Life in Living Color–Meet Francis, Herald of the Digital Renaissance

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For those who haven’t visited WANA International, the video above is Francis’s debut film. I believe his story might sound familiar. Francis is our WANA mascot, and embodies what we believe at WANA. Too many artists are trying to be something they aren’t, largely because they don’t have a system of support. They believe they need to be “practical”, that following their hearts and pursuing their passions are “foolish hobbies.”

The world need art. The world needs you.

I remember the day I met Francis, he came to me looking like this:

Francis has come a long way, and so can you!

We at WANA look forward to helping you live life in full color. Join us for the launch party at #WANAParty on Twitter. We will be celebrating a new age for artists starting at 2 p.m. CST. We will be having fun, chatting, networking and also giving away cool gifts and prizes.

Make sure you take time to join us at the new social media site for creatives. WANATribe is the artist salon of the Digital Age. Writers, dancers, actors, painters, filmmakers, all creatives all the time. No matter where you turn on WANATribe you will find friends who understand you because they are creatives, too.  Here is the invitation.

WANA is more than training, we’re family. Creativity and imagination needs to be nurtured. Artists need input, tough love and accountability. It is too easy to spend our lives miserable, trying to stuff a square peg in a round hole. Well, no more. WANA offers the professional training and WANATribe offers the network of support.

With WANA success is now up to the individual artist, because…We Are Not Alone.

WANA International—Connecting the Hearts

Just so you guys know, Natalie Markey is doing an interview with Francis on her blog today. Here is a peek:

Natalie: When did you first know you wanted to be an artist?

Francis: I was born in a chicken coop and raised by a family of Easter Eggers. My mother, being, well, a big chicken, never encouraged me to pursue much beyond the daily pecking out a living. I always knew I was different. I didn’t look like my sisters and brothers and they made fun of my different colors, because I wasn’t like them. But no matter how I tried to fit in, it never worked. That was part of how I started losing my feathers.

Seriously embarrassing.

Bird-pattern-butt-baldness is never sexy.

I always loved to paint. I think it was because Easter was my favorite time. All the Pez egg dye, the glitter, the pizzazz. I didn’t know why we didn’t decorate the eggs all year long.

I was in the minority.

Natalie: Tell us about losing your job. Did your love for art help you cope?

Francis: No matter what I tried I could NOT learn Excel. I actually had a few feathers when I took the position. The spreadsheets and Power Point presentations got the last few. Then typing…all hunt-and-peck.

I was terrified when I got fired. What was I going to tell my mom back at the henhouse? How was I going to scratch out a living? I was scared, but in a way, I felt liberated. That place had clipped my wings a long time ago, yet I was too numb to feel it.

Actually, my art didn’t help me cope at all. It was my calling all along, but I was too busy fitting in to see it.

See the rest of Francis’ interview here.


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  1. Love it!

  2. Really creative video. I especially love “Connecting the Hearts” that fades to “Arts” Wonderful venue for meeting creative people. Thank you for putting this altogether.

  3. This is incredible. I never knew such a resource existed! Thank you.

    • lynnkelleyauthor on June 8, 2012 at 12:57 pm
    • Reply

    Such a darling video. I liked it as much the second time. Cute and clever, especially after your explanation of what the design on the peacock’s feathers symbolizes to you and now to WANA.

  4. Love it! Francis is a star!!

  5. Okay, well I didn’t expect “the cute video” to give me chills. I love hanging out in my new favorite place…

  6. I adore that video! So excited about WANA International. I’ll be at the party!

  7. Applause! Yay, Francis!
    Adding this to ‘favorite KL posts’ file on desktop.

  8. Francis and I have quite a bit in common (feather or in my case hair loss being just one of them, lol). What a great mascot and such an imaginative way to introduce him. WANA rocks!

  9. I heart Francis.

    1. Isn’t he awesome. My have scene is the one behind his desk. Makes me think of back when I was in corporate sales :P.

  10. He’s just too cute.

    I wish I hadn’t missed the party, but hubby and I drove back from the lake today after spending the week getting away from everything else just so that we could write. I missed the party, but it was worth it.

  11. That video is just amazing! So simply made, but it speaks volumes to who you and the WANA tribe are. I’m in awe. And Francis is super cute too; helps to have a hunky peacock as your mascot. All the best to WANA Int’l and its launch!

  12. The video is adorable 🙂 I love WANA’s mascot, especially his innocent eyes and the fact that he wears a tie! He just needs a wax job on his butt, heh 🙂

    The party was so much fun. The mingling, exchanging ideas, meeting new friends, the jokes, the music. I’m looking forward to building the lasting business relationships and friendships.

  13. I love Francis, he’s so cute! It’s a brilliant animation.

    • Yvette Carol on June 9, 2012 at 8:18 pm
    • Reply

    Hi Kristen I’m not exactly clear on what to do with WANA International. I went there and clicked on something, to join I thought. But why is it separate to WANAtribe? Do I have to go to the other site and set up a profile there as well? Or is it just the education side, lessons offered, that sort of thing?
    Sorry to be so thick!
    Yvette Carol

    1. WANA International is for training; all kinds of classes for the whole writer–craft, business, technology, social media, etc. But instead of you learning on your own and then going off to sink or swim alone, we built a community to support you. If you take classes at WANA Interntaional, great. You will be able to make friends with classmates and work together for better, longer-lasting results. But if you don’t take classes at WANA International (yet), you still get the benefit of a supportive community of friends. I think Ellie Soderstrom has had my favorite description. WANATribe is an on-line village of artists.

  14. Love this video! Spoke directly to me – grabbed my heart, so to speak. Thank you for setting this up! I’ll be visiting often & taking advantage of the beautiful community you’ve created.

  15. Francis is my hero(ine)!

    • Joy Held's Writer Wellness Blog on June 11, 2012 at 1:35 pm
    • Reply

    Reblogged this on Joy Held's Writer Wellness and commented:
    This is a revolution you should consider!

  16. Hi Kristen, love your blog and love this post! I’m excited about Wanatribe and have been trying to join since Saturday but it says unable to connect. I’ve used your link and also tried from google with no luck. Help! I would love to join the community. 🙂 Thanks!

    1. Very strange. See if this works

      1. Thanks Kristen but I’m still getting the same error. Is it just me? My IT genius hubby has had a look at it. Tried different browsers but still no luck. Not sure what to try next.

          • Shawn on June 14, 2012 at 6:08 pm
          • Reply

          If you have A pc, u might try updating your java. If that doesn’t work, leave a reply. I’d like to troubleshoot this to know what’s going on with the site. Thanks!

          1. Hi Shawn, I’ve tried updating Java but I’m still getting the same error. Tried Firefox and GoogleChrome and turned off my firewall but still can’t get onto wannatribe 🙁 Any help you can give me would be appriciated. Thanks!

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