Staying Chill with Chance Faulkner

Chance Faulkner posing with his iPad.

Chance Faulkner, known as “stay_chxll” on social media, is a multi-disciplinary artist from Garner, North Carolina who is currently based in Florida. He creates digital artwork, shoots photography, and has begun experimenting in music as well. I first became familiar with his work in 2019 when Faulkner shared his “Pink Series” on social media. The Pink Series is a body of work that includes black and white figures on different-shades-of-pink backgrounds. The powerful, twisting forms caught my eye, largely in part to the pop of color behind the black and white figures. The five works shown below come from the series:

Faulkner recites to me the mantra that inspired this series: “There’s still weight in the weightless, no need to wait for the waitless, there’s still fate for the fateless, there’s no taste in the tasteless, if there’s anything to face, face this.” He explains this mantra at length, relating the first phrase to the work above to the far left. Faulkner goes on to explain the importance of including love, compassion, and sensitivity in his art. “I’m a very sensitive person,” he explains, “very understanding of my emotions. That’s one of my defining traits as an artist, being an open book for the world.”

Faulkner then gave me some insight into what his life has been like the past couple of years. After having a great personal and artistic year in most of 2019, he fell into psychosis toward the year’s end. ‘It was a wild experience,” Faulkner tells me, “I was in and out of the hospital a lot…The same day I got released from the facility in North Carolina, my mom picked me up and we headed straight to Florida. I missed my friends all the time, I couldn’t do much or go out much because my whole perception of reality was off.” He explains that it took most of 2020 to get himself back into a creative zone, but he’s now feeling good about himself and his art again.

 “I always feel like there’s something I should be doing. Right now it’s a balance between school and art, and finding time to get into that [art] zone,” he says. Lately, he’s been doing a lot of drawings of popular characters, a lot from Anime. Faulkner is also exploring a more “painterly” style of digital work. “I try not to undo a lot, I try to just be more careful with my strokes and treat it as if it were a painting because at some point I gotta learn how to paint.” A couple of these more painting-esque works can be seen below.

When it comes to the articulations of drawing or painting these figures, Faulkner says he normally just wings it.  “I don’t study anatomy or anything. I start with a building block that I then work off of.” He’s never been to art school, but he took “every single art class in middle and high school that [he] could possibly take.” Right now, Faulkner is in school to learn Spanish, but hopes to go to art school one day to learn the technicalities of painting. He has big hopes and aspirations for the future, stating that whenever he makes art, he always has a goal in mind of having it in a museum. “That’s the standard that I hold myself and my art to,” he explains. “If this is gonna be in a museum or an art show, what is gonna make it worthy of that?”

The same holds true when he shoots photography, a craft that he didn’t get into until quite recently, despite having parents who were both into it. Faulkner explains that it all started one day in the beginning of 2019, he felt like taking some portraits of a friend and so he just took a shot at it. Today, he loves his photography work “equally as much” as his digital artwork.

As you can see, Faulkner is talented in many artistic mediums. The latest he’s trying his hand at? Music. “I have a ton of songs in the vault. I’ve been focusing on improving my writing and playing with new styles and sounds,” he says. “I’m not sure when they’ll release, but I’m very excited about them.”

There’s really no boundaries that Faulkner is holding himself to – he’s allowing himself to explore any creative project that he feels is right in his heart.“The only person who can hold you accountable to challenge yourself as an artist is yourself,” Faulkner says. “You have to just have it within you to push yourself and push your limits and be critical of your own work.” When asked what advice he has for new artists, he says to “keep making art — just keep making art.” Cheers to that.


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