Shannon O'Connell had an early love for the ocean, the colorful tidepools and vivid sunsets. Raised in Laguna Beach, California...a beach town with a great history in the arts, and a well established art community. Growing up there, Shannon was surrounded by art...Galleries, Pageant of the Masters, the Sawdust Festival. Her Parents knew she loved art so much, they enrolled her into a private preschool...it was there she learned the value of being kind to others, to respect nature, and to be a creative thinker. "I remember being able to express myself at a very young age, learning that if you make a mistake...make something out of it!"
At the age of 12, Shannon moved with her family to Colorado. Her memories of the ocean and the warm sunsets pulled at her heart strings. She now lived in a Log Cabin in the mountains, where deer, mountain lions and bears wandered the pine needle filled paths. Her cabin walls filled with images of surf, sunsets and tropical flowers. Shannon's high school art teacher took quick notice that she was serious about her art. In no time she had her own table by his and when the bell would ring Shannon kept working through lunch hour. She had full privileges and often went up on the hill behind the school to draw outside
It was the winter of 2000 & The opportunity came up to move to Makaha Beach, on the island of Oahu. Having never been to Hawaii before she packed 2 bags & her skateboard. Shannon recalls that day would change her life. "I flew in at night, when I woke up the next day I heard different birds and roosters too. I remember the plumeria and salt water scent on the air that day. The first beach I went to was Cabanas, the water was so many shades of green & blue. I knew right then that I never wanted to leave Hawaii. Learning to surf has made my art come full circle. When you paddle out and your toes leave the sand you enter another world. When you're surfing you "paint" with your board on each wave and no two are alike."