Special Projects

“The Artist’s Experience” exhibition / The Society of Illustrators

Shawn co-curated of the “The Artist Experience: From Brotherman to Batman” exhibition at The Society of Illustrators in New York City. Created with culture journalist and author Karama Horne, this historic exhibit showcased top African American artists of the comic book industry and shared insight into their unique creative processes.





Lucas Museum of Narrative Art / Summer Studio

The George Lucas Foundation consulted with Shawn to develop the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art Summer Studio. Co-hosted by the Boys and Girls Club in South Central Los Angeles, Shawn worked with a team of artists and educators to provide an intensive two week workshop culminating with each student creating their own mini comic book.

“And then, Lucas told me, he realized something that would ultimately make all the difference. When the Chicago plan fell apart, Hobson issued a public statement expressing particular regret that the city’s “young black and brown children will be denied the chance to benefit from what this museum will offer.” Lucas was increasingly coming to think of the museum as an educational institution that would make art more accessible to children who grew up with little exposure to it…This summer, he began an educational program for teenagers called Lucas Museum Summer Studio, and invited one of the nation’s most prominent comic artists, Shawn Martinbrough, to headline the student workshop.” -Vanity Fair.




Mike Tyson: The Knockout / ABC News

Working with Oscar Winning screenwriter, Executive Producer / Director Geoffrey Fletcher and ABC News, Shawn created storyboards and illustrations for “Mike Tyson: The Knockout”. The four hour documentary features animated recreations of Tyson’s life and is available on ABC and Hulu.




Blood Brothers Documentary / Netflix

Shawn created storyboards and art for animated sequences featured in the NAACP Image Award nominated, Netflix documentary, “Blood Brothers”. With animator Jason Scott Jones, Shawn collaborated with director Marcus A. Clark and producer Jason Perez to tell the extraordinary and little-known story of the friendship between two icons Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X.

“Blood Brothers” is produced by the creator of Black-ish, Kenya Barris and adapts the book authored by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith.




VANITY FAIR / The Great Fire Issue

Shawn is a featured contributor in Vanity Fair’s “The Great Fire” September issue.

Guest edited by renowned journalist and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, this special edition explores art, activism, and power in 21st-century America.




The Marvel Black Panther : Wakanda Atlas

With the release of Marvel Studios “Black Panther : Wakanda Forever”, Marvel interviews writer Evan Narcisse on the new definitive guide, “The Marvel Black Panther Wakanda Atlas” published by DK Books / Penguin Random House and collaborating with Shawn to create original Wakandan concept art.



XOCO 325 West Broadway

Real estate investment and development firm DDG, has designed and developed some of the most modern,  thinking properties in New York and San Francisco.

DDG commissioned Shawn to develop the marketing campaign and graphic novel exclusively for their state of the art, luxury condominium, 325 West Broadway.


“Echoing the transformation of Soho from industrial backbone of Manhattan to world-renowned residential and retail neighborhood, the project features expansive and highly detailed residences on the former site of a chocolate factory.”

325 West Broadway is a ground-up residential building over ground floor retail. Its cast-aluminum façade is a modern reinterpretation of the district’s historic cast-iron loft buildings. –DDG



Journey to Planet X

Shawn’s storyboards were featured in the acclaimed documentary film, “Journey to Planet X” directed by Myles Kane and Josh Koury. Shawn also has a cameo in the film.

“Journey to Planet X” premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.

Eric Swain and Troy Bernier are scientists by day and amateur filmmakers by night. Over the years these two friends have turned out many of their own amateur, sci-fi inspired movies. Journey to Planet X follows the filming of Planet X, the duo’s most ambitious endeavor to date, and sheds light on their unique brand of “movie magic.”



“One of the Best Indie Movies of 2012 So Far, According to Criticwire”

“Hilarious and moving, JOURNEY TO PLANET X is a love song to passion and hard work and beating the odds. Marvelous.”
Kent Jones, The Maddow Blog

“JOURNEY TO PLANET X is a love letter to friendship and a testament to the power the movies hold over our collective imaginations.”
Matt Singer, Sundance channel/Sunfiltered






Storyboards for the project. (click to enlarge)



The Howard Theatre / Washington, D.C.

Built in 1910 and regarded as “the largest colored theatre in the world” the Howard Theatre provided a venue for rising stars and various superstars from Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles to Dizzy Gillespie and Stevie Wonder.

Thirty-two years after its closing, The Howard Theatre reopened with state-of-the-art architecture, enhanced audio-visual systems and lighting, a full-scale restaurant and bar, and stylish accommodations for public and private events.


In 2006, Shawn co-produced a trailer for the Howard Theatre Restoration Project in Washington, D.C.

From developing the concept and creating storyboards, to shooting on location and post-production, Shawn directed and co-produced the trailer which served as a primary fundraising tool for The Howard Theatre’s grand reopening in 2012.

View the commercial / trailer below.

Behind the Scenes photos from the shoot