We all were kids once. We had larger than life imaginations, stayed outside once the sun came up and only ran back inside to shower or the street lights came on. It’s 2016 and the world is changing…things becoming more dire in certain parts of the world and in our own backyards. In these trying times, we need a little brightness, color, and positive energy and today I’m talking to Xaniel Xan who has all of those in spades.
Thanks for sitting down with me Xaniel. Now, to the average, everyday person…who exactly is Xaniel Xan? – Xaniel Xan is My Artistic Persona, and how I see myself rather than how others may view me. I guess you can call it an Alter ego, but I just call it me being “me.” I love being Xaniel cause I make myself happy with the work I produce. It’s so tight to me because I don’t see myself as Wallace when I make what I create, I see myself as “Xaniel” that talented, witty, art dude after I’m done with a baller ass “40 x 30” inch painting, then I stand there and look at it in amazement, that’s who I feel like when I paint.
What’s the origin story of transitioning to Wallace to Xaniel? What got you started in painting and all things related to it? – Well, “Wallace” Is the animator that I still want to be, the one who still wants his own Cartoon show on any network that’ll fuck with me. Then “Xaniel” is the Painter/Designer/Everything else. Cause initially I wanted to go to school for animation, but the way art schools are setup, the shits so expensive. so I said “fuck it, I can do this by myself.” Xaniel Is the more creative one though. I don’t really like being called “Wallace” by those who only know me on the Internet and shit, you have to call me “Xaniel” cause you don’t know me well enough to call me otherwise, Unless we went to the same high school, or you’re family/friends.
I can relate to having a different name represent something meaningful to you man. What does it mean to spread your brand of creativity into this expansive social media world of ours? – To me, it means realizing you aren’t a piece of shit, and that what you are doing has a purpose, Confidence is key! It starts with you! You should see the new stuff I’m Working on. In my opinion it’s better than Warhol.
Spreading around my brand TTAC (The Anxiety Awe Club) Or just how I like to call it ‘AWE’ doesn’t really mean anything to me I just do it, but I do have a reason for “why” I spread it, to develop more free thinkers. One question I always get asked the most is “what does AWE Mean?” Like, I don’t know? Go look up the word on Google and see for yourself Haha. I just thought those letters looked cool together so I ran with it. No it’s not an acronym, Although the actual meaning of the word kinda ties into what my idea was initially for the brand, But I never planned it to work out that way I swear, it just did haha. It really can mean whatever YOU want it to mean, as long as it’s positive I’m all up for anything. What does it means to me? An Art Team I soon hope to have, that fucks shit up.
Yeah, Atlanta really is its own entity. How has 2015 treated you as far as creative ventures go? – 2015 was really good! I gotta lot done last year as far as a foundation of what I’m tryna do for this year, as well as for 2017, But this year is just a focus of me implementing my plan for the brand. Last year was a personal approval of to what I wanna do this year, and I feel like I have the “green light” to produce that. Honestly, I’m just super stoked on just making new things! I’m getting more Awe collectibles done, Still gonna be designing clothes/accessories, and my first solo Art Show is in a month, me and the homie @jvizzle cooking up something wicked for you guys in March, So yeah man! 2015 was great, but 2016 is gonna be slightly better. Then 2017 is gonna be FUCKING NUTS, that’s really when shits gonna get gnar, I’m finally gonna get out the country with this art shit.
This is all great news to hear Xan! You seem like the man with the plan. Now, with your AWE Collectibles…what exactly is going through your mind when you plot out what you want to create? Whether it be clothes, accessories, or stickers? – I really just like wearing/making things that I’ve never seen done before, like I made a fanny pack last year and was gonna sell them but I decided not to. But it’s sick cause me, along with some of my idols Mikey Alfred, & Tyler, The Creator are all kinda into styles that no one really wears/produce anymore. Not that we intentionally do it to make trends or whatever, but we just like what we like.
If someone came up to you this very second with a blank check to work with whoever you wanted…who would be your top 5 people to create with? – Ones dead..Keith Haring R.I.P, but Tyler, Mikey Alfred, Chaz Bundick, & Blobsart
That’s an all around great key to success man. So, in the immediate future how do you see Xaniel and the AWE Club coming into the spring and summer of the year? – Creative gems thrown left and right! The website www.theaweclub.com is gonna be back up and running in the spring. More clothes more collectibles, a lot more visuals, as far as student films. And quite a few installation pieces. I want people to have nostalgia with my art. Like “Wow, I remember when he made this!” “He was making this around this time I was…blaśe blah.” I Just want a lot more good vibes being depicted in my work. I want you to feel like you’re 7 years old again, going through life carefree, not worrying about adulthood, bills, rent, debt, or any of that type of stuff.
To wrap up, what advice would you give to young aspiring creatives out there trying to make it? – Don’t listen to anyone but yourself, you know yourself better than anyone else. Oh! And If you have a group a friends who all like doing the same things that’s creative, make a team. (Things work better in groups.) Then as time goes on, see who will be the one who’ll surpasses everyone if the group ever breaks up. *Most of the greats were in groups before they were solo.* Just think about it. And if you’re still in that group or at least have mutual relationship with the people, you know you got a good set of friends in your circle. And ALWAYS remember to have fun! Don’t let society take away your inner child, You need that to fly.