses at Herron. After high school, she moved on to enroll in Ball State’s art program, but after three semesters, she transferred to The Herron School of Art. She received her BFA from Herron in 2004.
Susan recently wrapped up a show in August at the Harrison Center for the Arts. They had raw paintings and drawings she created for her book “Incredible Pebbles” on display. She also has work for sale at Blue Moon Gifts in Brazil, IN. Coming up in November, Susan will be showing in the Flashlight Gallery at the Waldron Center in Bloomington, IN. Working on her fantasy art and fine art painting that she loves isn’t her full-time job, although she has a small studio at home where she can work on these things. During the day, she is a staff illustrator for Author Solutions in Bloomington, IN, primarily working on children’s book illustrations, of which she’s done over 250 so far. She also creates paintings and custom artwork for the covers of novels the company publishes. As if that isn’t enough, Susan has written and illustrated two children’s books of her own, titled “It’s a Muddy World” and “Incredible Pebbles.”
This isn’t Susan’s first time showing her work at ORANJE, but the last time she was a participant was 2006. “In 2006, I was a recent grad and totally green to the world of showing your art. It was an amazing experience! I was so grateful to be a part of this amazing group of artists and a part of an event that was such a powerful display of creativity, it was an education, a confidence-builder and I still have the friends and fans I made that night in my life.”
At her booth, you can expect to see a wide variety of Susan’s pieces, ranging from large fantasy paintings, figurative drawings and abstract art to signed copies of her children’s books. She’ll have both originals and prints available and will be doing quick, sketchy 10-minute portraits for $10. So what is she excited for about ORANJE 2013? “Variety, creativity, excitement and just a good ole’ time! I know a few of the artists involved and there is so much awesomeness in store for the people that are coming!”
Don’t miss out on seeing Susan Shorter on October 12 at ORANJE 2013!