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Meet TrustyScribe

Today we’d like to introduce you to TrustyScribe.

Let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
As a lifelong photographer, I began shooting street art in 2004 for the love of it as a kind of urban preservationist. I appreciated the ephemeral nature of street art, discovering it and capturing it before it was gone. Whether it was in my home town of San Francisco, or on the streets along my travels, I’d always seek out local graff and street art. Eventually I began shooting artists in process, spending hours, and even days, on walls as artists from every corner of the globe created their masterpieces. In 2017 I suffered a debilitating depression, something that has periodically impacted me throughout my life. For some time I had been thinking about painting and had come up with the word bubble concept, but my depression crystallized what I wanted to say during a time that my voice wasn’t being heard. I told less than a handful of artist friends, and they encouraged me to get out and paint. And so TrustyScribe was born. Within the first few weeks I received messages on Instagram from people discovering my art, telling me that they too were struggling and that my words let them know that they are not alone. My art has eclipsed my previous work and miraculously cleared my path of Dharma, which is a natural flowing path of purpose. This is not to say that one does not work hard when on their path, but that the right thing is not a struggle, as my previous artistic endeavors had been. Painting has opened doors to work with people young and old at mental health facilities and schools. I have traveled to Europe and Mexico, leaving my messages of love and mental health in some of the greatest cities in the world. The best part about my work is how unifying it has proven to be. People all over the world have the same struggles, the same challenges and the same aspirations. Life isn’t always easy, but when you know that you’re not alone, that can make all the difference.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My path has always been creative, but never straightforward, and certainly not easy. I’ve spent most of my life working in film and television in front of and behind the scenes, with a focus on producing, writing and development. I’ve also worked as an advertising producer and a senior copywriter in PR and marketing. There is so much about these industries that I love, however, there was something missing. The struggle to actually make something was exhausting, and the amount of time spent taking meetings and pitching never balanced out with emotional or financial returns. Needless to say, it wasn’t just hard work, it left me unfulfilled. Artists of all forms are faced with the challenge of self-motivating, staying productive in the face of judgement, ridicule and the overwhelming fact that bills need to be paid. Self-doubt and run-of-the-mill depression can impact your motivation. Mix in severe clinical depression, and things can come to a screeching halt. Over the years, I’ve lost large chunks of time in my life to paralyzing depression, which is why I’m so glad to be able to focus that energy in a productive and healing way. It wasn’t until recently that I started taking stock of my artistic journey. I actually began writing in grade school, staying late to tap out my stories on our old school computer. Around the same time, I also made my first film, a little stop-motion short. I was constantly drawn to art of any form, from sculpting and painting, to dance, acting and filmmaking, and of course photography. It was as if I was trying to say something, but I just didn’t quite yet know what that was. With street art, I am finally learning to appreciate the totality of what I have been pursuing my entire life, to be heard and understood through art. It’s a direct line from concept to creation, without a filter or gatekeepers. The fact that what I do resonates with people is still hard to believe. There is so much noise and distraction in the world that when someone actually stops to take in what I’ve made, to photograph it or share it, is incredible. I’m still a little kid at heart, hoping someone likes my drawing posted up on my mom’s refrigerator.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with your work – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
First and foremost, I’m a storyteller. Some of the greatest stories can be told from a single image or a few well-crafted words, which allows the viewer to complete the story with their own personal experience. I believe this is why my word bubbles have been so well received. People are able to interact with them, completing the piece of art, which is the magic of its simplicity. Utilizing the public space as I do, whether it’s with a single word bubble that draws crowds on the street, or a mural inside a mental health facility that uplifts kids dealing with their own unique challenges, or a forty-eight foot, hand-painted billboard standing against injustice, all prove that we are having a collective, human experience. My years of producing, writing and creating across so many artistic mediums continue to help inform the art I create and the work ethic I carry with me. People are always pleasantly surprised that punctuality and integrity are paramount to me, especially when I show for an install right on time. I do, however, dream big and believe that art has the ability to change lives. By utilizing whit and sincerity, my art resonates with people who understand that it comes from an honest place. I bring that same approach to commissions, whether it be for a personal collection, a hospital, or a corporate installation, I am diligent in staying true to my artistic intent.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Though the word bubble is the foundation of my work and the iconic image that I’ve become known for, my art is constantly evolving. I’ve spent the past year working towards merging my photography, writing and painting into one cohesive form, which I revealed earlier this year. I’ve created personal pieces with this merging of forms that are being really well received, as well as private commissions where I photograph portraits of loved ones to create customized mixed-media paintings that speak to an emotional truth of love and inspiration. It’s incredibly rewarding to make something so personal that brings such joy, whether hung in someone’s home or in their place of business. Now, looking forward, I am working with 4th Floor Agency to bring my Love Language project to every corner of the globe, in every language, on a massive scale. The idea is to paint just one in every country in the local language, and one in every state around the US. There’s also the Winnie the Pooh mental health mural project that was created with my friend, street artist and mentor, Teacher. A partnership with a national healthcare provider like Kaiser Permanente will continue the work of bringing art and the mental health conversation to schools around the country, which has already proven successful here in Los Angeles. On top of everything, there’s a children’s book and a novel in the works – and of course living in LA there’s always a few TV and film projects still floating around. I feel like a little pebble in a big pond, doing my best to affect a small amount of change. Through love and compassion, the stigma on mental health can be lifted and we as a global community can begin to heal and embrace our common humanity.

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