Cancer survivor shares a message that sticks

10x10 Gallery Owner Allana Randall sells stickers and other art with motivational and positive messages that benefit cancer research

UW-Madison 2018 graduate Allana Randall was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma while living abroad in Taiwan in 2020. She was there to teach English for a year and a half when she was diagnosed. While the language barrier was a challenge, the doctors and health care system in Taiwan were wonderful, she says. She chose to come home to Madison to be closer to friends and family throughout her treatment.

While going through chemotherapy, she created art. She made stickers for friends thanking them for their support throughout her journey.

“I’ve always been artistic and I’ve always loved painting and doing creative things,” says Randall. “I’ve really enjoyed watercolors, it’s been something I’ve been doing for years. That’s mostly what I started working in with chemo on weeks I wasn’t feeling great. I also was very immunocompromised when I was going through chemotherapy, so it was nice to do artwork and stay inside, stay safe, but also be creative and productive.”

Her 10 x 10 Gallery grew organically out of this experience with cancer and art. The name 10 x 10 pays homage to her favorite stationary stores in Taiwan: 9 x 9.

She sells her hand-painted and -lettered designs on stickers, mugs, glasses and tote bags at craft fairs and on Etsy. Most of her humorous, light and colorful designs have a reference to cancer, including her first design, the popular “Cancer Succs” sticker with succulents, and shot glasses that say “cancer never had a shot.”

Roughly half of the proceeds of each item, or $1 per sticker, gets donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

“Artwork, especially stickers, gives people a small way to support something they really believe in,” she says. “I never predicted that people would be interacting with my art at all.”

She says a lot of cancer survivors seem to connect with her artwork. Her products, priced around $5 each, give people a new way to interact with art. She creates motivational items for people who are going through cancer, have beaten cancer, supported someone with cancer, or who just need a bright spot in their day.

“A lot of my friends who have gone through cancer say they find joy in the tiny things,” Randall says. “For my stickers to bring joy, even for a moment, is very meaningful to me.”

Randall’s mom was diagnosed with blood cancer about a month ago, exactly a full year after Randall completed chemotherapy.

“Collectively everyone can hate cancer,” says Randall. “All people can rally behind that.”

Find Randall at the next Madison Night Market on Oct. 22. She encourages people to stop by to share your story and support cancer research. Visit the 10 x 10 Gallery online store at etsy.com/shop/10x10gallery. or check out 10 x 10’s Instagram page.

Hannah Wente is a contributing writer to Madison Magazine.

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