In this latest edition to our Tupac Art Inspiration series, we bring you a young artist fresh out of Sacramento, California. Her name is Shawntay Gorman and she specializes in acrylic on canvas. A lot of Shawntay’s inspiration comes from music. We interviewed her to get an insight on how music inspires and more!
O4L Online: Shawntay first of all thank you for talking to O4LOnline.com. Your artwork is simply amazing. What first inspired you to get into art?
Thank you for having me! I have always been a creative person. When I was younger I would make up my own board games, I would sing and dance, I think I was just a hyper kid. My stepdad would draw us posters and have me draw to calm down. So I’d say he’s my biggest inspiration. Him and hip hop.
O4L Online: Shawntay, Going by your social media, your a hip hop fan. Can you give us your views on hip hop today?
Oh my gosh, this question! There are some shinning stars and standouts but nothing beats the era that I grew up on with ‘Pac. Today’s current state is disheartening to witness. But then OG hiphop heads used to say that about my generation, but this generation is out there. I think a lot of artists these days are gimmicks who rather get a rise out of people then put out true quality music or write their own music.
There’s a lot of Mumble rap, although I love Trippie Red. I also feel like there’s a lot of artist who don’t get the respect they deserve. Like Remy Ma or Joe Budden, these artist have bars and have done so much for the culture but young listeners hate on them when they speak from experience. I could go on and on with this topic!
O4L Online: We believe some of your artwork has been used in a recent music video, tell us more!
Yes! It actually has been in a couple of music videos. My art has been featured in a Sunspot Jones (Living Legends) video (shout out to Equipto for that plug). And some art was recently used for a scene in a St. Lunatics video for a song called “Loud”, Kyjuan’s scene specifically. That was crazy! I met Kyjuan and Murphy Lee, Kyjuan asked me personally to use my art in his scene. Sixteen year old me died! I had been a fan of the St. Lunatics for the longest. Most recently, it is shown in Chuwee’s “Insight” video. Upcoming, it will be featured in a King Kahali (aka Doey Rock) video.
O4L Online: That is great Shawntay! The Tupac artwork you have done is awesome! What was the idea behind painting him and can you tell us about the feedback you have had from the painting?
I can paint Tupac forever and I would be content!
Being a kid without her father and growing up in the hood with a drug addicted mother, Tupac was such a big influence on me growing up. So much so, I made a promise to myself at aged eight not to be in high school pregnant because of Brenda’s Got a Baby. Tupac is probably my most painted person besides Kaepernick. When I paint him, the feedback is amazing!! The paintings sell immediately. Ive had to start producing prints because people were getting mad that my paints of him would sell so quick and they wouldn’t have a chance to buy.
O4L Online: Do you remember the moment you first heard ‘Pac’s music and what does he mean to you?
I do remember. It was Brenda’s Got a Baby. I remember watching the black and white video and crying because of Brenda’s story and because Tupac was holding the baby. Tupac means a lot to me. Like I said earlier he influenced me at a young age. His words, advice, artistry, knowledge of culture(s), his families background of freedom fighters; hes not just a rapper to me. He is an artist. A true creative genius. Plus, we both have the same Sour Patch kid spirit.
O4L Online: What’s your favourite Tupac song and why?
I have so many! My favorite has to be Hit Em Up – because of his raw anger and emotion. It was 2pacalypse ‘Pac all over again. That diss track started off disrespectful within the first two seconds. And then the break down when he is ranting, it makes you not like every artist he names.
Honorable mention for Toss it up! Them KC and Jojo riffs!
O4L Online: Toss it Up was a great song! Do you have a website where people can see and purchase your artwork?