Shona Crawford

Written by Amy Young Category: Arts Issue: August 2015
Group Free

ARTIST OFTHE MONTH: “I like to make people see the female form in different ways,” Phoenix artist Shona Crawford says. “It is a reminder that a woman can be different, mysterious, or even scary, and still be attractive.” To wit: Crawford’s piece, “Serpentina.” The mixed media work uses charcoal, pastel grounds and acrylic paint on stained wood to render a horned woman with winged ears, adorned with robust lip and ear jewelry, her head and neck surrounded by a ring of flowers.

Women are often subject matter for the 26-year-old artist, who started drawing as a child and recalls being inspired by a tutorial video on becoming a cartoonist; it gave her the desire to create her own intriguing characters. By the time high school rolled around, people were noticing her unique style and asking her to make them original drawings.

PHM0915PFART02Though she was passionate about art, Crawford possessed a desire to help people and began her college career studying abnormal psychology. Her studies still found a link to art; she says psych studies gave her a “deep appreciation” for the Surrealists. She later switched gears back to art and earned her BFA in printmaking from ASU in 2012, but admits she didn’t have an initial love for printmaking. “I hated the processes and the wait times,” she recalls. “Eventually some of that hate turned to love as I realized it challenged me and helped me cultivate discipline and patience.”

Crawford currently uses her drawing skills on living mediums, as she pursues a career as a tattoo artist. She can be found inking customers as a guest artist at Phoenix’s Lost Dutchman Tattoo. Crawford’s tattooing is another way she facilitates her passion for helping others. She feels that tattoos give people a sense of power and can increase self-esteem, whether the body art relates to a specific situation or just enforces body-positivity.

 View an array of Crawford’s work at Downtown Phoenix gallery and performance venue Trunk Space ( will feature an exhibition of her work this fall.