Persevering through hard times can often push people to do extraordinary things. For some, hitting rock bottom can be the perfect motivator to reach your full potential. Atlanta-based artist Krissi Scribbles went from sketching pictures on the floor of a homeless shelter to balancing a busy schedule jam packed with commissions and art shows. Her stylish use of mixed media paintings will be on display at this year’s A3C Festival & Conference.
Scribbles was introduced to art at a young age through the work of her mother who was a painter and sculptor. Her mother passed when she was young, which began a cycle of all out survival that often distracted her from her love of art.
Six years ago, Scribbles found herself newly divorced, struggling to keep reliable employment, with no place to live and in the throes of depression. Often unable to sleep on the concrete floor of the homeless shelter she stayed at, Scribbles kept herself distracted by getting back to her creative side.
“I had just lost one of my jobs and I had a bunch of personal things going on,” Scribbles said. “Instinctively I knew I needed to find some form of self care. Some way to handle the stresses of losing a job and a marriage and everything in one year.”
What started out as a few posts of family drawings on Facebook has now turned into a passionate online fan and client base.
“At first my friends would comment and be like, ‘wow this is really good,’” she said. “And then people started hiring me to do stuff--not knowing that I was really going through anything because I didn’t really share a lot of that. “
Initially, Scribbles relied on commissions to supplement her income and make ends meet but eventually her work became so in demand that she was able to pursue art full time. The extra time allowed Scribbles to really experiment and hone her style. Inspired by her love of animation and an affinity for working with paper, she began making colorful “paper dolls” that often cover iconic moments in pop culture. The virality of depictions of Rihanna and internet sensation Branden Miller (Joanne the Scammer) have helped Scribbles continue to grow her rabid following.
When she is not busy with her own work, Scribbles finds time to work with children around the city of Atlanta. She is also in the process of helping her eight-year-old son publish a book.
“I love working with kids and creative kids especially because I didn’t have someone to continue to encourage me when my mom wasn’t here anymore,” Scribbles said. “So I kind of lost track of what I really wanted to do in life which is what I’m doing now. I want kids that don’t have someone around to mentor them creatively to have that support.”
An avid music fan and a fan of other visual artists participating, Scribbles said she is excited about the opportunity to be a part of A3C 2016.
“It’s awesome that new and undiscovered artists and also established artists get to be a part of this,” she said. “I definitely want to try to do my very best because it is such an honor to share in that experience. “That’s why I've stayed here [in Atlanta] because of the culture and the music culture and the energy here is like no place I’ve ever been.”
You can catch Krissi Scribbles at the Artistista 3 Showcase at the ARTlanta gallery Thursday October 6 at 8:00 p.m.