The Shona Project was built for girls, by girls, and we love having a safe space to share our experiences. This week, we decided to shake things up a bit and bring some boys into the mix, to hear from them about their lives.

Our second lad is Daniel, who is a true old soul who also uses his passion and talent for art as a way to make it through life.  Take it away Daniel…

I’ve always considered myself a secret artist, too afraid to showcase anything I created in fear of opening up. I also adopted this attitude towards my emotions and mental health, preferring to keep my head down in the background out of fear of not being good enough or getting hurt.

Art has always been a visual way to express myself when I was too scared to use words. Lockdown was a tough time for me. Staring at my bedroom ceiling, left alone with my thoughts was a dangerous combination. To me, throwing myself into art is a form of meditation that has kept me going.

I produced so much art over lockdown from paintings, drawings, and photography. I posted most of it on a little art Instagram (@daniel_art345) I made to serve me as a  diary. When I spend my time creating a piece of art I almost form an emotional attachment to it, I feel like it’s a little piece of my head. I placed paintings all around my room when I moved from my home to student accommodation for art college and it makes me feel more at home.

I was excited and nervous at the idea of writing this piece. If I had to write about myself a few years ago I would have falsely portrayed myself as a tough manly man well cable of tackling any problem he faced with no fear. Nowadays I much more confident as my anxious, scaredy-cat self, with my painted nails and girlfriends  jumper that I made her give me because I missed her away in college

Like so many lads my age, I’m terrified of many things at the moment. Starting the first year of college during covid times, not being able to be as social as I want, doing my course mainly online when I’m an old soul who is rubbish with technology. All intimating, much like a blank canvas, fearing any addition to the surface will ruin it but if I can overcome that fear and make art I love, it’s a confidence boost. My relationship with art is a very loving one and I will carry art as a tool to help me through life always.

By Daniel

We want to say a massive thank you to Daniel for sharing his passion and expressing how he is currently feeling during these very strange times. 

If you want to keep up to date with Daniel’s art, you can follow him on Tumblr here or check out his Instagram below.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Danny Slattery (@daniel_art345)

Keep an eye out for more of our Lad’s Takeover Week here at Shona where we get the boys involved in the conversation. If you have a story you would like to share with us, pop us over an email at info@shona.ie

If you would like to support us and the work that we do,  you can donate below ❤

Supported By

Our Pro bono Partners