Shifting gears into making art, though, isn’t always easy. “It takes me a while to just sit down and actually do it, to get back into the rhythm,” she says. “It’s like going to the gym. Nobody wants to do it, and then every time you go, you think, ‘I feel amazing, I should be doing that every day.’ But every day it still takes a little bit of effort to go, even though you know you’re going to feel good.”
This fall, as she’s shooting for Arrested Development in L.A., she’s making her art a priority. “I signed a lease on a studio to just be able to work while I’m actually here, to focus on it,” she explains, noting that the show has her occupied on and off, a couple days per week. “I need to have a routine, of going to a place every day, so I can try to make as much work as possible, before I have to leave town again.”
During this time, she hopes to produce work for a potential future exhibition. Over the years, she’s shown her work at a handful of galleries, like Known Gallery and Dilettante Gallery in L.A. Last year she worked with Dilettante to publish a book of her drawings, and had a book release party at L.A. restaurant Kitchen Mouse. While admitting that she’s “just not very organized,” Shawkat does have ambitions to pursue her art practice in earnest; she’s particularly fond of the potential for a proper solo exhibition at a New York gallery.