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Ni hao, world.

Welcome to the Frankk Studio blog -

Always seeking a challenge, I decided to join #MarchMeetTheMaker2022 - encouraging creatives and small businesses to share their stories (on Instagram). Since it has me thinking, I wanted to write a few extended versions. I'm no blogger, but here goes...



Challenge #1: You & your work
Early years

Since a young age, I’ve been fascinated by colours, doodling, paint-by-numbers, pottery - you name it. I enjoyed Art class so much that to me it felt like extra break-time at school. I studied Fine Art amongst other A-Levels, until surrounding sensibilities steered me towards a bachelor's degree in Economics and becoming a management consultant.

Nevertheless, I continued to draw for family and friends. My East-Asian heritage and UK upbringing has afforded me the opportunity to see the East and the West, with a boundless curiosity to explore both cultures. I am Eastern, but Western, and everything in between.

Work & travel

After several years of consulting around UK & Europe, shiny incentives, eighteen locations and my twenty-fifth project in Swindon, I found diminishing excitement about the day-to-day. Something was missing, everything felt grey.


I grabbed the chance to take a sabbatical, with a new sketchbook, travelling solo for 14,000km along the old Silk Road from Istanbul to Xian* to pause and reflect on whether I wanted this career (and likely burnout) for the rest of my life.


Central Asia filled me with inspiration, freedom and awe; it lit a fiery courage to change my path, find my people and my place. After some stellar conversations about life and many contemplative cups of tea, I'm grateful to have found my purpose**. That is, being right here and now, amplifying the narratives of East-Asian cultures.


On the Silk Road - Gansu, China 2018

Lockdown

Like many during Covid-19 lockdowns, I started to look inwards. I dug deeper than ever before into some uncomfortable truths, especially around diversity, inclusion and belonging. At the same time, I became increasingly disappointed in initiatives in these areas that launched and dwindled in corporate environments. Meanwhile, Asian hate crime rose to unprecedented levels in the US and UK; shocked and heart-broken, I could not fathom how many thousands of innocent people just like me, my family and friends (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Cambodian, Malaysian, Filipino...) have been deliberate targets for abuse, injury and fatal homicide. Why? Because they 'look Asian’.


The crimes were clear and severe, yet it remained subdued on the worldwide stage. This highlighted a fundamental systemic problem and a need for greater cultural awareness and understanding. Familiarity is the start. Acceptance will follow.***

Now

Maturing into my third decade around the sun, I’ve grown more comfortable in my own skin. It’s important that every immigrant, whether they are the only one in the class, carriage or community, has the chance to live freely and proudly as anyone else here. Not to be marginalised, stereo-typed, receive aggression or hate; but to feel valued and appreciated as an individual.

So in November 2021, I started Frankk Studio - creating Asian inspired designs to celebrate diversity, explore social impacts and bring together the best of both worlds.


If you've got this far, thank you for listening :)


Fran.





Special mention and thanks to:

* Dragoman for providing an incredible perspective-shifting overland experience, enabling me to make life-long friends along the way.

** My homebodies, including Sophie Luckett (life coach & soul-guru), for their support in gaining clarity of my thoughts and courage to leap into a new unknown.

*** HBR for your profound seeds of thought about diversity and authenticity.

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