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Hi! I’m Shyama (rhymes with llama and the Y is silent). My background is in oil painting and graphic design, but after a decade of working in the graphic and interactive design fields I’ve shifted more into the art side of things.
I still practice design when I get to incorporate my own illustrations, but primarily I work as an independent illustrator/artist. I’m based in Brooklyn, and I’ve also lived in Austin, San Francisco, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and a bunch of other cities in Texas where I’m from. Oils are my favorite medium, but recently I’ve been using a method of working digitally on the iPad Pro which gives me the same look, and the advantage of being able to create seamless patterns and looping animations.
Artist, designer, illustrator.
Originally from Texas, Shyama Golden is a graphic designer, artist, and painter, who is now based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work is often humorous and executed in a highly detailed, meticulous style sometimes incongruous with its subject matter. She has worked on everything from murals to oil paintings, apparel, magazine covers, illustration, apps, stickers, iconography, and logos. Her formal training is in graphic design and studio art.
Q. Describe your path to what you’re doing now.
A. As a kid, my favorite things were drawing, cats, horses, inventing strange foods, and writing and illustrating stories about cats. I tried oil painting when I was pretty young—about 11 years old. My first painting was of two neon lions roaring—a bold choice, but, hey, it was the ’90s. Actually, it was so bad that I almost never tried oils again. I did give them another try in high school and even though I still made rookie mistakes, something clicked; I realized the possibilities of the medium. I’ve done a fair amount of watercolor work and silkscreens, and I still play with Sculpey sometimes, but oil painting has a depth to it that I keep...