March’s Featured Artist is Shaun Mulrain, a local artist who makes his living by handcrafting guitars, teaching music lessons, and performing live.
Mulrain is a self-proclaimed “artist at heart” and has been since the age of 3. His mother was a piano teacher, and his grandfather was a Big Band guitarist and guitar repairman. He studied music and sang his way through school, performing in musicals, rock bands, school bands and vocal ensembles. He left Brantford at 19 to “chase the musical dream,” and studied Vocal Jazz Performance at Humber College.
Shaun studied lutherie/luthiery – the craft of making stringed instruments – under his grandfather and other veteran Luthiers, and has been building acoustic, electric and bass guitars for over 18 years. He returned to Brantford at 33 to make his musical dream a reality; in 2015, he opened his own shop in Brantford, where he builds, repairs and customizes instruments for over 500 local and international musicians. He welcomes shop tours, and would love to meet with new clients about customizing your instruments. Shaun also teaches students guitar, drums and percussion music classes, as well as songwriting and vocals.
As a performing artist, Shaun has performed live solo, in bands, by hosting open jams, and through his own new party called Guitaraoke – live karaoke with a musician. He performs (on his own handcrafted guitars!) at local restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries, and offers his services for weddings, private parties, and events.
His goal has always been to bring joy to others through music, while building real friendships with his audiences, customers and students. He is always smiling when he has a guitar in his hand, when he is covered in sawdust (also known by him as “man glitter”), or teaching a guitar lesson. He genuinely loves what he does, and he treats his customers like family. “I love bringing people what they want, and then giving more!” he exclaims.
As a final note, when we asked Shaun who inspires him, he provided such a thoughtful, comprehensive list that it was impossible not to share the entire thing:
- Greatest inspiration: my wife, Aly and our two amazing children, James and Sylvie
- Musical mentors: Trina Mulrain (mom), Pat Bohemier (music teacher), Jeff Buckley, Prince, and Frank Zappa
- Imagination and creativity: Loretta Plomley (grade 3 teacher)
- Mechanics and integrity: Tom Mulrain (dad) and Boyd Stuckless
- Business/learning/grit: Tim Ferris, Napoleon Hill, Robin Sharma, Dale Carnegie, Tom Bilyeu, and Seth Godin
- Guitar building: Jim Camilleri (grandfather), Ervin Somogyi, Fred Huet, Paul Reed Smith, Michihiro Matsuda, and Dan Minton
- His “incredible support team”: Trish and Larry Kings, the Cowans, the Mulrain and Camilleri families, Adam Wilson, Chad Arnstowski, Enterprise Brant, Eustan Matthews, Steve Comeau, and Tammy Chusing
For more information about Mulrain Guitars, check out the company’s website, Facebook page, Instagram, or Twitter.