Meet my special guest, Shawn Auguston, who is an wonderful artist and advocate for art therapy. Shawn discusses his own struggle as an army veteran with PTSD. His successful treatment through art therapy and how this lead to his own art career success. An inspirational story and one of hope for others suffering from mental health issues.
Listen to or watch the podcast below.
From Shawn Auguston's artist statement:
Shawn Augustson is a US Army veteran who discovered art as a form of therapy after serving in Iraq. He refers to his work as Post Traumatic Expression ™ . His primary focus is on colorful acrylic paintings because they are a contrast to his internal struggles with mental health issues. He is represented by Hayley Gallery in New Albany, OH. His work has been in the Columbus Museum of Art and the National Veterans Art Museum In Chicago.
Shawn Auguston's beautiful art caught my eye on Instagram. As I read his posts Shawn explained how his art helped him to cope with post traumatic stress disorder after his discharge from the arm. Shawn also has the goal of increasing awareness of art therapy s a tool to help PTSD sufferers and anyone else experiencing depression.
This advocacy has developed to the point where Shawn is on the verge of launching a community center that will offer art therapy and counselling. But listen to the podcast or read the transcript to find out more about Shawn Auguston's story.
Shawn Auguston's contact details:
Shawn Augustson - Artist
Follow Shawn on Instagram at:
A Few of Shawn's Paintings
[00:00:05.165] - Malcolm
All right, I'd like to welcome you to an Artist's Journey Podcast. I'm really excited about today's episode with my special guest, Shawn Auguston, who's going to tell us a lot about his art and his interests and his cause that he's working with as well. So without further delay. Welcome, Shawn Auguston.
[00:00:27.185] - Shawn
Thank you. Thank you for having me. Yeah, I'm looking forward to it.
[00:00:33.955] - Malcolm
Excellent, I saw your art on Instagram and it immediately caught my eye. And it was bright, colourful, full of energy, very different as well. Really stood out for me. And then looking into your posts, I got to know a bit more about things that you're interested in and a bit about your history as well. And I think that's going to be particularly interesting to a lot of people around the world and we will jump into that in a moment.
[00:01:10.865] - Malcolm
But I just wanted to move or just tell the listeners what the status of your career is at the moment. Where you're at with your painting business.
[00:01:22.955] - Shawn
So currently right now, I just recently got represented by an art gallery. So now my work is in the gallery and I'm just continuing to produce new works each day. That's kind of where I'm at right now.
[00:01:45.785] - Malcolm
And which gallery is that?
[00:01:49.385] - Shawn
It's Hayley Gallery in New Albany, Ohio.
[00:01:54.095] - Malcolm
[00:01:55.335] - Malcolm
Shawn that's probably one of the goals of just about every artist is putting the work out there. And I think it's probably testimony to the quality of your work as well, that you've got yourself representation. That's a great achievement. But I gather it wasn't always as happy as it was. Or is at the moment you've got an interesting back story leading up to your current situation. So let's dive into that and tell us a little bit about your history leading up to you getting into art.
[00:02:40.025] - Shawn
Yeah, so I joined the U.S. Army after the events of 9/11 happened here. And so I spent. I think it was like 10 years or so in the military and deployed to Iraq and was in Iraq 2004 to 2006, and then coming back from Iraq. Getting out of the military and just trying to transition from that military life. But back to civilian life. So from that started to have struggles basically. First, hopefully I don't get too emotional with this, but.
[00:03:34.435] - Shawn
So at the time, I could tell there was something inside me that wasn't right, but I didn't know what it was. I had never heard of PTSD. So eventually what happened as I wound up in a hospital for a suicide attempt. During that stay, the doctors, as I was having a hard time expressing what was going on with me being able to talk about things, and so the doctors came and they said, hey, look, we realise we're going to see more soldiers coming through here and we want to try something different with you that we feel will help and then also be able to help others.
[00:04:27.435] - Shawn
And so what that was, was they brought an art therapist in and her and I sat down and we worked on magazine collage. And from that magazine collage, I was able then to sit with the doctors and have something physical that I could show. That then helped me talk about what was going on. And so they were better able to then help me. And so when I left the hospital and came home, that magazine closed. Then also allowed me to sit down with my wife and children and do that same thing so that they could understand and I could express what was happening and going on.
