San Diego’s premiere Artist shares his story and art
Shan Shankaran is a Concept Artist. He specializes in Anime and Manga. Shan received a Bachelor of Science in Game Art & Design in 2006. Shan has been drawing since he was very young, creating art for a board game, greeting cards, magazines, comic books, Webcomics, T-Shirts, Hoodies, Dresses, Home Decor and more.
When he was 2 to 3 years old, he spent most of his days Drawing and Building with Lego Toys at his grandfather’s house which was like a Museum. Daily, his mother cared for her elderly father for about a year, which meant he was confined to about a 4′ by 4′ area. That was the start of his drawing career, plus I come from a long line of Artists and Creative People. Creativity is in his bloodlines.
SDMNEWS: Give us a glimpse into your world, what are your characters about?
SS: The Characters that I created started from a small comic book that I made in High School to show my friends just for fun. As time moved on I went to college and thought the characters and story I made to be very interesting. From there I decided to focus on building my own world with all sorts of characters. So, I made a series known as Shadows of the Ecliptic. It’s a story of a teenage orphan who stumbles upon a secret lab with a mysterious organization who is trying to revive an ancient goddess and use her powers to take over the world. The orphan accidentally revived her first and now vows to protect her from the mysterious organization. The world is based in modern times but where fantasy is the norm. So basically dragons, elves, goblins and many more coexist with normal people.
SDMNEWS: Tell us your creative process?
SS: Before I start I first think of what character that would be best to draw. I look at lots of references from real life, cartoons, comics and video games. When I get an idea I begin drawing various sketches and pick out what works and what doesn’t. Once I pick the rough sketch that looks the best I will start refining the drawing and make it look more pronounced. If it’s on paper I take a picture of it and put it into the computer where I begin cleaning up the drawing and start inking it using my Wacom cintiq tablet. Next, I will start coloring the work. Also, when coloring I try and think about their personality to match that to their appearance. Then lastly, I add shadows and lighting on the art and fix up any last touches. Then save it out and upload it to whatever I choose to have my art on.
SDMNEWS: We noticed you have displayed your work on home decor, why?
SS: My art is something that would normally be seen on comics, shirts, games or shows but not on shower curtains, pillows and various other house-hold items. So it seemed like an interesting market to aim for and stand out from the rest.
SDMNEWS: Your characters have a lot of emotion in their faces, what is the inspiration for that?
SS: When I draw a certain character I imagine what if they were alive. So I try to animate them in my mind and see how they live. There I try my best to portray that emotion into the art, which also helps the viewer get an idea of that character’s personality.
SDMNEWS: So you have a mixture of artistic flavor, tell us about the art deco bedding motivation?
SS: When I was in college I was majoring for a degree in Game Arts & Design. There I learned how to pant textures and designs used for environments such as patterns for walls. With that knowledge I started to use it for something different and unique leading to the designs you see now.
SDMNEWS: What would call yourself in terms of the Black comics or the graphic novel world?
SS: I guess I see myself as an illustrator/concept artist who has a fusion art style that is heavily influenced on Japanese Anime and American Cartoons.
SDMNEWS: Do you do custom for your customers?
SS: Not always but I do it mostly depends on what the request is, how much time it would take and how much on the price quoted.
SDMNEWS: How do we get your lovely items?
SS: Yes, thank you for asking. You can find all my work located on my website at SHENGEKKA.com
The San Diego Monitor-News has been serving Black San Diego since 1986