April 2022

Xhanthi is a mixed media artist from Australia who currently lives in the USA. She creates small character sculptures and art toys. Although you may not recognize her name, if you are into Marvel Comics then you may have seen some of her work. This is because Xhanthi used to work in a digital studio as a colorist for major comic book publishers such as Marvel. Interestingly, she has no formal art training. “I was at college doing creative writing with a view to moving into publishing and editing,” she said. However, she was always drawn to creative endeavors for enjoyment. Her Photoshop, Illustrator, and Zbrush skills are self taught. “I did not sit around strategizing how to become an artist,” she said. Xhanthi is open minded and not afraid of trying something new. She says that, “not wanting to work in an office is probably responsible for quite a lot!” When the opportunity arose to work on coloring Wolverine’s hair, she took it. “The scary part is when I’ve been asked to do something I don’t think I have the skill for, and saying yes anyway. “ She believes problem solving is the most important skill to have. “You’re going to encounter a lot of problems,” she said. For example, when working in comics, Xhanthi needed reference art for lighting. “I got frustrated and decided that I needed a wooden art model or, even better, an action figure that I could quickly pose.” Her Googling led her to Ball Jointed Dolls, and things spiraled from there. It turns out there is an avid community of adult collectors and customizers who create unique characters. Drawn to the quirky and unusual, Xhanthi started hand painting faces for these collectible dolls in her spare time. She posted her work online. That’s when requests for commissions started. She also began to get requests for shows. “My first gallery show was definitely a highlight, it’s a real honor to get to show at an established gallery amongst so many other talented artists.” One opportunity led to another, and eventually she was not only doing something that she loved, but she was able to monetize it. Her continued creative experimentation led to her current sculpting work and being self-employed. She now designs pieces using 3D software, then prints master copies with clay before molding and casting them in polyurethane resin. “Eventually the threads led me here.” The most enjoyable things about working for herself are being able to set her own schedule and being able to choose the projects she wants to work on. Autonomy and self direction is very fulfilling for Xhanthi. But every job has its mundane moments. “I wear a lot of different hats running my own business and that can be challenging. “ “The art really only takes up a fraction of the time. The rest of the time it’s boring stuff like marketing, taxes, forms, and website management.” Her advice for others turning their passion into a career? “If you have a passion you want to pursue, don’t give up when you hit the first hurdle. Don’t be discouraged by failures; if you’re not failing then you’re not growing. Success is less about what you know, and more about persistence and determination, because the knowledge will come with time and persistence. And don’t be afraid to ask for help and leverage every favor! “ Want to connect and see more? For previews of her latest work or video of Xhanthi creating her work, go to: www.xhanthi.com @xhanthi on Instagram https://youtube.com/user/xhanthi Left: some examples of Xhanthi’s work 3D Artist: XHANTHI “If you have a passion you want to pursue, don’t give up when you hit the first hurdle.” Xhanthi with some of her earlier work