[00:05:16.305] - Shawn
So it was kind of like after that something inside me just kind of clicked like, wow, there's something powerful, powerful with art and being able to express and then help me to show and get help as well as give help. And so I'd like to say, like from that, it just took off, but it was kind of like I started. Doing drawings and then drew for a little bit, and that kind of went to the side and then tried watercolours, did watercolours for a little bit, and that kind of went to the side.
[00:05:57.705] - Shawn
And so just kind of slowly started to take place and then just experimenting with lots of different mediums and through that time continuing to grow and see the effect that it was having on me and how much it was helping me. So that's kind of how everything started with the art.
[00:06:28.935] - Malcolm
So when you came back and cleared out of military service, how long did it take for you to go through these various symptoms before you were hospitalised?
[00:06:43.335] - Shawn
So I would say.
[00:06:46.395] - Shawn
Stuff started happening, happening fairly quickly when I first came home, for example, my wife had dinner and had all of our friends and family over. And I can remember, like everybody's in the house and I just stayed in a corner and people would come up and talk to me. And I was anxious, and you know, just a really uneasy feeling. And so at the same time, these things are happening and you're thinking, what is going on?
[00:07:29.615] - Shawn
I know these people know I love these people, but yet all these feelings inside, I couldn't explain. And then various things like. You know. When we were in Iraq, we did a lot of convoys, so we kept our intervals between vehicles as we drove down the road, while I was finding that we would go to the grocery store and I would be the one driving and I would keep my interview with the car in front of me and run a red light just like I would when I was in Iraq.
[00:08:10.155] - Shawn
I didn't want to lose that interval. And so I was doing little things like that. And my wife would be like, you just ran a red light. And I'm like, oh, I did, you know? And so things just like that kind of building up. And then the more time goes on, you're just starting to think about stuff and, you know, staying in your head, ruminating thoughts.
[00:08:39.535] - Malcolm
And so it's quite likely that there's a lot of veterans coming back and that could be going through months of this adjusted type of behaviour without actually realising there is a problem.
[00:08:58.755] - Shawn
Yeah, I would agree. Months and even years, just from what as all of the things that I've been learning myself to, like, kind of help with that learning and going to the V.A. and you're talking with other veterans and even talking with veterans that were from the Vietnam War era, you know, years that they spent, you know, with this stuff. So you can be a long, long process.
[00:09:37.245] - Malcolm
So, OK, for anyone who's not familiar with PTSD, if you could define that very simply.
[00:09:48.015] - Shawn
So, well, PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder. So basically, you know. You have an event that happened that was traumatic and it's now stayed with you and you know, your tendency is to dwell on that and then that produces anxiety and can have a whole slew of other effects that just all kind of roll up together.
[00:10:22.975] - Malcolm
So it's event related of some sort, as opposed to, let's say, bipolar or clinical depression, which may be something that's a genetic predisposition. Maybe those are more familiar to a lot of people, but PTSD is generally a circumstance that happened.
[00:10:48.685] - Shawn
Yeah. And so now not just necessarily for soldiers and stuff. I mean, PTSD affects so many other people. It can be, you know, somebody that was maybe in a car accident and now they have had that trauma and they have all that going on. So it affects a lot of people.
[00:11:16.075] - Malcolm
That's a good point. Any traumatic instance, could be a victim of a crime.
[00:11:24.325] - Malcolm
You talk about diagnosis, finding things out, and getting some sort of understanding of your condition. And we've seen in situations where there's been a criminal event, for instance, a traumatic event, there are counselling services that are available to victims most developed areas, at least, but am I correct that perhaps this is something that is still hasn't been attended to as well as it should for for military?
[00:12:07.385] - Shawn
Yeah, I think it's you know, it's going through a process. So it is growing like for us now, we go to the VA and now the VA is kind of starting to recognise the importance of the arts and how healing that can be. So they're starting to implement more things nationwide, all the clinics and hospitals and stuff. There's also various organisations like one that I'm involved with is called Creative Vets. And so it was started by a veteran, Richard Casper.
[00:12:55.985] - Shawn
And, you know, I'll let you, like, check out his website because he shares a story there. And so he will bring a group of veterans in too. So like when I went through the programme, it was in Chicago at the school of the Art Institute of Chicago. And so it's designed as a three week programme. And they introduce you to all the various art, like ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, and just kind of give you a little bit of each so that you can kind of take that and when you leave, kind of have something that you're working on.
