The Heroine’s Journey of Krissi Whiski

What is the best thing that I love about my work?  I love mixing paint and moving it around on canvas to create my vison. There is something utterly meditative about creating art and I need that in my life.  I love being able to express myself and share it with others. Creating art to me is about connecting with others, and I love connecting with people who understand the energy or emotion behind a piece and hearing their interpretation, or why they feel drawn to my art.
What is my idea of perfect happiness?  I think my absolute zen would be, being able to paint every day without any distractions. I wish I didn’t have to worry about selling enough work to pay the bills. I also wish I could afford to pay someone to do the work I dread, like promoting, marketing, returning messages, submitting to galleries and shipping artwork. All these tasks take time away from being able to create, but they are all so crucial to building an income off of being an artist.
What is my greatest fear?  My greatest fear is that I’ll die before I do everything I want to do. My goal as an artist is to be a household name before I leave this plane. I want my artwork to live on long after I am gone, as a legacy to what I am building. I fear that may not happen during my lifetime if I am not incredibly proactive at putting myself out there. I also fear not having enough time creating memories with the people I love.  I don’t fear death, I fear time. I fear not having nearly enough of it.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I’m an artist, so I’m pretty much self-hating. I tend to be my biggest critic. It’s sometimes unbearable listening to my own thoughts. I am the meanest person to myself in my own head.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? Ashley Longshore, Leoma Lovegrove, Camilla D’errico, Tanya Schultz, they are all incredible female artists that I’ve looked up to during my career.
What is my greatest extravagance? Heavy Body Paints. I use so much paint, and I like the good stuff!
On what occasion would I lie? I’ll admit I won’t tell someone when I think their artwork is bad. If they ask me if it’s bad or if I like it, I will flip it into a question asking what they’d like to improve. Then I will give them advice on how I think they can do that. I don’t like telling other artists that I don’t like their work because art is too subjective and what I like, may not be what others like. I think it hurts artists just starting out to hear unnecessary criticism. I’d rather be constructive, inspire and motivate other creatives.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?  Oh I get mad at so many things. I hate painting hands. I’m getting better at it, but I cringe when I see paintings I have done in the past, where everything is on point, and the hands look terrible. I resent some of my older works because I really want to fix them, but at the same time, they have shown me how far I have come.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work?  I’m always happiest in my work when I have a good song playing, and I am freely painting a concept that’s been on my mind waiting to be brought forth. The first 3 hours of any painting is when I am happiest. It’s easiest at the start of a creation. The middle gets murky, then I’m happy when it’s over.
If I could, what would I change about myself? I used to wish I didn’t freak people out so much. I always thought I was “much too much”. Too happy, too excited, too much for people to handle. Now I wish I didn’t hold back. There were years I spent trying to fit in, and failing. I wish I gave up trying to please people a long time ago. Just being myself, and knowing others may think it’s weird, and being ok with that, has freed up a whole lot of unnecessary worry. I’m happier, and it’s incredibly freeing.
What is my greatest achievement in work?  I’ve had many small successes during my years at this and I feel my greatest achievement is the sheer number of people I’ve been able to reach and connect to with my artwork. I started posting my artwork on Instagram in 2015, and in three years I’ve gained an audience of over 30 thousand people. It’s incredibly humbling having that many eyes on my artwork, and people that are cheering me on. I’ve met incredible people through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, who I have gone on to meet in person. They come out to my art shows, they support me, buy artwork, and they are my people. The internet is an incredible tool to connect people from all over and I’m building that audience bigger.
Where would I most like to live? I bounce back and forth behind New York City. I wish I could afford to live there, and someplace warm, with a beach. The sheer amount of things to do, see and explore in New York has always drawn me to it. There is so much opportunity in New York. But it’s not incredibly affordable for an artist with two kids. I used to live on the south west Florida gulf coast by the beach. I really enjoyed the warm weather and the ocean has always made me feel so small. If I didn’t have kids or if I had a lot more money, I would seriously consider not living anywhere. I’d travel all the time and be a gypsy artist. I love exploring new places.
What is my most treasured possession? I have a number of pieces of original artwork by artists I admire that I’ve picked up over the years. I connect with art that is masterfully done, and has good energy. My favorites pieces right now are a set of painted mouths and an eye, by Dusty Ray. It hangs in my living room and it’s like the mouths are telling dirty secrets, that the walls have overheard and that eye is watching over everything that goes on in our home. I also have a beautiful Blue Sphinx cat necklace by sculpture artist Tom Taggart that I wear everywhere. I love that I can wear the Sphinx cat necklace and feel like I have Tom’s good energy with me. Sphinx cats are otherworldy looking creatures, and I love his precise shade of blue.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city?  In Philadelphia, it’s Tattooed Mom’s hands down. I can pull out a marker and add to the graffiti covered walls. There is an energy and a vibration there that puts me at ease. I feel at home there, I don’t feel odd, or outcasted. I feel it’s a place where all the creatives can just be themselves, hang out and everyone kinda comes together to do really cool things. I could stare at the walls all day while eating perogies and tots.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? I live among the Amish, but I travel a lot to do art shows. So I’d have to say Mistral in King of Prussia, Destination Dogs in Philadelphia, and Charcoal in Yardley. All good food. Destination Dogs has great cocktails, and Village Whiskey in Philly makes my favorite Old Fashion.
