This blog post is about a friend of mine.
She is gorgeous, talented, intelligent, funny and annoying.
I also let her win at Indian leg wrestling.
Shoshannah Greene or SGidGang. Xaal (Wild Rose)
At the age of 5, Shoshannah wanted to rescue animals and save the world’s decimating tiger population.
Astrid, her mom, said that career choice wouldn’t bring in a lot of income.
I think she would have made a beautiful tiger rescuer.
I am sure she already has the animal print outfit to match.
When she was eight she wanted to be a dentist because her mom told her that they made a good living.
Fortunately for us Shoshannah decided not to become a dentist, or an animal rescuer and instead she is an artist.
Shoshannah says that she can’t imagine doing anything career-wise that didn’t involve art.
Photo: Michaela McGuire Photos
I asked Shoshannah when she first took an interest in Haida art?
She responded that her Dad Tommy Greene, a Haida artist,
“would draw a Killer Whale design…and then I would trace it over and over and draw a different family member riding in a canoe below the whale. I mostly drew my cats: Chester, Fluffy and Max.”
Shoshannah is a bit cat-crazy and her other persona is ‘The Catking’.
I have never met someone that talks about cats so much.
Ringo. Wolf character created between 2003-2004.
Shosh is a known cartoon geek and admits to loving pokemon and digimon.
Cartoons were her early inspiration.
Around the age of 10 Shoshannah began
“drawing cartoons, developing characters, stories and histories”.
Kita. Created by Shoshannah inspired by the Lion King. 2009-2010
Shoshannah and Raven Pearson (another Haida artist and cartoon dork) joined online art communities like
“The Lion King Fanart Archive and Deviantart.”
Throughout high school Shoshannah’s mother encouraged her to take
“painting and life drawing classes”.
These classes were with artists Sheila Karrow and Betsy Cardell.
Shoshannah “discovered a love for ceramics and building things with clay.
I also discovered different painting styles, specifically work by Kitagawa Utamaro.”
Shoshannah took Robert Davidson’s Haida Alphabet at Ngystle and her interest in Haida art was sparked again,
but she was still focused on animation.
Cat Walk Cycle Study, Grade 12. 2010
Tiger Study. Adobe Photoshop. 2010-2011.
When Shoshannah entered Emily Carr University of Art and Design she began contemplating mixing Haida art into her work.
Shoshannah explained to me that in first year at Emily Carr students had to take “streams” and then they could choose one elective in the second semester. She chose the drawing and painting stream and the design with space stream.
Around this time Shoshannah began to use Haida influence in her work.
For her design with space stream she had to create a bridge from David Lam to Charleston Park, which would be used for bicyclists and pedestrians and would be an attraction to Vancouver.
Shoshannah made the pictured bridge that represents a pod of Killer Whales chasing salmon using form line.
Shoshannah chose animation as an elective.
She decided to recreate Raven and the Clamshell,
with Raven having similarities to Haida carvings.
I can’t believe she created this video- it is amazing and in her daily life Shoshannah hides her brilliance well.
The completion of this project inspired Shoshannah to continue practicing blending Haida art and animation.
I asked Shoshannah what artists inspire her?
She told me that Frank and Ollie and Milt Kahl were huge animation inspirations.
Shoshannah did some incredible work in August of 2013.
She did a dialogue animation with dogs.
In order to complete this project she
“watched YouTube clips of their animation on Tramp from Lady and the Tramp repetitively.”
When I asked Shoshannah if she would consider practicing more traditional art or learn how to carve she responded “maybe, my Dad started focusing on carving jewellery when he was around 40, i’m only 22, I’ve got time.”
In Shoshannah’s third year at Emily Carr she created a piece of work that she is proud of- but at the time she struggled to complete this piece.
Shoshannah did not receive the results she wanted the first time she attempted the project.
So she started again, the second time her class and teachers were impressed with her work.
Shoshannah said about the painting below that “the idea came to me in a dream, I chose natural and supernatural. I wanted to expand on the combination of carved figures living. I worked on the painting for about three days.”
At the time that Shoshannah created the piece she was questioning herself and her abilities.
She said that doing well on this project “was a huge reminder that” she “can produce exceptional work and that I need to continue to create art.”
Shoshannah submitted this piece to a Canadian wide art competiton and unfortunately she didn’t win.
However, for Shoshannah at the time “it was a huge deal to rebuilding my confidence as an artist. It’s currently at home waiting to be made into prints one day”.
Shoshannah has an incredibly creative mind.
Her knowledge of Haida stories and their representation in Haida art inspired me to learn more.
Before I got to know her I was intimidated by her.
I thought that she was incredibly confident, smart, talented and funny.
Shoshannah and I have become friends over the summer working together at the
Haida Heritage Centre.
I have learned a lot from her and she has tortured and teased me relentlessly.
Shoshannah is unbelievably talented I cannot wait to see what she creates next.
Blog written by: Michaela McGuire, Project Officer at GNC & HHC, Photographer and new-ish Skidegate resident.