Artist Shonté Young on Murals, Music and Mixed Media

Young will be live painting at the “One Night to Live” event in Wilmington on Saturday, Dec. 16.


Shonté Young of New Castle quit her corporate job this July to pursue her art and her company, it’S. M.Y. art, full time. Young has done everything from painting children’s faces to sculpting to participating in live speed-painting events. “I enjoy expressing myself in front of a group of people,” she says. 

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Catch Young live painting at the “One Night to Live” event in Wilmington on Saturday, Dec. 16.


Favorite medium:

“I’ve been dabbling in using tissue paper in my mixed-media art. It’s a lengthy process to break up all the little pieces, glue them down and then create images—but it’s like therapy for me.”


Favorite personal creation:

“A piece called ‘The Rebirth.’ It’s a wooden sculpture that has two hands coming out of it, butterflies and freestyle paint. It was the first time I had ever fused sculpture and freestyle painting. It speaks to me the most because it’s the definition of freedom in art.”

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Favorite local artists:

“Alim Smith, Terrance Vann, Demitrius Bullock. I’ve talked to all of them, and I just admire how far they have gone and how much they are able to live their dream as successful artists. Demitrius Bullock was actually the one who encouraged me to go into art full time.”


Sources of inspiration:

“Nature is one of my biggest inspirations. I also get inspiration from dreams that I have, different things in my culture and definitely music. The way an instrument is played might determine the shape that I put down on the canvas.


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Favorite thing to do during a creative block:

“Most of the time I just listen to music. And I like being in a quiet space.”


Favorite way to unwind:

“Go to the park (Brandywine Park is great), walk around in nature, listen to music. I’ve also been reading a lot of books by Nnedi Okorafor lately. She does a lot of African sci-fi books, and it’s very interesting. It’s fantasy, and I love fantasy. That gets my creative juices flowing. I just finished ‘The Book of Phoenix.’”


Favorite music:

“All types. I love jazz and live bands. I listen to a lot of DJs, too. I listen to Christian Scott and India Arie.


Best place to see live bands in Delaware:

The Nomad Bar in Wilmington.


Best spot for coffee in Delaware:

“I love the Brew HaHa! in Claymont. I go there with friends to just sit and chill.


Favorite city art scene:

“I enjoy Philly’s art scene most. It has a lot of amazing murals. In my opinion, visual art throughout a city draws and inspires people. So I’m excited that in Wilmington, murals are popping up all over. I’m proud of my fellow Delaware artists and aspire to do a mural one day myself.”


This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

ShontÉ Young//Photo by Chrispy Studios

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