[00:13:41.585] - Shawn
So there's organisations such as Creative Vets, that's another organisation as Wounded Warrior Project, and they've started to also implement art based therapies into their programme.
[00:13:59.915] - Malcolm
So awareness amongst veterans of these art based services is increasing.
[00:14:09.815] - Malcolm
Is that something that's communicated quite easily to veterans so they can find out about it?
[00:14:18.275] - Shawn
Right now, it seems.
[00:14:21.315] - Shawn
The various organisations are obviously trying to get that out through their social media and their and their way of advertising. But I still think, like, there's a lot more room to grow there.
[00:14:40.715] - Malcolm
I gather you hadn't been engaging in any sort of creative activities before this where you had artists at your school days.
[00:14:54.605] - Shawn
So like in high school, I always enjoyed art. Art class was one of my favourite classes, but I had never I didn't pursue that as a career or anything. And so. Yeah, I know, I enjoyed art class and now now in art, there's different times where I'm like, Oh yeah, I remember doing that when I was in 10th grade.
[00:15:23.275] - Shawn
That's right. And when you win that, councillors sit down with you and you start working on those classes, did you immediately feel that this is something that is relaxing you and you just love doing it? What's the immediate connexion with it?
[00:15:43.245] - Shawn
I would say working on the collage, one of the first things that I noticed was that I became more focussed on that collage and trying to put it together and formulating what it was that I wanted to put in this collage. And what I had noticed was by doing that, then I wasn't sticking on like these bad thoughts and things, things like that, but. It was like I didn't have the thoughts of, oh, I'm going to be an artist now.
[00:16:21.035] - Shawn
You know, I just kind of started to notice what it was doing for me.
[00:16:27.605] - Malcolm
So it sounds like at first it is a distraction for all the negative thought patterns and loops that you're going through and it just interrupted that pattern. Anyone who has friends or family and they recognise this. That this is a possibility. That their friends or family have PTSD. What would be the best way for them to seek help?
[00:17:02.465] - Shawn
So I'd like to say that it's very recognisable, but for some people it's not. I hid everything that was going on with me very well. It wasn't till like I said, I'm in the hospital for a suicide attempt. And the doctor looked at my wife and was like, did you not see this? And she's like, Now he hit this all very well. I thought he was happy. So it can be. Really hard to recognise things.
[00:17:44.295] - Shawn
And you know, and your loved ones and people that, you know, I guess what I would say for maybe somebody that's listening to this podcast or watching it, that maybe having feelings like that is it's OK to reach out and tell somebody, you know, what what it is you're feeling and get that help, you know, the art therapy that you're describing.
[00:18:16.045] - Malcolm
And we'll talk about how you got more involved with art as time progressed. I presume this is not a cure for PTSD,
[00:18:30.675] - Shawn
[00:18:31.185] - Shawn
I was going to add that I don't feel like art is a cure all. And if you know, it's working for me, but that could be different for other people. But hopefully the things that I share and stuff, hopefully somebody will at least give that a try and see if it is something for them. And I do a lot of painting, but there's so many different things that cooking can be something that's therapeutic photography, dance, writing in lots of different things that you can try, try and do.
[00:19:13.635] - Shawn
As for art therapy type related things.
[00:19:18.075] - Malcolm
Now I understand that, just looking at your Instagram as well, that you are trying to get in touch with the other veterans, that you do want to raise awareness. What would you say your main goal would be by the end of 2021 what would you like to achieve?
[00:19:59.985] - Shawn
I guess with my Instagram is, I'm not necessarily just veterans only. I try to just share with everybody and I would like to see more art therapy based programmes out there, and I would like to be involved, do a lot of volunteering, and so I would like to be volunteering more to bring things that I've learnt and be able to share them with with other people who may be struggling now because we're talking about the PTSD side, but also have bipolar, bipolar one. And that like for me, that was explained that there's a lot of people that can have bipolar and it never surface, but then somebody who may have it and it's not surface.
[00:20:56.365] - Shawn
You introduce a trauma to them then then that can kind of come out. And that's kind of how it was for me. And so I guess what kind of long story they're short, but I would like to be able to take the things that I'm learning and be able to share with others. And hopefully somebody will find something that helps them.
[00:21:21.235] - Malcolm
And if somebody in another city or another country wants to set up a programme, they can chat to you about it, get some guidelines perhaps, and work on a support network to to facilitate those type of initiatives anywhere.
