In 1931 Shannon Stirnweis was born in the city Portland, Oregon when the squeeze of the Great Depression was just beginning to be felt. Growing up Shannon was an active participant in the sports of his community up into High School where he competed in the Golden Gloves of boxing, as a starting guard on his high school's football, and placed third in the shot put of all city track meet.
Following high School Shannon briefly attending the University of Oregon for a year before Shannon transferred to the original ArtCenter College of Design in Los Angeles, where he attained a school scholarship and graduated with Distinction in 1954.
Following univeristy Shannon served two years as a Army Illustrator in Germany. Where in his spare time he was able to paint more than thirty portraits of officers and troops that helped pay for the camera that allowed Shannon to place third in an all army photography show. On his return trip to the U.S. found that the demand for artists in Western Galleries to be negligible at best, while in the East the market illustrators was doing quite well in cities like Detroit and New York City.
Choosing New York City, Shannon worked for a Madison Ave Advertising Agency for two years as a sketchman, then started interior black and white illustrations for men's adventure magazines, gradually doing color covers for their magazines. Shannon then progressed to the slick (paper) magazines working for Argosy, Field and Stream, Outdoor Life, Boy's Life, Reader's Digest, Show, Popular Mechanics, Time, American Legion, Guidepost and others. At the same time he worked for advertising clients in a variety of areas such as medical, stamps, movies, and industrial illustrations.
He didn't neglect the Book field. Shannon illustrated many paperback covers. Working for almost all of the paperback publishers in N.Y.C. He illustrated over 35 children's books, along with writing and illustrating three books for the Grumbacher Library. The Art of Painting the Dog, The Art of Painting the Cat and The Art of Painting the Wild West.
Illustration done during 40 Years in New York City
Partisans, Movie Advertisement
Sleepy Hollow, Scholastic Magazine Cover
Romance Balloon, Harlequin Paperback Cover
He served as President of the Society of Illustrators for two terms and was a founding Trustee of the Graphic Artist's Guild in NYC.
U.S. Department of Interior
U.S. Air Force
U.S. Army Historical Museum
California Federal Savings
University of Texas (El Paso)
University of Wyoming
New Britain Museum
Shannon has also participated in exhibitions at the Hunterton Art Center, the New York Historical Society and the Smithsonian.