Raised poor on the streets and ocean boardwalks of Mission Beach, San Diego- SJ Shaffer was watched over by the saviors of the local homeless and street gangs. Protected by heroic Vietnam Veterans who gifted her with art supplies, and escorted to school on Harley’s by the reputable but infamous California Hell’s Angel’s.
Importantly was the refuge she found in classrooms and miraculous teachers who taught her strive, self diligence, and to clench tightly to perseverance, integrity, and her true grit. Guided by her God given Artistic talent Shaffer paved her way to a future filled with reason and purpose. At seventeen years of age winning numerous ribbons in drawing, mastering Color Pencil, Shaffer was awarded the San Diego Kiwanis Merit and a scholarship to Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design, in Los Angeles, California.
Graduating with honors and a BFA in Commercial Illustration, Shaffer went on to working as a freelance Illustrator for a variety of companies, and instructing at Cal State Los Angeles University.
With this under her belt she made the inspiring decision to exchange the Ocean for the beautiful land of Arizona and New Mexico, expanding her technique towards the direction of Fine Art.
Truly Illustrative and Contemporary Shaffer chose to paint the recipe of the West; its legendary cultures, the intricate and spiritual symbolism, and treasured traditions interwoven throughout the land and the people.
The Historical Tapestry of the Native Americans, the Spanish, Mexico, and the Cowboys that have worked the land for generations. Let alone the mesmerizing Saguaros that accompany Burros that carry ones wood in prayer.
SJ Shaffer’s paintings are represented throughout the States of Arizona, Santa Fe New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma.