Meet Our Artists Series | Shanna Trees of Shanna Trees Creations
Hello all you lovely Alcmenies!
I’m Shanna, 29yo mum to two beautiful little boys (2.5yo and 9mo) and wife to a beautiful big boy (37yo). We live in Tropical North Queensland and have two beast dogs, Jack and Luna. I have been a vegetarian for 17 years, love camping and stand-up paddle boarding.
I have always used cloth on my boys, but only discovered Alcmena at the beginning of the year when my toddler was wetting through everything, every night; and I googled ‘best cloth night nappy’…… enters ALCMENA!
I am currently on maternity leave but my regular day job is a Senior Environmental Officer with the Qld Environment Department. I also started my own little art business earlier this year (which is really the reason you’re all reading this right now!). It started as a passionate hobby, but through some wonderful ladies in this group, and a very special mention to the Nappy Queen herself, it has evolved into a new career path for me.
I now create original art, limited art prints, seamless surface designs (and I’m happy to try pretty much anything you require) through ‘Shanna Trees Creations’. You’ll find me on Instagram and Facebook.
Who or what influences your work?
I am very inspired by native Australian flora and fauna (and nature in general), as well as all things magical (I’m a Ravenclaw; I frequently invite friends in for second breakfasts; and you will also find I am part D’ni).
My children have played a major part in influencing my work because I have tapped into an entirely new creative space, and also discovered all these new eco products I wouldn’t have been aware of otherwise (#clothaddict).
Tell us about your creative process?
I definitely need to be in the right mindset to tap into my creative side, which can be challenging with the two little ones around and all of life’s other distractions. I do a LOT of late night painting and creating (my theory is – if I have to wake up in 2 hours anyway to feed the baby, then I may as well just stay up..!) I also spend a lot of time researching and thinking about what I will create before the pencil even touches the paper.
Has art always been part of your life?
Yes; I can’t actually recall a time in my life where I haven’t been creative in some form. I always enjoyed drawing as a child and during my school years. My technique definitely improves daily, but I have always been a passionate (somewhat wonky) artist.
Are your pieces planned from the outset or do they evolve organically?
It’s hard to explain, but once I have an idea for an artwork or a surface design, I know in my head how it will look at the end, without actually seeing it… I then paint until I know it’s what I imagined. Sounds weird now I have written it out!
What are the hardest and most rewarding aspects of being an artist?
Finding the time and some peace and quiet in a busy household can be challenging, and pushing past self-doubt about my skills as an artist; but every single person I have worked with has been so amazing and supportive, and it is very rewarding to create someone’s vision (or bring their idea to life).
What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
I make mistakes constantly in my art, but I try to look at it more as an opportunity to do something new or try a new technique to improve the artwork.
My toddler also likes to add his artistic flair into my work sometimes, and I need to incorporate his contribution in some way (the most recent example being when he climbed up on my art desk and smeared white paint ALL over a custom piece I had been working on for several hours…)
What would be the theme song of your life?
I’ll be there for you…. F.R.I.E.N.D.S theme song has to be up there. Not only because I am low key obsessed with Friends, but because the friends I have (you know who you are) are so important to me and I know they’ll always be there (and I’ll be there for them too). Cheesy?!
Oh, and the opening song to Step Brothers (A-Punk), because it brings me pure happiness!
If you could make a difference in the world, what would you be known for?
I am a huge animal and environmental activist and always hoped to someday make a significant contribution to an important cause (be it ending animal captivity and use of animals for entertainment, single-use plastic, educating about climate change or all of the above (and more!)). I hope to use my art to bring important environmental matters to light, which is why I am so grateful to be a part of some of the upcoming prints for Alcmena and Monarch, and encourage parents to try cloth nappies and other eco-friendly products over their disposable counterparts.
Lets just say… watch this space for things to come!
What is your most treasured possession?
My precioouusssssssss (children!).
Who or what lights you up?
Being out in nature fills my cup, as well as a big coffee in the morning, or a big glass of wine at night!
My family and friends also light me up, and I am grateful every day for those who are a part of my life.
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
A friend once said ‘oh.. you can actually paint!’ and that made me feel pretty chuffed!
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
Oh, I am a barrel of surprises! A few that come to mind is: I was bitten by a snake last year, I have been hit by a maxi taxi when crossing the road once, and I’ve been in an amateur boxing fight (and came second!).
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A have a huge sweet tooth so chocolate and cakes are sort of my life. Also, potatoes. Allllllll the potatoes, in all their forms: Potato bake. Chips. Mash. Roasted. Salad……… sorry, where were we?!!
A genie gives you three wishes—what are they?
Stop animal cruelty, see meaningful action to manage climate change, and a full nights sleep.
If life were a video game, what are some cheat codes?
0007 EE99, 0007 56FF, 0007 FA04 and 0007 5A02
(If you know these codes then you’re a legend!)
What do you wish you knew more about?
I am constantly educating myself on important environmental issues, so it’s not so much one particular thing I wish I knew more about per se, but having more time in the day to become educated.
Describe yourself in three words?
Creative, Floopy, Caffinated.
Its not very cool, but I really like…
I asked my husband to help me answer this and his response was “Collecting nappies”. To which I responded “Wrong. That’s very cool!”
But wait, there's more!
The incredibly talented Shanna has been working with Eunica behind the scenes to create gorgeous new prints for Monarch. With Monarch's official launch drawing near, we're so excited to share this sneaky print reveal with you all!