A graduate of USC’s School of Architecture, Carolyn started in New York as an architectural designer for Skidmore Owings and Merrill and launched from there into NYU film school and set design for both theater and film. Desiring both more wilderness in her life and a richer content in her work, she moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico to complete a Master’s in ‘The Great Books Program’ at St. John’s College, reenter the world of furniture and lighting design, and go on to be published in Metropolitan Home for the renovation of her own residence. Upon returning to her roots in Northern California, she launched Shih & company – a luxury fashion accessories line sold in upmarket boutiques and department stores across the US and Canada. Today, Carolyn harvests the rich diversity of her past lives to fuel her return to her first love of image and storytelling. Sketchnig, drafting, model making, spatial psychology, classical studies, color sense and an obsessive attention to detail all are a part of her current visual work.
“I am mesmerized by thresholds as places of transition – where unknown becomes known, where void meets line. The imaginal realms of Grimm’s fairy tales, dreams and archetypes are some of my richest resources. Though I often employ exactingly linear techniques, my unconscious is my undeniable art director.
Gathering images from both the interior and exterior world, I allow their source to dictate the process through which I converse with them. To explore the interior world – dreams and archetypes – I often utilize photographic images and a focus on precise detail. When engaging with the exterior world, I opt for blind contour drawing and a more fluid line.
What happens between the images is what intoxicates me. In the final phase of my pieces, I find my hand moving fluidly over, around and between the ‘seen’ images. In my scribbling meditation, I am attempting to join and describe the grace residing in the ‘unseen’ threshold where the images converse. “