Born in Marshfield, Wisconsin, Shawn grew up on a small family farm. He spent many childhood days sprinting through fields while entertaining dreams of baseball stardom. As a teenager, his family endured financial hardship when his father became ill and was no longer able to farm. Shawn continued to play baseball, but his interests began shifting toward music and self expression. His senior year, he enrolled primarily in art classes and starred in the school play. His art aspirations continued into college. However, the financial burden proved too great and he dropped out his sophomore year. Shawn's inability to continue collage pushed him through the doors of local military recruiter. He enlisted in the United States Air Force and served from early 1998 to late 2002. He chose the Air Force because the recruiter promised it was the closest branch to civilian living - and because it had the shortest basic training. Shawn served while at peace and war. He found himself in New Jersey conducting a training exercise on 9/11/2001. From that day forward, his life would never be as simple as it was while playing in his fathers fields. Shawn was deployed three times while in the Air Force, and his career was extended an additional year due to stop loss. However, Shawn never felt he had it as bad as those serving on the front lines. He carried this attitude with him into his civilian career. After separating from the military in 2002, Shawn experienced unease in his personal and professional life. He bounced between various retail jobs and divorced from his wife of four years. After five years of unrest, Shawn finally decided to return to school. He enrolled in the University of Wisconsin - Marshfield and later transferred to the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. Shawn had intended to peruse a career in journalism. He felt their was a disconnect between the American people and the soldiers protecting their freedom. In his senior year, Shawn again felt the unease he had experienced before returning to school, and, in an attempt to relax, he decided to enroll in an art class. It was there that he met a man that would change his life. It seemed like a normal day when Shawn's professor pulled him out of the classroom to talk. They talked briefly about military service and the pain he had noticed in Shawn's work. The meeting lasted less than fifteen minutes but ended with an invitation to assist with a military inspired art show. After arguing that his horrors where not as severe as other veterans, he reluctantly accepted the invitation. As the show drew closer and the semester progressed, Shawn's dream changed. Thirteen years and thousands of miles after giving up on art, his original dream returned. Art led him to express his feelings and to open up about his time in the military. It lead him accept the trauma he had endured and to express it through images. Now he uses his past experience to examine military service and the threads that bind Americans together. Shawn now enjoys a quiet life as a working artist. His work has been display in various galleries and facilities across to the United States - including a all-veteran showcase at the U.S. Pentagon.
He one day hopes to teach and to inspire as he was once inspired.