[00:21:44.785] - Shawn
Yeah, I mean, I'm all for somebody reaching out and being able to share some ideas, toss around ideas. I mean, it would be nice to see more artists too, like with Instagram. That's the nice thing with Instagram is like the community aspect of even like on the level of just an individual artist being able to say, like with the current situation with covid and everybody being home to say, hey, here's a fun project that you can do from home that may may help you like mentally, you know, this is how it's done.
[00:22:34.895] - Shawn
And this is what I did.
[00:22:36.715] - Shawn
And just kind of share that,
[00:22:38.935] - Malcolm
you know, the whole lockdown thing, people losing, they work kids. So many children are still at home. There is homeschooling going on. There's a lot of stressed parents. And anxiety is now at an increased pitch. It was pretty bad before 2020 came around and then it's just spiked.
[00:23:09.045] - Malcolm
So if therapy and art and creativity is a way for everyone to calm down a bit. Focus on something positive and in your case, Sean, you've really gone forward with it to a point where you're producing fantastic art, you know. Did you ever expect that to happen?
[00:23:37.965] - Shawn
No, I guess I didn't it was more like I said, just realising how much it was helping me and then from that group, like, OK, well, I can share this with other people and like how said I volunteer, like volunteer to go to the VA hospital knowing that there's not a lot you can do and you're you're kind of stuck behind some door staring at four blank walls and and, you know, you are going through therapy and things like that too.
[00:24:15.975] - Shawn
But I just like to be able to go back and say, hey, here's an hour out of this week that we can do something that's fun and creative and kind of take you out of that mode.
[00:24:33.145] - Malcolm
Yes, I was thinking as well that when working with veterans who may be not entirely convinced that all therapy is worth their time. Yeah, there may be folks that are really angry, disillusioned, cynical, but it's hard enough to get healthy people to start painting sometimes. But somebody feels what it's just, what's the point of this?
[00:25:06.765] - Malcolm
So what do you say to them?
[00:25:11.055] - Shawn
So I guess I kind of ran into that situation and I and I've been like, well, what what does what's it going to hurt to give it a try, you know, and don't usually. Be like, OK, know, like. I have nothing else to do, basically, so I'll go ahead and listen to you ramble on about art and and they'll all I would say most of the time what I get is why I can't draw, I can't paint, I don't do art.
[00:25:46.865] - Shawn
And I'm like, well, come sit down. I've got an activity plan for us that I think will surprise you. And so to. Base, the projects that I do are based on knowing that a lot of people feel like I can't be alert. And so, for example, like one of the things that I really, really like to do is do sort of a guided painting. And so everybody has a canvas and it can work two ways where either I just give all the prompts or we kind of, depending on the level of comfort for everyone, kind of go around the room.
[00:26:32.845] - Shawn
And each person also gives a prompt and it's always exciting. So, like you and I are sitting here right now, could be doing one. And I say, pick your favourite colour and make marks on the canvas with it. And you just kind of scribble on it. And then you give me a prompt of, you know, make five black lines and I make those and we just go back and forth. And then when you're done, you have this abstract painting and it's something I always enjoy, like at the end of that, seeing their excitement, they're like a lot.
[00:27:11.845] - Shawn
And I didn't think I could do this. You know, I have a painting and they're all they're always like, can I take this with me? And I'm like, yeah, sure, you're painting and stuff. And to see them be proud of something that they've done when coming into it, they're like, I can't do this. And then it's like you show them. Yes, you can,
[00:27:34.775] - Malcolm
yeah, that's so true. I think everybody who actually starts creating starts painting. That is, that's all you need.
[00:27:44.855] - Malcolm
The hardest part is just giving them to start. From that point on, it gets much easier.
[00:27:51.715] - Shawn
I'd like to point out too, so you know, it's not that I do art and everything is fine either. I still have my daily struggles and still go through things as well. And so, you know, it's helpful. But I just don't want somebody to think all I need to do is art and I'm better now. So I still have my struggles. I still have things as well.
[00:28:20.525] - Malcolm
So are you setting up a working group in your area to regularly work with veterans or PTSD diagnosed people, or are you just doing it as and when you get a chance?
[00:28:39.755] - Shawn
Yeah, I just been doing it at different organisations and have reached out to me and asked that I come in and do different things. And so I've been kind of approaching it like that. I'm doing it through organisations that are established and know, looking to either bring art in or have another aspect of our time.
