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Shawn Perkins Inspires by Painting Cultural Moments in time

Shawn Perkins is a visual artist who prides himself on capturing moments in time from our culture on canvas. Born and raised in Detroit, his dream has always been to wake up, paint, and bring visions to life to share with others. Being a student of the arts, he enjoyed the process of learning about the different paints, canvas, and techniques that eventually led him to create a style that would become his signature. His style is layered, contemporary and combines realistic foregrounds against abstract backdrops. He loves to work with both oil and acrylic paint as well as unique mixed media on wood panels and canvas.

After a few years of taking his craft seriously, Shawn was able to walk away from his job in the restaurant industry to pursue his craft full time. During his time working in the restaurant industry, he does admit that he gained an appreciation for the business side and it taught him how to interact with strangers or potential clients. Now given the nickname "SP the Plug", Shawn began to trademark most of his work with an electrical outlet or plug of some sort. The plug represents how he uses his art to connect with others, and also an acronym for "Painting a Legacy Under God."

Over the course of his career, his work can be found all throughout the country. His artwork has been commissioned by Southwest Airlines, MGM National Harbor, President Joe Biden, RevoltTV, and some of Washington, D.C.'s top restaurants and schools. It was during the quarantine of 2020 when Shawn found that he would be called on to express and inspire more than ever before. With the COVID pandemic, many businesses and restaurants were shut down and boarded up. The wooden boards on the buildings would serve as many artists' canvases as they began to repaint the city, spreading messages of love, hope, and good vibes during such unpredictable times. These efforts quickly progressed into different works during the global protests taking place in response to the George Floyd murder among many others. In 2020, he was able to complete over 30 murals throughout his city, including the Black Lives Matter Plaza in our Nation's Capitol. When Shawn reflects on why expression through art is so important, he says, "Expression through art are so important for our community because art can bring such a sense of vibrance and positive energy to a space that may have been without it before. Art is thought-provoking and engages people to interact, and enriches the community in so many ways."

Inspiration is a big thing for Shawn, whether it's him inspiring others or someone inspiring him, his work has always reflected it. His inspiration for inspiring others is simple for him; "inspire or retire" is a saying that he lives by. One of his favorite quotes comes from the late, great Nipsey Hussle, "The highest human act is to inspire." Inspiration is what continues to drive him to pursue his dreams, and he feels that everybody deserves that same feeling. He credits his mother and his faith in God as being his main sources of inspiration and support throughout his journey. When we look back over the events of the last few years, he has been motivated to create certain pieces of work. Shawn says, "We're literally living in historic times with everything transpiring in the last couple of years, and as an artist, it is my duty to record the times we live in."

View Shawn's work or commission him for your very own SP The Plug original here.

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