Baby Shamans

What are baby shamans?

For my entire life people have misspelled my name “s-h-a-m-o-n-a” as “s-h-a-m-a-n-s.” Substitute teachers used to do it, so did Starbucks and iPhone autocorrector, too… this used to annoy the crap out of me.

Until one day, I started an instagram account called @babyshamans to embrace the name and overcome my annoyance over the word.

The account featured my miniature 4×6” watercolor creatures, which I created for people around the concept of inner child healing. I would ask people to submit embarrassing/awkward stories from childhood and would distill their experiences into a small watercolor creature.

I thought “babyshamans” was the perfect name because I saw these doodle creatures as little magical entities (baby wizards?!) that were here to offer healing to their owners. Much like a shaman who has the supernatural abilities to bring magical cures to those that are in need of healing…

Babyshamans originally began as an online exchange, but in 2023, I was invited by Deep Space Gallery to bring this offering to the real world. At the gallery, I would invite people to sit across the table and share a memory from childhood that affected them.

People have told me stories about racism on the playground, bullying, abuse, and silly things, as well. I’m honored when strangers can be vulnerable in an intimate shared experience like this because it requires trust. My hope is that an art exchange like this can bring a bit of sweetness to something otherwise bitter.

If you’d like your own babyshaman, please feel free to reach out.

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