[00:29:07.715] - Shawn
And that in that sense,
[00:29:10.355] - Malcolm
well, I'm going to include your contact details and in the show notes, et cetera. So anyone is interested or want some direction, perhaps in their area, or maybe you can set up new support groups or communication channels. But they can get in touch with you.
OK, let's have a talk artist to artist about your art that you are creating.
[00:29:43.265] - Malcolm
In your artist statement that I've mentioned, you referred to your work as post traumatic expression and colourful acrylic paintings. And that's what immediately caught my eye. Your current style of painting, bright colours, the bold pattern. Was that something that evolved over time or were you immediately drawn to that sort of style?
[00:30:15.665] - Shawn
I would say so. When I first was kind of getting into the painting, I was like. When I was trying to think of how I could express things. I didn't want to, like, do paintings that were, I don't know, expressing the things that I saw in Iraq and so colour kind of started to become important to me. And through time, it kind of evolved in the sense that. So I'm like, OK. It's a contrast to what I'm feeling or thinking.
[00:31:02.685] - Shawn
You know, the bright colours are kind of like a contrast to that. And so that just kept growing. Like when I so many times I've wanted to, like, get rid of all my stuff on Instagram, you know, like earlier works and stuff. But I haven't because I will go back and look and see from here's where I was. Here's where I am. And I can see that colour kind of evolving and stuff.
[00:31:36.945] - Malcolm
We sometimes get the idea that artists who are feeling, or have some sort of. Trauma or crisis, that is part of their psyche or they have experienced and they are creating artwork that is particularly shocking with the idea that I'm getting out what's inside of me. And it might be shocking to you, but that's how I deal with it. And we see a lot of that. And I think that's what appeals so much to me as well, is that you are dealing with profound issues as well, but you are choosing beauty, that you really are not only treating yourself through a positive artwork, but also passing that onto to other people as well, which is more of an act of giving to the community as well.
[00:32:41.995] - Malcolm
So that's particularly, I think, an interesting thing. You don't have to dwell on creating art that is violent and shocking to to self heal. OK, now your preferred medium is acrylics. Has acrylics always been your medium of choice?
[00:33:09.745] - Shawn
Like I was mentioning earlier, I tried watercolours, I tried oil painting, gouache, and acrylics. And I kind of settled on the acrylics. But I also do really like gouache. I settled on the acrylics because I feel like it kind of suits my personality, very fast thinking, very fast moving like everything's fast, fast, fast, and so they dry so much faster, as opposed to when I was trying to do things with oils. And I'm like having to wait, I guess.
[00:33:55.045] - Shawn
And I would just kind of get a little flustered. And so I really enjoy the acrylics and gouache, I like oils. But when I went to my personality, I guess I was more suited to the acrylics.
[00:34:17.095] - Malcolm
I think I think most artists like to try different mediums, I guess, for a change. But we've all got one medium. If you had to choose one medium, everybody has a particular favourite. So that is quite typical. What would you say is your goal as an artist? What are some of your top goals or what is the top sort of goal you want to get behind you this year?
[00:34:49.455] - Shawn
I would say mostly I. I just really want to take the things that I'm learning that help me and be able to share that and, you know, for others, for them to see art as a way of helping themselves as well. I'm just really passionate about that. So I just would like to see that be able to grow and just, you know, it would be a dream for me, I guess, to be able, let's say here, like on a local level, being able to go to a facility where I can teach art.
[00:35:37.855] - Shawn
But there also be the aspect of having, say, a counsellor there and maybe a therapist so that it could be more like, you know, a programme that's designed where, you know, you kind of work with the therapist and to deal with the issues at hand and then be able to come from that to do some art. And like I said, then have like a counsellor there, because I know sometimes, you know, at least for me, like I can I can do some stuff that really gets me emotionally and be able to have somebody to say that aspect out of it.
[00:36:22.435] - Shawn
You know, I'm myself. I'm not qualified for that. But be there to be able to do the art side of it and stuff. Right.
[00:36:32.095] - Malcolm
So some sort of facility or venue that can be there 24/7. If somebody needs help and you can go there, you can do your art teaching and there is counselling available as well. That sounds like an amazing objective and would be an amazing achievement.
