a boy standing in front of a wall


Words By: Franka Mangano, Ajay Woolery

Images By: Franka Mangano

Profiles is a series by The Creative Kids focused on highlighting members of our TCK Community. Each week we get candid with young artists from all around the world who work in a variety of mediums to learn more about their work and inspirations.

In our latest story we chat with Franka Mangano, a 16y/o visual artist currently based in Canada. With new found time during the pandemic Franka began to dive deeper into her art, creating her stunning pieces from her basement studio. We caught up with Franka to learn more about her beginnings, artistic process and the pieces she’s currently working on.

a yellow and black painting on an easel

WORK BY: Franka Mangano

(TCK) How did you initially begin what you do creatively?

FM: I've been creating my art my entire life. I grew up in a very artistic household, and so have always been encouraged to create. It wasn't until this pandemic, however, that I really began to focus on my art. I had the time to develop my style and explore different artistic techniques and mediums. During this pandemic especially, there were so many things happening that were out of my control, I fell to my art to relieve a lot of emotion.

(TCK)What are the inspirations behind your work?

FM: I don't think there is one specific person or thing I can say that inspires my art, it's constantly changing. There are so many artists that have inspired me in some way to name a few Yayoi Kusama, Basquiat, Takashi Murakami and Keith Haring, but like i said it's always changing.

(TCK)Are there any messages you hope to convey through your art?

FM: I would like my art to act as an escape from our current realities. I like the idea of having pieces that are overwhelming, with layers, and hidden detail everywhere. I wan't whoever's looking at my art to be so distracted by the different aspects of the piece that they temporarily escape their surroundings or reality. I want to allow anyone viewing my art the freedom to interpret it in their own way.

a blue easel with a blue painting on it

WORK BY: Franka Mangano

(TCK)What is your artistic process?

FM: My artistic process varies depending on the piece and the emotions I am experiencing while creating that particular piece. I never have a solid idea of what I want to do or what I want it to look like. I work in steps, and however I'm feeling at that point in time,and the materials I have will influence the outcome of the piece. My process is always changing. The farther I get into my artistic career the more I am learning from other artists, and incorporating that knowledge into my artistic process as well.

(TCK)What are you currently working on?

FM: I am currently working on two new pieces. With school it is difficult to find time to devote to my art, but I try to work on my pieces bit by bit everyday. When creating I always try and experiment with new techniques. I try to find different ways to translate what I'm feeling into my work.

(TCK)Where do you find inspiration?

FM: I am inspired by all of my surroundings. There are so many aspects that I draw from my life and environment into my work. What I also like to do is look through old sketchbooks of mine to find inspiration. I've experimented a lot, so to look through some of my old art helps remind myself not to get too comfortable with the same approach, and change my perspective.

a painting with red and black graffiti on a easel

WORK BY: Franka Mangano

(TCK)Is there a song you currently have on replay?

FM: I've been listening to Lauryn Hill's MTV Unplugged No.20 album. She is one of my all time favourite artists and this is my go to album. I love her music and especially her lyrics. It allows me to get out of my own way when creating and to just create, really. I think there is so much wisdom in what she has to say and the messages conveyed in her work.

(TCK)Where do you feel most creative? What does that space look like?

FM: I create all of my pieces in my studio in my basement. It's full of canvases, spray paint cans, paint bottles and magazines, but that's why I love it ; it's completely my own space. I think it's really crucial for any artist to have a space where they can be alone to truly get in tune with their own creativity, and freely express themselves.

(TCK)What is some advice you would give to another young creative?

FM: I still have a lot to learn myself, but if there's anything I've realised, it's that you have to be open to continue learning. There is so much to learn from past artists, current artists, and the creatives around us.


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