“Why should we use our creative power…? Because there is nothing that makes people so generous, joyful, lively, bold and compassionate, so indifferent to fighting and the accumulation of objects and money.”
Hello! I'm Jani Franck - an artist, social entrepreneur and community educator based in Southampton, England.
I run a community arts cafe and support budding and established artists in their creative journey with workshops, free resources, playbooks, mentoring and eCourses. My methods are designed both to draw out and support creativity, and to encourage you to move to the next stage of your journey as an artist, whatever that may be.
The above quote illustrates perfectly why I felt called to create this site.
My life is full of the things I love to do: making and teaching art, organising community events, running my dream art cafe and hosting art and music workshops.
When I wasn't living creatively, I did jobs I didn't enjoy, lost interest in the things I did enjoy....I shopped too much and ran up debts, got depressed, shopped some more and lost sight of everything I really was. It was the suck. I was stuck there far too long.
My awakening was mysterious and wonderful, as they often are. On a weekend in Glastonbury with my sister, I experienced an encounter with an artist who was living their art completely, out loud and out there being as inspiring as can be.
Over just a few days, my inner wisdom showed me the creative being I was supposed to be. She was colourful, confident, she danced, left a trail of glitter behind her.
I fell in love with her instantly.
From them on, I resolved to live only in a way that would let that inner creative being, who was the real me, out to play in the world.
It was a bumpy old ride from there to here (still is at times!).
Along the way, I learnt a lot about how to live more authentically and out loud - and how to create, actively, the life I really wanted. I've made a ton of mistakes, been led down the garden path and had to unlearn a lot of old habits. It's a process that continues.
I also soon figured out that others could learn from my journey, just as I had learnt from that artist in Glastonbury. For over ten years now, I have guided hundreds of individuals to their Creative Being.
My workshops and courses take you through a process of revealing the creativity that is already there inside you. You will be introduced to your own unique creative wisdom and brilliance, that may have been dormant since you were a small child.
You will meet the wonderful, glittering artist within yourself and draw them out to play.
My teaching methods use a lot of hands-on techniques, exploration, open discussion and sometimes challenges you to deal with excuses and other stuff that holds you back.
The process looks magic, but actually is based on proven strategies I've learnt through training as an adult educator and working in the field of arts and education since 2005. I'm not big into the woo-woo: I love tried and tested, down to earth methods of transforming people's way of being with themselves.
It's a pretty splendid job, I have to tell you.
If you want to introduce more creativity into your life - perhaps after a period of focusing on other stuff, or to take your existing art practice to a new level - then you will find many tools to help you with this here.
This site is filled with all sorts of goodies to support you - from telling the story of how I turned my passion into my livelihood, to dealing with critics, plus lots of free video tutorials on all sorts of common issues for artists.
I believe that some of what I've learnt can be useful to you.
You can read my Manifesto here which explains what I believe about art, artists and the world.
I've participated in The Big Draw, taught portraiture to medical students to make them more well-rounded doctors, enabled people with learning disabilities to get creative and re-introduced hundreds of people to drawing who hadn't done art since school!
As one of the founders and directors of The Art House Southampton, I have realised a lifelong dream of creating a community of artists, poets, writers, musicians and storytellers all in one place, which makes me pretty darn happy as you can see.
BA (Hons) in Art, Design & Media, University of Portsmouth
PGCE (Post compulsory education & training), University of Greenwich
Recent artwork, teaching, community projects & festival site art:-
- Run participatory art events for The Big Draw in collaboration with Southampton City Art Gallery since 2006 (annual event)
- Site art at The Big Green Gathering, Southern Lights Circus & Arts Festival, Waveform Festival, Ropewalk Community Garden and smaller private events.
- Life drawing classes at The Art House, Southampton City Art Gallery and the University of Southampton (2006 - present)
- Portraiture course for 'Medical Humanities' at the University of Southampton.
- Creative workshops in art, music and craft with DICE - a drop-in centre for adults with learning disabilities (2007 - 2011)
- Running 'The Djembabes' all-female drumming group (2007 - present).
- Plus lots and lots of land art all over the place *I just can't stop myself*
See some of the lovely feedback from people I have worked with here.
Other stuff I do
Co-founder & Director of The Art House Southampton CIC, a community run arts cafe in Southampton. It's AWESOME
Co-founder of The HubBub, a voluntary organisation set up to promote what's on in Southampton
I play percussion & sing in The Shimmering Bees (a rootsy, folksy world music band with a tribal pulse) and I lead an all-women drumming group, The Djembabes.
Still reading? Well here's the good bit, the reason I'm doing all this instead of, you know, kicking back on a beach somewhere.
My mission in life is fuelled by a strong belief that humans really, really need sort ourselves out. I mean, really.
Huge & scary issues like Climate Change, social injustice, war, population explosion and the impending zombie apocalypse (haven't you heard about that one?) need healthy, fully-realised, AUTHENTIC, creatively awesome individuals to deal with them, or we're all totally screwed.
My heartfelt feeling is that we can't just move the deckchairs around the sinking ship, or preach at people, we need to address things deeply, change from within.
So, although my focus is art - because that's what I truly shine at - it's not all about getting paint all over you (although that does come into it!).
Still reading? Then I'll give you some personal stuff, ai!
I'm 40, have a partner called Bik who I also work with and I have two rescued exotic companion animals - one talks, the other moves very slowly :)