Meet Shanna Israel, the founder of Art Fun Parties, a company that connects specially curated art and entertainment experiences to any public or private event. Events range from birthdays, charity events, weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs to many others – and they include one-of-a-kind, online encounters with top talent across the world!
Shanna recognized how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the country and led to anxiety and fear. She had strong feelings that people should still find ways to connect during these times – while, of course, practicing safety.
Learn more in our interview with Shanna Israel below!
Our Interview with Shanna Israel, Founder of Art Fun Parties
How did you get started with Art Fun Parties (AFP)
I’ve worked with some of the biggest brands and names in the world, including Madonna, Steven Tyler, People Magazine, Target, and Nike. In addition to my high-profile clients, some of my most exciting and rewarding projects have been unique art creations with my niece and nephew. I’ve created one-of-a-kind memorable, custom party art experiences in homes and in school classrooms for them. Parents started to ask me to create parties for their kids, and Art Fun Parties grew from there.
What should people know about AFP? And why are you passionate about it?
Art Fun Parties is a one-of-a-kind platform that grew from a very challenging place. The original business model was made for in-person events and was scheduled to launch right when COVID-19 hit. I had to really think outside of the box to figure out how to survive and fit within this “new normal.”
I thrive off challenge and creativity, so that combination led me to make something greater than I initially planned for. I heard various people say true innovation can come from times like these. That’s easier said than done. I truly feel like Art Fun Parties falls within that statement.
I’m grateful to be working with top talent that is helping to excel the concept when human connection and fresh ideas are needed most. I’m passionate about adding joy to people’s lives – I feel we need to celebrate life when and where can even with limitations.
What’s been your biggest challenge with launching AFP? How have you tackled it?
Everything went digital due to the pandemic. I love digital arts, but that was not in my wheelhouse, and navigating that route was tough.
There were new rules, boundaries, skill sets, etc. I knew what I wanted to see visually, but it’s much harder to execute when you get into the research and development phase. It’s the common phrase of hard work and commitment that got me to the other side.
I’m very proud of the outcome I’ve created with various people!
What has been your favorite experience that AFP has created so far? Why?
Being limitless with creativity in a new space. Coming up with new content that hasn’t been done before is my favorite part of this experience. “The Sports Dream” Experience on ART FUN PARTIES is such an exciting offering, and I love working with one of sports most iconic photographers Andy Bernstein.
Since people can’t go see a game in person right now, we decided to bring the court and basketball experience to them. People can get their picture taken by Andy via a virtual photoshoot, and then their pictures are transformed into a virtual basketball reality. It’s a mixture of human connection + fantasy + virtual reality that you really can’t get anywhere else right now. It’s such a refreshing breath of excitement for the end-user and for us.
What does your day-to-day look like – and what you love most about what you do?
I wake up with ideas, and I go to sleep with ideas. The hard part is narrowing down those ideas. I love to work, and the majority of my day looks like anybody running a business and personal life.
The main difference right now is most of it is done from home, which has its pros and cons. However, I try to always look at the pros. I love what I do, and I’m lucky to have the freedom to work and love the work that I do.
What does success mean to you?
It’s a personal level of achievement and contentment. I don’t measure or compare “success” to anybody else’s version, as it’s an independent journey. I focus on my personal and professional goals and know when I’ve reached the levels I’ve set out to reach.
How do you practice self-care?
I focus on myself first. I can only contribute to this world if I’m healthy mentally and physically.
I always say self-care is like learning a new language. It’s something you have to practice daily to really become fluent. I do positive affirmations, brain exercises, PT, and try to keep my immune system strong and eat healthy food. Health and wellness is a big part of my life.
Do you have a woman in your life past or present that you admire or look up to? How has she impacted your life?
My grandmother. She was a Holocaust survivor who lived through pure horror. I can’t even begin to comprehend how one could continue life after what she experienced. She was a petite woman, but mighty in many ways. I always think of her and how she overcame adversity day by day. I channel her strength, especially in my very tough moments.
If you could go back and give yourself three pieces of advice when you first started your career– what would you tell yourself?
Don’t focus on what other people are doing or saying – stay true to your truth and vision. Enjoy the journey, as that is the real excitement – especially the beginning when an idea transforms into a reality. Stay in your lane, and it will work out.
What’s next for you and Art Fun Parties?
More innovative experiences within new genres like fashion, culinary arts, etc. I’m excited to get more talent involved and create a new space for everyone wanting to celebrate with art and fun!