What books influenced my life and how? Alice in Wonderland was a large influence in my life. I grew up admiring and wanting to be like Alice, she’s an incredibly normal young girl, which makes her relatable, but she’s brave. Despite nothing making any sense she remains optimistic and carries on, letting her curiosity guide her to save Wonderland, and helping all the new friends she’s made along the way.
Who are my favorite writers? I have so many! So let’s cover all the genres, and go with George Orwell, Lewis Carrol, Stephen King, Emma Donoghue, David Thorne, John Keith Mchenry and Austin Kleon.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Oh that’s hard. I have many playlists on spotify that would do. I’d likely listen to something sentimental but cheery, Elton John, yes. I’d listen to Elton John.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Alice Pleasance Liddell of course. If a 10-year-old girl, can fall down a rabbit hole and save a whole other world she didn’t know existed. Anything is possible; superpowers aren’t needed, just curiosity, the willingness to take risks and the right amount of determination.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Gwynne Shotwell and Elon Musk are my heroes. Really, anyone working hard on space exploration and taking risks to put innovative technology that can make life better for everyone. Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali, Bob Ross and Andy Warhol are also big art heroes of mine. I painted Frida and Dali and I am still working on Paint Andy and Bob. I have a video time-lapse of my Frida piece you can watch here if you’d like to see my creative process.
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? Stranger Than Fiction. It’s one of my all-time favorites. It’s funny, sweet, and surreal. I’ve watched it so many times, I’ve begun to notice the many homages to artists, writers, scientists, and inventors throughout the film. Zac Helm and Marc Forster brilliantly weaved so much goodness into an already sound and beautiful plot. Will Ferrell and Maggie Gyllenhaal play their characters so well, and we should all take note that Emma Thompson wore no makeup in the movie. None! I love it and I love this movie.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?  My biggest supporter and my partner in crime is Jeff Barrett. He helps keep me balanced and focused. He reminds me on my worst days that I am loved and he’s there to celebrate all my small successes. I think it’s important to have a partner that supports what you’re doing. I bounce ideas off of him, tell him my secrets, and my plans and he listens. His insight and feedback mean a lot to me, and I’m lucky to have him in my life.
Whom would I like to work with in 2018? I would like to do an album cover for music that inspires me. I’ve been listening to a lot of Glass Animals, Maggie Rogers, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, The Flaming Lips, and Santigold lately and I’d leap at the opportunity to do anything artistic for them.
Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2018? Ashley Longshore for sure I admire her artwork and her as a person. She’s one of my favorite pop artists and I know she’d be a blast to hang out with. I’d also love to meet Mark Ryden, Derek Hess, Alex and Allison Gray. They are all unique individuals and incredibly skilled artists doing beautiful things that inspire me daily.
What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on?  I have a solo show in August in New Hope, PA. The working title is Dream Pools, or Dream Portals, I haven’t nailed down which one yet, but the overall theme is dream symbolism. I am going to paint my reoccurring dreams, exactly as I see them. Falling, Storms, Being Chased, Naked in Public, ect. I want to inspire conversation about our subconcious minds symbolism. Dreams, symbolism and the subconcious mind has always been interesting to me. So the project just feels right.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?  If you are truly passionate about something you won’t quit. You won’t throw in the towel or give up, and you shouldn’t. Just keep hacking away at it, make it your own, burn for whatever it is you are passionate about and others will see that. I’ll keep painting till I’m 90, and if my hands get arthritis, I’ll figure out a way around it. I want others to see my work when I have long left this world and I want them to be inspired. I want my passion to ignite a fire in those it’s meant to spark, so they too can carry the torch.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Marthalichia Matarrita, Jill Trager, Frank Anne Stein, Megan Rae, Sirena Domino Hildebrande, Amanda Stalter, Phyl Campbell, Liz Krick, Jill Jacobs, Anita Collins, Iris Compiete, Edith Lebeau, that’s all I can think of right now.
How can you contact me? For quickest response, you can contact me via email at, send a message through my website at or you can send a carrier pigeon to Amish Land in Lancaster County with a note: For the rainbow lady, and it’ll likely get to me. It sometimes takes me a week or two to answer all my messages, but I try to get to them all. The more concise you are in your message, the quicker you’ll get my response.

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