An Interview with Atalante Shay

Painter and Air Force spouse Atalante Shay discusses art’s therapeutic nature as she looks forward to exploring new mediums. Here at MislpoFAN, we’re cheering her on as she ventures into children’s literature.

MilspoFAN: Tell us a little about yourself, your journey as a military spouse, and where you are today.

Atalante: A little about me…

I was born in Maryland to a German mother and Greek father. I lived in Hyattsville, Maryland until I went off to college! I went to Virginia Commonwealth University where I graduated with a BFA. After living in Richmond Virginia for 5 years,  I moved back to Maryland into my childhood home.

Skipping forward to the part where I become a military spouse and living the military life… I met my husband Matthew on Eharmony, and when we first met I was completely smitten by him. We got married in October 2011 and shortly after that, our daughter Madison was born. After 8 years, we are a family of 5 and have been through 2 deployments.  We currently live in Fort Meade Maryland.

MilspoFAN: How did you become a painter?

Atalante: I have always had a passion for art, especially painting. I remember my mother signing me up for private art classes with an amazing art teacher, Pete Galifianakis.  Next were art classes at the Corcoran School of art and design. This led me to taking AP classes my senior year of high school and finally receiving my BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University.  My passion is painting with oils on larger size canvases. It is very therapeutic for me.  It brings me a lot of joy when an idea breathes life into a blank canvas.

Mini pomegranate flowers which I capture on our family trip to Colonial Williamsburg, VA

MilspoFAN: How do you cultivate your creativity?

Atalante: I would say my creativity comes from participating in drawing challenges on Instagram. I also sketch almost every day which I found out to be very therapeutic.

I have always had an fascination with Octopui. I really enjoyed the challenge painting and drawing them.

MilspoFAN: What’s next for you?

Atalante: I am not entirely sure what is store for me, but I do plan to explore the world of screen printing and making cards with handmade stamps. I also would like to illustrate a children’s book which has been inspired by our oldest daughter who has Down Syndrome!

MilspoFAN: What is the most practical piece of advice that you would give to other artists?

Atalante: Never Give Up !! Happy Exploring 

Atalante is on Facebook at : Atalante’s Studio

Atalante is on Instagram at : @atalanteshay

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