I use charcoal, pastels, and acrylic paints to create abstracts, portraits, & still life.
With each medium, I experiment and create vibrant, realistic, and eye-catching art. Each medium provides a distinct texture and allows me to explore different techniques.
Using charcoal allows me to blend and smudge for a soft, smoky appearance. In contrast, I use pastels and acrylic paints to achieve vibrant colors and depth. These mediums enable me to capture my subjects’ essence.
My art explores sensuality, spirituality & personal development. Each piece contributes to my personal growth and transformation as an artist.
Shanique Dawkins was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica. She currently lives in Sunrise, Florida. She specializes in using charcoal, pastel & acrylic to create stunning works of art. She is a self-taught artist, with a BS in Information Technology and recently obtained a Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design & Technology.
In 2018, her drawing won the Broward Art Guild the Judge’s Recognition award. Her art was displayed at the Broward Art Guild and Keiser University. Also, at the Ethel M. Gordon Oakland Park Library.
At a young age, she discovered art’s therapeutic nature. It provided her with an escape, a way to slow down, express herself, and ease stress.
She understood the true power of creative expression. “Art can convey your inner thoughts and emotions. It serves as a token of appreciation and beautifies your surroundings.
What is something you had to put off because of the pandemic that you have recently done or is on your list to do soon?
Though I have done art on and off all my life, it wasn’t until late 2018 that I decided to show it to others other than my close friends and family. Throughout 2019, I did a few exhibitions with the Broward Art Guild. And then Covid came, so all the face-to-face networking and exhibitions stopped. Plans for an art show got put on the back burner. Recently, I have revisited the idea, and the details, because I got some inquiries. So an art show is coming soon.
What does your art future hold for you?
When I look at the horizon, the possibilities are endless. My goal is to transition from working as a Technical Support Engineer to making a living doing art full-time. I want to own an art cafe, coach/mentor inspiring artists and have art shows, workshops, paint and sips, and annual creative retreats. Above all, one day I want to write a bestseller on how I have overcome obstacles and risen to my destiny.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
When times get tough, my inner vision and higher self motivate me to keep creating. On days when I feel like throwing in the towel because I don’t see the result/get the feedback I want. The God essence within me nudges me to keep my faith alive. There are reasons and benefits for doing this, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Deep within I know my why. Hence, when I lack motivation, it is easy to recommit myself to fulfilling my life’s vision. Creating is my reason for being the essence of my existence. You will always be happy doing what you love. At, an early age, I learned I could use it as an escape. It is where I go to hide, slow down, express myself, and relieve stress. Friends come and they go, but art is one thing that stays, no matter how long I don’t practice it. It’s that sacred space I can always escape to. It helps me deal with traumas and understand myself as a conscious being.
Name a famous artist that inspires you and one not yet famous artist you would like readers to know about.
One famous artist who inspires me is Georgia O’Keeffe. I love her work, especially her flower series and early figure paintings done in watercolor. I admire the zoom/close-up effects and abstract views of her work. A technique I aspire to capture in my work.
One upcoming artist I would like readers to know about is Suzzette Dawes. She is a poet who started painting again during the pandemic. Her IG is @suzzettedawes
Is there a current or upcoming show or exhibit you want people to know about?
A collection of a few “Artists who inspire me” to pursue my passion and do what I love is currently on exhibition at the North Lauderdale Saraniero Regional Library. It consists of 6 portraits done in multi-mediums: charcoal, pastel acrylic, and fabric. The exhibition is in partnership with the Broward Art Guild, running from 11/1-12/31/23.
What inspired you to be an artist and what inspiration can you pass on to others?
I was born this way (laughs). As far back as I can remember I have always wanted to be an artist. It feels amazing when someone shares with me how stunning and inspiring my work is. Or how peaceful it was to watch me create. I want to share with others the joy of creating and how it feels to be connected to the divine/source.
I have always wanted to be an artist. Although my path diverted a bit I took more of a scenic route. I have been through situations in life that should have broken my spirit, but because of art. I am like a Phoenix that keeps burning and rising from its ashes, stronger & better.
I wish everyone found his/her gift, lived in alignment with it, and shared it with others. I believe the world would be a much better place and people would be more happier. There is happiness and fulfillment in pursuing your passion. Rumi said it best, “Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”
How are you giving back to your community?
I use art to beautify my space, cope with life, meditate, relieve stress, and for leisure. Therefore, I want to share with others the gift of creating art and providing some type of assistance to those who need emotional support, healing, or empowerment.
I recently registered with the Broward School Board as a volunteer. I want to use my creativity and artistic talents to create meaningful and fun projects that benefit others, especially children.
Let’s end with a fun fact about you.
I am not sure when this will be posted, but as of today (11/5/23) I am on day 119 of daily yoga (for 20-30 minutes). I am not sure where this ritual will lead. However, I have no plan for the direction I want to go with this practice. All I know is that this is what my spirit needs and craves at the moment. Every day, I am just showing up, being present, trusting the unknown, and surrendering to the moment.
Anything else you would like to include?
I make fashion jewelry. On Instagram @lionessroardesigns, you can see handmade wire-wrapped and beaded earrings, bracelets, and body and waist beads. So, when I am not drawing, painting, or exploring nature I design custom jewelry.
Also, I share weekly inspiration videos for drawing and painting on SDawkins Art’s YouTube channel. Each week, I cover empowering, deeply reflective questions for self-awareness, tapping into your creativity and personal growth.