My work reflects empowerment, enlightenment and an invitation to daydream.

Shelly Mosman

What country are you from and where do you live?

Minneapolis, USA.

Title of what you do and what company you work with?

Self-Employed commission artist/portrait photographer.

Education background (art school, photography class, self taught)?

BFA from MCAD Minneapolis College of Art and Design with a photography career spanning over 20 years. As a commission artist, my work is recognized around the world and has been published in Germany, France, Australia, Brazil and the U.S. My work is a part of the permanent collections at the Plains Art Museum, Eiteljorg Museum, and The Rockford Art Museum, where I had a solo gallery show at the Rockford Museum in 2019. I was invited to show in conjunction with Art Basel Miami at Aqua in 2017. My most recent gallery exhibition is at Rubine Red gallery in Palm Springs. My shows are largely self-produced and represented.

My work reflects empowerment, enlightenment and an invitation to daydream. Femininity, nature and animals populate my work, creating representations of individualism, beauty and revolution. The “Animal Child” portraits include tapestries, fabrics, wardrobe and props to elaborate the feminine. The patterns in vintage barkcloth simulates nature and tapestries create a garden- like environment. Wardrobe and fashion are key to the overall process in representing the feminine experience. Animals are present to complete the idea of balance in our relationship to one another and to nature.

What is your signature style/artistic expression to your work?

I have a number of styles, but the most common at this point in time would be my color and pattern work in the “Animal Child” portraits.

What type of images or people do you like to shoot?

Much of my color imagery is quite feminine when my black and white is more masculine. I work in both divine feminine and divine masculine imagery.

Do you have a career turning point or big break that has helped your career?

After shooting a certain style for almost a decade, changes in the industry and the economy forced me to reinvent myself. I struggled for years to maintain what I had when I finally got to the point of reinvention. 2011 was the year I let go of old ideas and started a new direction, not only professionally but aesthetically, artistically and emotionally. I was forced to let go of all the things that preoccupied my mind-things I had no control over-and seriously focus on what’s inside me and bring it forward. It was a huge risk, but I had made a decision and I needed to listen to my gut, not my head.

What was your scariest or proudest moment in your career?

2017 Dress With Love- A Fashion Extravaganza was my proudest moment so far.  Reaching to another level in fashion and production, imagery and experience. I loved being able to include a vast number of people to be a part of live imagery. I designed or selected everything from the light production, fashion, composed digital mixed media and music to create an experience for my community to attend and enjoy for one evening.

What is next for your career goals?

I would like to start traveling the world again, creating portraits that are inspired by the subjects and their environments.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in your business?

Truly understand that there are no rules. Fully accept walking into darkness, not knowing where you’re heading or even what the heck you’re doing, this is a good place for creative inspiration. Make sure to finish what you start then move on the next. 


IG:  @shellymosman