Shygaev won an art degree at the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts. He began his career as an artist during difficult times of the historical transformations of society at the end of 1980s.
In the 1990s, he tried to find his way in the art world in the context of the creative freedoms then set loose and the resulting rise of national consciousness in the independent Republic of Kyrgyzstan.
The young artist was seeking ways and ideas that would serve as an alternative to the art of the past. His main source of inspiration was the heritage and traditions of his own national culture. Diving into sub-conscious memories of his ancestors, he went on to discover truly inspiring existential pillars.