My name is Jeannie Shaw. I was born in Belize into a family that always promoted and appreciated art. I’ve always had a natural inclination for the arts in many forms. Designing, poetry, creative writing, photography, painting, drawing, dancing and singing are some of many ways that creativity often finds me.
Graduating from St. John’s College with a degree in Business in 1992, I worked with Kryol Gyal Produkshans, a local media company. After gathering a year’s work experience in Belize, I moved to the USA to pursue a degree in Visual Communications at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale where I graduated in 1993. With this formal training, my creative side blossomed and lead me to ad productions, graphic arts, photography, painting, writing jingles, songs, blogs, stories and poetry.
1997 lead me to my first art show which was well received. In 2000 I held another art show in honor of my mom who had passed away a year prior. Being an instrumental influence in my life, I was honored when I was later asked to paint a portrait of my mom for the dedication of the Belize Tourism Board’s headquarters to Jean Shaw nee Weir (one of the pioneers of Belize’s tourism industry).
In 2006, Women in Art invited me to partake by reciting my poem, “I Have a Way With Words, She Said”, dedicated to my mom.
The 2010 Women in Art show provided me a platform to display my unique works on canvas bringing my love for art (and everything it means to me) back to life.
I’ve done a few live recitals and have had some of my poetry published in a couple books like Treasures of a Century. A collection of Belizean Twentieth Century Poetry and SHE, Belizean Women Poets.
For years, I ran a hotel thinking it was the right thing to do after my mom passed. I felt I owed it to her to keep her legacy alive. It took a long time to come to grips with the fact that it didn’t serve me to do that. By years, I mean 12! That’s a long time to invest in something that doesn’t serve you. I took a leap of faith and shut down my entire life and made some changes that were not for the faint of heart.
I am a mom to a brilliant boy who, like me, learns differently and often has a perception of things that do not contour to the confines of a box. Being a mom changed the entire course of my life because of the needs of my son.
I am now in full pursuit of my passion for allowing creativity to completely envelop my being.