Short Version (tl;dr)
My name is Shawn Turek and I am an award-winning designer, illustrator, and artist living in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. I focus mainly on character-based illustrations for commercial, editorial, book, and identity design projects. I also create whiteboard explainer videos to help companies educate potential customers about their products and services. My combined art, design, educational, and technical experiences make me an ideal collaborator to help you meet your creative goals.
Drawing was a big part of my childhood. I have a lot of memories drawing whatever was cool to a kid then – monsters, trucks, spaceships, things like that. (I think I even have some of my old drawings yet.) As I got older and it came time to figuring out what I wanted to do with my life, I opted for something a bit more stable, which led to a career as a mechanical engineer of all things. But like gravity, I’ve been constantly pulled back to a more traditionally “creative” career throughout my life.
After working for a number of years as an engineer in various roles, that pull urged me to go back to school and earn a graphic design degree. This felt like a fairly practical way to incorporate art/drawing into a more commercial line of work. I then worked for a number of years as a graphic designer, gaining experience on a wide variety of projects including print, web, video production, illustration, and branding. But, that pull urged me to focus more on a career that involved drawing and illustration.
And so, I ventured out on my own as an illustrator and designer, working on projects for clients as well as my own personal projects when I can. I am also an adjunct instructor in the web design program at a local technical college.
One of the interesting things about artistic lines of work is that what people are getting from you is not just a drawing or illustration, but a sum total of your experiences and view of the world. So, while the challenges of making a living as an artist can be daunting, there is something empowering in knowing that you are not really making anything that anyone else does. You just have to find the people who like what you make. The road I’ve taken to get to this point has had more turns and detours than I would have thought, but I’m fortunate to have picked up and developed so many varied skills and traits that serve me well in my current work and allow me to put something unique out into the world.