His mother always knew this was his true calling and he made it happen. Alex Draven is an artist skilled in many facets but his expertise lies in metalsmithing. One day Alex was sitting in his college art history class and attended a lecture on Surrealism and the Exquisite Corpse. It was in that moment that a lightbulb went off. He knew he wanted to start his own jewlery business and realized he could just use Exquisite Corpse. Over the next several years he worked tirelessly to expand his metalsmithing techniques while working in the manufacturing and engineering sector. In 2015, Alex started his art business and shortened the name to the XCB because he figured people would be wary of a company if it had the word corpse in it. Eventually, obsession got the best of Alex and added watchmaking and leather work to the growing skills set. His inspiration for creating watches was actually himself. Alex was never really pleased with the watches in the market and wanted to wear something unique on his wrist. Since he couldn’t find it elsewhere he decided to just create it himself.
When Alex was in school he would create unique pieces of art but he didn’t really feel like they fit in this world. His teacher suggested he make dioramas as an outlet for his art. He was so inspired by this concept and by Surrealism because he could create work that didn’t necessarily fit in this world but rather in his own version of our world. A lot of his inspiration for his jewelry comes from pictures he’s seen or concepts of art that intrigue him. He mentioned how one of his watches is inspired by pulp comics and how his wedding band is inspired by Art Deco. A lot of times he’ll just doodle and the his jewlery designs will just appear in front of him without intentionally creating them. One of his favorite pieces is The Gatsby Watch because of the way it brings out the colors. He explained how he used “a satin powder coat on it, which is like a powdered polyester that it clings on to through static electricity, and then you bake it and it hardens for protective shell.” Hearing about his watchmaking process seemed so complex but so intriguing at the same time. It’s very rare that we wear a watch and think of all the hardwork and creativity that goes into making it.
Even though Alex has created such beautiful pieces and been so successful that’s not to say he didn’t face hardships during his career. He faced people who discouraged him to become an artist because they thought there was no way of becoming successful. They doubted his skills and his passions, regardless of his talent. He persevered through this difficult time in his life and proved everyone wrong. It was so inspiring to hear Alex’s story about how he overcame and prospered through his artistic journey.