Shawn Lewis

Where do you live?
I live in Huffman, a small little town in Texas. It’s roughly 30 miles or so outside of Houston. It’s quite here for the most part, not whole lot going on.

What kind of art were you doing before the iPhone?
I’ve done a little bit of everything. I used to draw quite a bit, mostly abstract and morbid things. I was into oil painting and watercolor for a period, focusing on abstract forms. I really enjoy making paper and mixed media collages as well. I’ve actually been planning to get back into making collages again. It has definitely peaked my interests as of late.

Can you tell us what happened when you first started shooting pictures with your iPhone?
At first I would just take regular, everyday pictures that most people would take: friends, family, surroundings, random stuff. Then I started discovering camera apps, and got into using Hipstamatic. Thought it was a neat app and I enjoyed playing around with it. Then I would start to discover more apps and would start to shape my tastes and interests from there.

Were you active on Flickr as iPhone usage exploded? Who were the first iPhoneographers/artists who caught your eye?
I never was active on Flickr, I leaned more towards Instagram. That’s just how the cards fell. One of the first things that moved me towards using an iPhone for Art was Life in LoFi and Marty Yawnick. Marty’s site opened me up to new ideas to explore. The works of Nico Brons, Chad Rankin, Clint Cline, and Cat Morris really caught my eye when I first started out editing pics too. Then I discovered P1xels and became further inspired by the works that were being curated here.

What or who else inspires you? Painters? Photographers? Other plastic arts? Music? Literature?
I’m into all sorts of things. I tend to lean towards stuff that is odd, weird, morbid, colorful, abstract, and so on. I really enjoy the works of Yayoi Kusama, Basquiat, Pollock, Winston Smith, and Dali. I’m big into reading about history from all parts of the world. The noise works of Merzbow have been influential, so have the punk, hardcore, grindcore, and black metal scenes.

What are your go-to apps?
My go-to apps are: Assembly, Decim8, Art Studio, Union, Fragment, Matter, iColorama, Mextures, VSCO, Filterstorm, Superimpose, TouchRetouch, Brushstroke, Snapseed, Dropbox.

If you had to choose three creatures, real or imaginary, to be your personal totem pole, what would they be?
Cthulhu
Baphomet*
Unicorn

How many times have you fallen asleep with the phone in your hand while apping a picture?
Too many to remember honestly. I get caught up reading, editing, or watching videos and the Sandman comes along.

Cats or dogs?
I’m a dog person for sure. I have a black lab named Wrangler. We do just about everything together.

Beatles, Stones, or Dylan?
I’m gonna have to say Napalm Death.

Has there been any surprising impact on your life from the iPhone, something you didn’t expect?
It’s amazing how much I rely on my iPhone for various aspects of my life. It’s a source of entrainment and knowledge, and helps me keep track of my things to do. The one thing I find weird about it is that even though it is a phone, it’s a rare occasion that I use it to actually it to call someone.

Do you have a mantra for daytime? For nighttime? For anytime?
I don’t have a mantra per say, I just focus on making myself better.

A last word perhaps?
Be honest to yourself. Don’t let others dictate your life. Find something that makes you happy and stick with it. Always remain opened minded, and let yourself be weird.

You can find me on Instagram: @hellomynameisshawn

Thanks, Shawn!

I posted two galleries of Shawn’s wonderful work in September of 2017. Be sure to take a look.

Below, a sampling.

*Baphomet (/ˈbæfoʊmɛt/; from Medieval Latin Baphometh, Baffometi, Occitan Bafometz) is a deity that the Knights Templar were falsely accused of worshipping and that subsequently was incorporated into disparate occult and mystical traditions.

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