[00:36:57.975] - Shawn
So it's kind of hard, like I'm sure you have similar experiences to like to do art. I like that people want to buy it and that makes me, you know, excited. And so I know, I would like to be able to sell more of my art and be able to then take that money and put back into the art and the things that I'm doing. So I mean, I don't know if that makes sense in that the business is a little hard for me.
Absolutely. You're playing the long game and it's not something that's going to just fall into your lap, I suppose, either, you know, but it is definitely a worthwhile goal. And so I see no reason why you won't be able to take this step by step and make it grow. There is a demand worldwide for help, for therapy and to bring beautiful things and positive conduct into our lives. That's probably the number one objective in the world right now.
[00:38:20.315] - Malcolm
No doubt. I've been meaning to ask you. You've been painting a painting a day for a year, OK, how how do you actually achieve that?
[00:38:35.035] - Shawn
I would say. Kind of when I decided that I was going to do this, I was kind of like I'm going to do for a year, but now I'm kind of like, Oh wow, maybe I should have started small, but I'm still like, I'm in the mood. Like, I'm going to try this and see how many days I can get.
[00:38:56.075] - Shawn
Hopefully I get that year, but if not, then OK, it's OK. There's another I can try again, but I would say to so, as far as the ability is, I tend to wake up really early like three thirty in the morning. That's just like naturally like I wake up and so painting at that time of day is just kind of my, my thing because I don't want to wake my wife and kids up and, and stuff.
[00:39:33.815] - Shawn
So it's just kind of a quiet time. I sit and paint and so that's I guess what one of the bonuses of waking up like that.
I suppose if you make it into a habit, what is it?
[00:39:50.435] - Malcolm
If you take something like 30 days of consistent, consistently repeating something that becomes a habit. And that's an amazing achievement. And I've also noticed subject choice. You paint, you seem to paint everything and nothing scares you.
[00:40:11.075] - Shawn
I do a lot of thinking, so. Yeah, but the paintings come from thinking or, you know. Maybe it's just be something I thought about a memory as a childhood, and then I'm like, OK, I'm going to try to paint that.
[00:40:33.115] - Malcolm
just on your painting again,
[00:40:34.915] - Malcolm
Over the last few days, you've been putting up more complex subjects. That's a good learning experience, actually, to watch you paint because you simplify extremely complex subjects, whether it's figures or in the interior scene, which are incredibly complicated with a hundred and one thousand details. And you simplify that into the essentials and they come up with expressive colours as well in colour schemes. And all of that seems to have evolved naturally for you.
[00:41:15.435] - Shawn
I guess that part's kind of hard to explain. Like, you know, I have a thought of the painting and a lot of times I paint it in my head before I actually paint. And then, you know, then when I actually start to mix the painting stuff, I'm basically following a map now. Sometimes it does. I don't follow it, to a tee, I might say, oh, well, this colour is not going to work next to this colour because whatever reason and so things will start to change.
[00:41:51.155] - Shawn
But I guess that's kind of how I'm approaching it. And I try to. Break things down, because for me to just see the simple shapes of things and stuff. So I don't know if it's making sense with that, but I know it makes perfect sense and but you haven't this is not a formal art education that you've gone through to get any degrees or diplomas. But it's one of the hardest things to teach an artist is how to simplify and go for the important shapes, leave out the stuff that's not important.
[00:42:41.695] - Malcolm
And that's that's the amazing part you have. You just got that naturally. Actually, it's quite amazing when you think about it that you had to go through these unpleasant and traumatic events to discover your true calling.
[00:43:01.265] - Shawn
Yeah, yeah. I've actually thought about that before. I was like, you know, for, for a while you have thoughts of like Oh well. I wish I could go and have things be different and not have happened, but then I'm like, well, coming through these things is what brought me to this now, so. Kind of a plus side to it,
[00:43:31.065] - Malcolm
yeah, It can give hope to anybody who's facing an unpleasant challenge, Losing their job?
[00:43:42.285] - Malcolm
Any setback. Can perhaps produce something that's even better.
[00:43:53.125] - Shawn
And the friendships? Passing I work like that. There's a I don't know if you follow her or not, but Holly Lombardo is an artist on Instagram. And that's been kind of the cool thing to do with Instagram is her reaching out to me one day and kind of mentoring me. Now he's starting off sharing with me different things, like, for example, like I would just put my artwork out there and somebody had set us up for sale and I'm not sure.
