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Journals of a Digital Imaging Pioneer: Star Trek II

Sonya Shannon at Omnibus, from Toronto Star

Sonya Shannon and colleague working on special visual effects for "Star Trek II: The Search for Spock," Toronto, 1984.

I have my mother to thank for suggesting I keep a journal. When I was about twelve, she encouraged me to write down my thoughts so that one day in the future, I could look back over where I had been, who I was, and what was important at the time. I had no idea then that I would end up on the forefront of graphics technology, among the first artists to pioneer the world of computer generated imagery with our own hands. Or that, when I look back now—almost forty years later—at that mess of words, sketches, scribblings, I will find the story of those early days, the birth of new art forms on the wild digital frontier.

I was lucky enough to witness the birth of new art forms on the wild digital frontier.

This site is intended to share the records I kept and still keep today. It is the log of a digital imaging pioneer who struggles daily, amazed at the technological developments of our time, their effects on artists, their consequences on society.

In looking over my old notes, I feel I am revisiting a country that was as foreign then as it is now, a realm of an expanding global mind, each screen one facet of a multiple-eye that simultaneously watches and displays us to ourselves, each self one small cell of the giant organism of humanity.

I am more than grateful to all my teachers and students, my family and friends who supported, encouraged, and ultimately joined me in the digital revolution.

Journals of Sonya Shannon

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Sonya Shannon September 5, 2010, 4:59 am

    I am humbled and grateful to have played a part not only in the digital revolution, but also in encouraging younger artists like you to be a vibrant participant in your own time and moment in history. One may not even realize at the time what one’s part is…the important thing is to keep going and have faith that one’s own contributions are meaningful and part of the great whole of life.

  • Sarah September 4, 2010, 11:36 pm

    Sonya, this site is a well of inspiration, a window into the soul of a dedicated pioneer, a woman of immeasurable talent. As an artist and woman trying to find my way and place in this world, I take comfort in the wisdom of this article. The expanding global mind is a great thing to participate in, even if the part feels small.

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