Let me start by saying, the past year was WILD. I am so happy to have made so many connections with all of you wonderful humans all over the world. What a trip! But I think you will join me in saying, 'see ya later, 2023!' On to bigger and better things, am I right?
Last year took my business is a totally unexpected direction in the best possible way. *Flashback to 12 year old me, drawing magical creatures all over my notebooks and on the walls of my bedroom (sorry for that, Mom and Dad).* That weird kid had NO IDEA where she'd be in 20 years; literally making magical creatures for a living.
The sculpture that started it all was my 'Sunbathing Fae' who I sculpted for fun (obviously) almost a full year before ever showing her to anyone. She sat in the drawer of my jeweler's bench month after month, and one day I thought, 'what the hell, let's see what people think of her.' Well HOT DAMN, you guys did not disappoint. Talk about a life affirming moment... the thing that brings me the most joy, that I've spent most of my life doing in secret, is actually awesome and people love it. *head explodes*
Xanne Fran Studios turns nine this month. NINE! And if you've been with me for a while you know that I was strictly a sterling silver jewelry maker for at least 7 of those 9 years, despite having a constant nagging urge to make bronze sculptures.. and draw.. and write.. and do all the things. Maybe when I named my business Xanne Fran STUDIOS all those years ago, deep down I knew I wouldn't just be making jewelry long term. All the other facets of who I am as an artist, had to eventually resurface and it is time! (Read in your best Rafiki voice).
Now, the year of the Dragon is upon us, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't think the stars are going to align for me this year. I'm planning to kick off the year with none other than, you guessed it, a dragon sculpture! I've been planning a dragon sculpt for several months, so it's going to be a good one. Dare I say, it might even be two or three times the size of my recent mini bronze pieces?!
In addition to a dope ass dragon (maybe two), I have plans to collaborate with other artists to create pieces guaranteed to teleport you to another world entirely. And if you're thinking, 'but wait.. I love the jewelry! What about the jewelry!?' Don't fret, I am always dreaming up funky new wearable art and have no plans to discontinue that element of XFS. If you were a fan of my collaboration with Laurie Conley last Halloween, I expect to have a couple more jewelry collabs happening too!
For now, I just want to say, thank you for being with me in this ever-changing world. I hope you go forth and do the things that bring you joy. Even if your dream is challenging, know that not trying is not an option in life. Anything worth doing is going to be difficult but you owe it to yourself, and your nerdy past-self, to do the damn thing. The people that make the biggest impact on the world are the ones who aren't afraid to fail, or look silly, or mess up. And for the record, messing up is inevitable! It's how we learn and grow and become our best selves.
So if you want to witness a full-on metamorphosis, stick around. I'm going to follow the flow of my creativity, wherever it may take me (and it's probably gonna get weird..). Ultimately, my goal going forward is to do what makes me happy and to bask in the freedom that comes with not giving a flying turd what other people think of it. And I hope that in doing so, I can inspire and support anyone looking to embrace their talents, shoot for the loftiest of goals, and be unapologetically themselves. Creatives are the spice of life in this world, y'all.
One last thing! I will be launching the Xanne Fran Studios YouTube channel in the coming weeks, where I will dive deeper into techniques and behind the scenes stuff! Subjects I'm likely to touch upon: Sculpting tools and material recommendations, tips for self-employed artists, how to gather inspiration from nature, how to make your art come alive (not literally), and other insider info I hope will make you go, "well shit, I never thought of that". It'll be super fun, you won't want to miss it.
Oopsies, I almost forgot- I also make silly t-shirts now. And I'm writing a book that happens to not be silly at all. Stay tuned my lovely, wholesome, delightful friends. Happy New Year!