CAMP COURTNEY, Japan --
Since the first cave man painted a stick figure on the wall, humans have used art as a means to express themselves.
Many people use art to leave their mark on this world, and one Marine is doing just that.
Sgt. Shelly Janecke, the III Marine Expeditionary Force G-4 Materials Readiness Branch ammunition noncommissioned officer in charge, is a self-made artist. She shows her passion of art through drawing, painting and designing tattoos.
Janecke discovered her love of art during a sixth grade art project. For the assignment she picked a picture of an animal, cut the image in half and redrew the other half of the animal.
“I chose a squirrel and I did really well,” said Janecke, from Eaton Rapids, Michigan. “Then I said, ‘I really like this. I think I’m going to keep going.’ So, I just kept drawing.”
In high school, she found less conventional ways to practice her passion, according to Janecke.
“I was friends with the family who owned a tattoo shop, so I would just go there and hang out,” said Janecke. “When I was really young, I realized this was something I really like to do. I just took it as far as I could and learned to try designing tattoos. That’s when it really caught my attention and it’s been my passion ever since.”
Janecke is currently painting the logo for Headquarters and Service Company, III MEF.
“Originally, headquarters was III MEF and III Marine Headquarters Group was service company, but they combined recently, so I re-did the logo,” said Janecke.
Her experience in drawing her fellow Marines’ tattoos helped give her the foundation to create the new logo, according to Janecke.
“Tattoos and tattoo style artwork are a lot of the things that I do,” said Janecke. “I just wanted to incorporate that into this design. The dragon looks tougher. It’s not as animated and flat as the original design. This one has more life. The shisas are holding the Okinawa prefectural symbols. The one on the left is holding the symbol from the Ryukyu kingdom and the other is the symbol of modern day Okinawa.”
She has been working on the logo for months. She works on it as often as possible, she said.
“It’s nice. I get to take a break from the office to come down here,” said Janecke. “I get to spend more one-on-one time with the Marines in the company office.”
She said she is getting good responses from her fellow Marines.
“A staff sergeant from the III MEF Band talked about wanting me to redesign their logo,” said Janecke.
Janecke said she plans to make art more than a passion and hobby. She wants it to become her profession.
“One day I would like to become a tattoo artist,” said Janecke. “It’ll take 2 years of apprenticeship in most places to get a license, so I’ll have to do that after the Marine Corps. But, I do continue to draw, paint and design tattoos for other people.”