Mostly self-taught, Shelly's art comes from years of perfecting her love of making things with her hands, and her knack of learning by doing. Many wonderfully artsy friends helped inspire her over the years, and her role of motherhood has given her endless ideas along the way.
In her teens, Shelly's art sparked true flames of desire for needing to learn more. While still in high school, she started art courses at Kent State University.
Two years after graduating high school, Shelly moved to London, England, to attend a small art school, Blake College. It was here that her love expanded even further, and her passion for illustration started merging traditional mediums with computer graphics. Blake was where her love of graphic design was ignited.
While her formal education years in art were brief, Shelly continued to learn and evolve her artistic passions in her 20s. A hand's on learner, Shelly has tried most every major art form at some time or another, and many have techniques she carries on to spark her next cre8tive fire.
Over the years, Shelly's list of hobbies has been extensive. Drawing, painting, sculpting, sewing, knitting, felting, collage, and computer graphics, are major highlights of the list, but hardly all-inclusive. Her studio favorites consist of her sewing machine, computer equipment, various traditional supplies, an electric oven, and a kiln. She even owns a wooden spinning wheel!
Sleeping Beauty might have time for rest, but Shelly sure hasn't! Every time she found passion for an art, her knack of marketing has led to some sort of self-made business. For nearly a decade, she won various awards in art show circuits across Ohio and Pennsylvania. Her first brick & mortar storefront was born from her unique knitting and felting fashion design. Her first online store originated with her personalized clay sculptures. It is only natural she is ever-evolving into whatever artistic design and marketing comes next. One thing is for sure, her Prince Charming will always come bearing art supplies!
Specializing in mixed media, Shelly's art tends to consist of any combination of clay, marker, pencil, paper, and any other various textures that tickle her fancy....Art has always been her favorite go-to, to escape from the chaos of life!
Shelly's first artistic passion was credited to her love of drawing. Sketching anything beautiful with a regular #2 pencil and paper, was her happy place. Over the years, her pencil evolved into a combination of colored pencil and marker.
Color brought her artwork to life, and through collage and computer techniques, her images seemed to have a presence off the paper, too. After her children were born, Shelly decided to pick up her pencil again, and draw characters based on her minions. This action revived her passion to illustrate.
As an adult, Shelly dabbled in various projects such as soft sculpture (sewing), knitting/felting fibers, and various forms of clay. She traveled the northeast United States, selling her creations, known to many as "Chickpea." Her line of knitted and felted accessories ultimately led to a storefront called, Miss Chickpea's Funky Fibers.
After closing Miss Pea's and moving to Texas, Shelly aspired to work on her sculpting skills yet again, but in the form of clay. She started a collection of customizable pieces she sold online through Etsy, under her art persona, Mama Chickpea.
When she's not doing homework or making yet another cheese sandwich, Shelly loves doing arts & crafts, watching endless cartoons, playing with her pups, and cuddling with her minions. Like any 24/7 mom, she cherishes her brief gym time, her wine, and her daily shower in peace. Art has always been her escape from the insanity of life, and is often the inspiration behind many of her illustrations.
Her first-born, Max, is a fierce computer nerd, with a love of all things fast. He rarely whispers, rather, he lives life very loud (which feeds into his mama's "whine," as you'll read about soon enough. *giggle*) His vocal decibels are somewhat hypocritical, as he loathes hearing loud sounds. He has a huge kind heart, and is always willing to help out. He has never-ending energy. Occasionally, he is "eleven going on fifteen,' and knows a bit more than his mama...or, thinks he does!
Her second-born, Mya, loves all things art and nature. She is an amazing, yet, blossoming artist, with a flare for perspective and color. She loves to do arts & crafts with her mum, and regularly adds her own special touches. Like her brother, Mya has a determination to compete, and often feels she knows best. Her range of emotions can be severe at times, as a defense to protect herself. Her defense comes to protect her self-esteem. She is dyslexic, which regularly teaches her mama many new ways to see life's challenges.
Rounding out the Arroyo Clan, are hubby, Ricardo, and three silly pups. "Rick" works a hectic LEO schedule, and often keeps the artist balancing home-life chores and her art projects throughout the day. Parenting and family time are always unique, and often zero-to-sixty, without much notice. (A pace "Speedracer" Max can easily relate to. *giggle*)
Fur babies are very special in the Arroyo House. The oldest pooch is three-year-old basset hound, Lucy Lou Poo. She is beyond goofy, and many think she has a human soul. Christmas 2019 added chiweenie-mix, litter sisters, Lola, and Lulu. Less than two-years-old, this hyper duo keeps sister Lucy young & fit, and keeps their human mama on her toes. There is never a wasted leftover, and many a pair-less sock can be blamed less on the laundry "eating" them, and more on this dynamic pair claiming them as a new tug-of-war toy.
Living in many places throughout her life, Shelly has compiled many wonderful things useful in her art. She has drawn on the many characteristics of such homes as the United Kingdom, Northeast Ohio, and currently residing in the Southwest United States, as well as many world-traveled vacations. References to many cultures can be seen, and the artist is often "hangry" for every taste from fish & chips, to pernil & tostones. An evening glass of red wine is often her go-to palette cleanser, to help drown a long day of motherhood whines. (*giggle*)
Born in the United States, Shelly is English, Irish, and German by lineage. About fifteen years ago, she met Puerto Rican hubby Rick. They have two beautifully crazy, cre8tive kiddos, and are navigating the southwest Texan-Mexicano life together, one brisket burrito at a time.