Svetlana Shamaeva was born on December 22, 1955, in Arzamatovo village of Mishkinsky district of Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. While studying at a medical college, she also got into an art school which she attended in the evenings—so deeply impressed was she by Russian artists' works during a guided tour of the Nesterov Museum. From 1975 to 1980, she worked with the Bashkir artistic collective Agidel, where she painted on wood and created miniature lacquer paintings. In 1988, Shamaeva graduated from the Art and Pedagogy department of the Ufa Art College. From 1980 to 2000, she lived in Mishkino village, where she organized a fine arts class at a children’s school. In 1998, she started teaching fine arts at a Sunday school for Mari—a Finno-Ugric people indigenous to several regions of Russia, including Bashkortostan.

In 1991, Shamaeva took part in the International Ethnography Festival of Finno-Ugric People in Helsinki, Finland, with her art show.
Currently lives and works in Ufa.
Shamaeva mainly creates portraits and landscapes, in which she often explores the subject of childhood, working with her own early memories and depicting her home village. Titles of her personal and group exhibitions also often speak to this, for instance, Through the Prism of Time, or Everyone Is from Childhood. Usually, the artist is interested in regular people and routine situations, as well as in folklore, traditional rituals, beliefs, and ways of life.