Meet the Artist!
Hi! I am a dog mom of two rescues (Hef and Sierra), hooman mom to a toddler, military spouse, artist, and self proclaimed professional marshmallow toaster.
(Toasted brown all around with a gooey center? I've gotchu).
My days are spent chasing that all elusive sweet, sweet goal of balance, while also reminding myself it’s all about the journey, right?
When my artist hat is on, you can find me in my backyard art studio or working from a local coffee shop in my home town of San Diego.
When my mom hat is on, you can find me and my fam running around in all the museums, parks, and dog-friendly walks! We like half days of nerding at home and then outdoor exploration with friends!
When my friend hat is on, let's go karaoke, explore good eats, sit somewhere pretty and talk all about life. I love experiencing new things with my friends but also that quality time!
My Art Journey
It all began in 2017. What started as watercolors requested by friends, turned into doodles requested by strangers, turned into non stop creative thinking about exploring different styles, new techniques, and fun modems for my art and designs.
For me, my artist journey is parallel with my mental health journey. When I started taking my mental health seriously by going to therapy, it was the same time I decided to plunge into being a full time pet portrait artist. As my mental health continues to grow stronger, my business also grows with me. I cannot encourage therapy enough for anyone who might also have CPTSD, Complex PTSD. Childhood trauma can be so limiting as an adult if left untreated and you DESERVE to live your best life.
Biz wise, I started building my presence by working at coffee shops! I have a method of picking the perfect seat, positioning myself in a non-threatening spot, but also wearing my leave-me-be headphones. It was a perfect position to get things done AND let people snoop over my shoulder while taking my business cards. That's honestly how I started.
I've done dozens of events and I've loved every bit of that booth life journey. I'm lucky to now be in a position where I don't have to go to as many-- my priorities changed a lot when I started growing my family. Now I'm a lot more picky about what events I go to and I'm very happy limiting myself to the events that bring me the most joy.
Now, I have transitioned my business growth to all be online. That's a huge thanks to YOU, my support, my community. (Hello pack, I see you!!) My pack is my voice of reason for the crazy, zany ideas I frequently come up with! Or enablers. They're more like enablers.
Over twenty thousand portraits later, I am more grateful than ever to be drawing, designing, plotting and painting the furbs that are so loved around the globe.
Children's books is my side hustle!
Today, in addition to my signature design drops and fine art pieces, I have walking into the world of children’s books.
The truth is, I’m not sure I ever ‘grew up’ and although you will see “business owner and CEO” after my name, I prefer to live in the land of art + creativity. My first published book, by authors Ashley Ionconetti and Jared Haibon from the Bachelor in Paradise, stoked the fire of my love of illustration. Now, I am also working on Becoming Kaxan, a wags to riches story of Austin Texas’s news channel mascot.
I’m excited to meet you + your furb! Whether impawstos are your jam, funky digitals fill your heart, or you are looking for fine art to live on your walls, the Sheila Chen Art Team is excited to read and respond to your inquiry within 48 hours during business days.