Shawnee is a tattooer and artist from northern California. She is of Native American heritage (Pomo, Chumash, Miwok) and the descendent of mezzegiorno (Southern Italian) immigrants who first came to San Francisco and Oakland a century ago.

 Her work combines elements of traditional folk art including textile patterns, quilt blocks, and other outsider art often created by women creators whose names were lost in the historically patriarchal landscape of the art world. 

Drawing on folklore that sometimes drifts in to humor and whimsy, she utilizes her work to engage with the ancient practice of storytelling- a traditional way her indigenous ancestors used to share knowledge of native values across generations, even as their stories and language were challenged by the violent pressure to assimilate to settler culture. 

She hopes to draw upon ancient teachings to provide a healing path forward in the modern world awash with challenges of climate change, the decline of native species as their habitats are threatened and lost, and the struggle of the working class against late-stage capitalism. She hopes her storytelling and search for identity as a mixed race person in the modern landscape of the world will empower others who have felt marginalized and are similarly forging a way forward.

Shawnee Miller has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Before becoming a full time artist, she worked as a field biologist in Alaska banding migratory passerines, and also in Mendocino California collecting samples on the salmon population during commerical fishing season. She maintains an active interest in birding, land preservation, and habitat restoration.  

She is currently tattooing in Rosendale, New York. For appointments and inquiries, contact her at shawneemillertattoo@gmail.com or click the BOOK link above.

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