Changing the world through art: Sheilah Sheldone

Every day, creative people are changing the world. Today, we’ll look at the work of Sheilah Sheldone, a nine-year-old artist from Kenya. She draws, paints, designs her own clothes, writes poetry, and teaches other children how to make art.

Who is Sheilah Sheldone?

You may have seen the videos going around the Internet about Sheliah Sheldone. I first learned about her through a video from the BBC, where she talks about her talents, her passion, and her desire to help the women in her community. I was impressed, so I looked further, and found the video above as well. In it, we learn that because her mother could not afford her artmaking materials, Sheilah had the idea to start drawing and painting famous people and selling their portraits. She painted a portrait of the President of Kenya, and we see her presenting it to him in this video. What impresses me even more than her talent is her positive energy and her ability to solve problems. This kind of creativity is unstoppable and will help her to go far in her future career.

How is she sharing and promoting her work?

She is just beginning her career, but she already has a website and many social media accounts. On her website, she has an engaging Home page, About page, and a Gallery page. She shares many examples of her work here and talks about her accomplishments, her passions, and her beliefs about the plight of women in Africa. It’s a very good start on creating a successful website and brand.

If you want to take a look, here is the link:

How could I help her improve?

If she were my client, I’d suggest some improvements to her About page. She has some good quotes there now, but ideally, it would include more information about her accomplishments and her vision for her work. A mistake many people make when creating their About page is to just share some interesting facts about their lives. This is ok, but remember that everything you write is for your readers, so you should remember to talk about yourself in a way that focuses on inspiring them, teaching them, or helping them in some way. The goal of her page is to share her work and her mission with the world, so she could talk about what she does with the money she makes from the sales of these paintings. She could talk about how her work is positively affecting the women in her community. She could talk about her plans for the future. All these things might inspire more people to consider buying a painting from her.

Another thing she could do is to write some descriptions of her work. She has some simple titles, but since African women are a focus for her, she could say more about the paintings she makes of them. Sharing a little story about each piece or collections of similar pieces could help the reader to connect more with her work. This is especially useful for more abstract paintings.

One area she needs no help with is her speaking style. She’s so confident and articulate! I might use her as an example for my future clients who are nervous about public speaking. She’s only nine years old, and she already knows how to command attention and speak with style and grace.

I want to help you too!

If this artist inspires you, leave a comment or share this post with a friend! If you want to share your work with a larger audience, I can help! Download my free guide: How to write a great About page (10 tips for non-native English speakers). It can help you to be sure your About page is easy to read, engaging, and effective. If you’re interested in working with a coach, you can also schedule a free trial lesson so we can talk about what you need and how I can help! 

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I help artists and designers with their English so they can focus on being creative and changing the world.

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