People of O-Town: Kristi Hamby


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 Her first project for the city was on a unique canvas: storm drains.

She also painted a mural in the Thornton Park parking garage.

Painting on such unique canvases poses a problem for Kristi Hamby, 27, a freelance artist who has made her mark on downtown Orlando. She said she uses a program that allows her to take a picture of where she’s painting (i.e., a storm drain) and sketch a rough draft on top of a picture of the unique canvas using her iPad.

Hamby said she’s going through a style transition, but one aspect of her painting is important regardless of the style.

“I’m way more concerned with my color blending than anything. So I just make sure that the lines are really accurate and don’t spend too much time on that so I can spend more time focusing on colors,” Hamby said. “[Color] takes a lot of time and is the most important part of the process for me.”

PHOTOS BY S.T. CARDINAL

Photos by S.T. Cardinal

She didn’t spend much time painting until she moved to Orlando. Hamby spent eight years as a skin therapist, but said all those years in the profession burned her out. She does use the experience from her previous profession in her art, though.

“My favorite thing about it was doing eye makeup and coming up with color combinations and color blending,” Hamby said. “And now with my mural work and my canvas work, I feel like my strong point is my color. So, I think that translated really well from blending on eyes to blending on canvas.”

She’s not your typical starving artist. She said she’s been able to make a living off her art projects alone. She actually just bought a shirt from a fellow artist that reads “well fed artist.”

“I’m not a starving artist, I’m not desperate,” Hamby said. “I think for an artist I live a pretty good life.”

What does Hamby do for fun other than paint? Paint. Hamby said she spends most of her free time making sketches on her iPad. If not painting, she said she likes to travel and take trips to Disney. Other than that, she’s a self-proclaimed homebody.

 

Hamby is working on a collection of acrylic paintings of Orlando called “City Beautiful.” She painted and displayed a few pieces from the collection at the Thornton Park District Holiday Mixer. One painting was bought by District 4 Commissioner Patty Sheehan. The one she was working on during the event was signed “mayor” by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

“Because I love the city so much and because the city has provided me with so much opportunity, I really kind of like to pay tribute to that with my art,” Hamby said.

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