[00:44:33.325] - Shawn
And she's like, people don't know that it's for sale if you don't tell them that's for sale. And I was like, well, OK. Like, I don't know. It's like just this nice mentorship that has evolved from that to, you know,
[00:44:48.715] - Malcolm
you're right about Instagram.
[00:44:51.055] - Malcolm
The positives, negatives. The positives are what you make of it. And you're obviously very authentic. People can pick that up straight away and then, you know, people want to help or get involved or just just support you or anyone else with that approach to Instagram. And it definitely helps.
[00:45:20.335] - Malcolm
Your Instagram handle is?
[00:45:24.785] - Shawn
s.auguston.art art .I have a website, but have to work on it.
[00:45:31.005] - Malcolm
Shawn just a few final thoughts. We're talking the other day about favourite artists. So who are your favourite artists or favourite artists that you would consider to be an influence and an inspiration?
[00:45:51.115] - Shawn
I really like Van Gogh's work. You know, I'm really I have really inspired by his work, kind of like a lot of books that I like, you know, picked up through the years to kind of look and which I, I find interesting, like I've seen, you know, different photos that somebody that I might follow that actually seem like a Van Gogh at the museum up close.
[00:46:22.065] - Shawn
And they're bigger than what I pictured them to be. So that's always kind of cool.
[00:46:28.005] - Malcolm
Well, you know, there is definitely a kindred spirit. Your art has that energy. It's got the colour. So maybe you're channelling a bit of Vincent.
[00:46:43.665] - Shawn
I just think that would be cool. Time travel and paint with them.
[00:46:49.105] - Malcolm
[00:46:50.265] - Malcolm
I'm going to just put out all the information I can and contact points that people can get hold of you. Yeah. And talk to you and maybe get some help as well. Oh, I'm ready. I'm so happy to have discovered you and not to have this opportunity to check to get your message out and share what you're doing with the world. And I'm sure you're going to be helping many other veterans or anyone with PTSD as well and future artists.
[00:47:29.235] - Malcolm
I'm sure you'll inspire a few of those as well. Thanks very much for what you're doing.
[00:47:35.265] - Malcolm
Yeah, thank you. And yeah, you know, and I wish you all the best.
[00:47:40.785] - Shawn
Thank you. And I guess I got to say that painting behind you there. But the buildings. I just love that. Like that.
[00:47:51.195] - Malcolm
[00:47:53.985] - Malcolm
I must paint a few more of those. I used to paint graphic design quite a lot, but that was what I used to do at school, designing posters. Things like that, and then. I've got a bit sidetracked off into Impressionism, and, you know, it just becomes a hole that you fall in and you don't stop. You just keep going. Yeah, I do like the strong colour, and I'm sure that's what I saw in paintings.
[00:48:32.725] - Shawn
I hope to be able to. Right now, we have snow on the ground and it's like six degrees out. Yeah, but hopefully when spring comes, I like to be able to go outside and paint and stuff too. I'm looking forward to that.
[00:48:48.735] - Malcolm
Do you enjoy going out doing a bit of plein air painting as well.
[00:48:53.785] - Shawn
Yeah, I do. I like it. I don't like lugging around the gear but I've recently got one of those Yugo plein air pochade, so that's almost about the size of a small laptop. So that's pretty nice to put just in like a messenger bag. So a little bit of paint and brushes in there. So I'm looking forward to kind of possibly doing that a little more this spring and summer, so.
[00:49:26.995] - Malcolm
[00:49:27.865] - Malcolm
Well, I hope you enjoyed that podcast interview with Shawn Auguston. I'm sure you agree that Shawn is an amazing artist and he's doing incredibly important work as well. So have a look at his Instagram profile that is @s.auguston.art And I must also mention that about a week after this interview, Shawn did inform me that he has made contact with an organisation that is going to put together a programme where he can be involved with art therapy and helping others who need art therapy as well.
[00:50:05.965] - Malcolm
So that was amazing news. And I'm sure we'll hear more about Shawn's work in the future. And if you want to find out more about my podcasts, have a look as well on Spotify or Apple Play and you'll find the podcast there and on many other platforms as well. Find out more about painting courses on my website. malcolmdeweyfineart.com and look for painting courses as well. Well been, good talking to you on this podcast and be sure to check out the other podcasts and sign up and subscribe and you'll be notified when the next episode is uploaded.
Until then, cheers for now.