We had the good fortune of connecting with Xena Proctor and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Xena, why did you pursue a creative career?
I chose an artistic career because I’ve always admired everything about art. As an artist, I view and interpret the world differently than others. Art has always been my form of expression and a way to share stories. Hence my brand name, Xpressions. Through my art, I’m able to share the many experiences and challenges of my life, as well as others. Aside from the ability to share stories, art is a movement. I’m able to motivate and encourage others. I’m able to shed light in dark places and be an example to others that anything can be done. My art and career reflects challenges but also reflects victory, restoration, and determination.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I believe what sets me apart from others is my name, Xena. LOL, there’s a lot of pressure on me to live out the ‘Warrior Princess’ persona. On a serious note, what sets me apart is my resilience, wisdom, humility, and compassion towards and for others. No matter the challenges I’ve had to endure, I’ve always known that there was something greater in the end. What was meant to break me, always fueled me with more passion and more strength. A true warrior indeed, standing tall amongst giants.

Therefore, I wanted my experiences, as well as others, to reflect in my artwork. I focus on paintings, portrait drawings, sculptures, body art, and more. My pieces are authentic, eclectic, and daring. Aside from my individual art pieces, I am active in my community instructing paint parties, attending events, and networking with others.

I started my business in 2016 and legalized it in 2019. There have been so many challenges since then and even now. Oftentimes, I have wanted to quit because of the hardships of life and people not understanding the vision. Most of my challenges have come from me being from a small town, Beaumont, MS. There aren’t many opportunities and not that much support. Therefore, I have to work twice as hard. However, I stayed consistent no matter what things may have looked like and with the lack of support. Now, most people recognize me and my brand. There is still a long way to go. However, I’m excited and proud of the growth as an artist and as a woman. I’m also excited to be hosting my very first Artist Showcase event on November 13, in Hattiesburg, MS, at the Ardor Venue from 5-9pm.

I’ve had many opportunities to teach, bless, and inspire others. I’ve taken away life lessons of humility and learned that not everyone will understand. The people you are meant to reach, you will reach and closed doors only mean that God has better doors opened specifically for you. When people hear about Xpressions Artwork & Makeup, I want them to envision and embody victory. I want them to feel comfortable, loved, and encouraged. I want to uplift and provide an experience of a lifetime to people who have gone through life changing situations.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I had a friend come into town, I would take them to New Orleans, LA. For the week I would put together an itinerary that consists of: art, food, music, nature, and more sightseeing.

Monday, I would start the week off with something chill, like visiting the New Orleans Museum of Art and food at Morrow’s.

Tuesday, I would take them to visit the Botanical Garden, to see and feel the beauty of nature, followed by food and drinks at Monkey Board.

Wednesday, we would visit French Quarter, walk around, shop, and eat at Café Du Monde and get some of the best beignets.

Thursday, we would take a jazz cruise on a steamboat to see the beautiful water, and grab a bite to eat at Reginelli’s Pizzeria.

Friday, we would go on a biking tour, and eat at Cheesecake Factory.

Saturday, we would walk the streets of Bourbon, followed by food at Oceana Grill.

Sunday, we would finish the week with more sightseeing, and enjoy our last meal at Cajun Seafood.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are many people who have helped mold me into the artist and woman I am today. First, I would like to give all the glory to God for my purpose, passion, talent, and how far I have come and will go. None of this would be possible without the love, direction, and strength of The Most High.

My art journey began when I was about 10 years old. I would always see paintings that my dad created and it inspired me to start creating. I started taking my talent and passion more seriously when I arrived at high school. While there, I was able to experience two of the most amazing art teachers, Mrs. Kelly Gutterman-Tortorich and the late, legendary Mr. John Watts. They were role models for me and made me realize my love for art and for others. Through them, I was afforded the opportunity to travel to Italy. In Italy, I was able to explore a different world of art, culture, and learn many new things, which put a lot into perspective for me.

Currently, I am attending the University of Southern Mississippi located in Hattiesburg, MS. I am working hard to obtain my degree in Art B.A. studies along with a minor in Business Management. On this journey, I have met amazing people from different walks of life, as well as friends turned family, clients, and my business consultant, Mavis Creagh. Collaborating with Ms. Mavis has honestly been refreshing and eye opening. She has stretched me in ways that I didn’t know was capable and believed in me when oftentimes I didn’t believe in myself.

In closing, this is only part of the many different people and opportunities I will experience.

Website: www.xenaproctor.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/xena_shavay/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/XenaShaVay_

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/xena.proctor

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm8zgEbvK5T_4qjsSVKOgng

Image Credits
Angelina Piper – Piper Photography Asia Bolton – Bright Ideas Studio

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.