Malissa "Pebbles" Brings You Into Her Artist Journey
Malissa Schmalz, who is known by the artist name Pebbles, is putting her stamp on the Chicago creative art scene as a native Chicagoan. When she was young she could be found in her room making things, whether it be drawing or making Barbies. She was intrigued by “The mural building” off the Kennedy expressway. Pebbles got excited each time there was a brand-new painting on it. She thought to herself that she would have a painting there one day. In elementary school she was in art club and worked on a group mural for our school. In high school she was in art, the National Art Honors Society, and took an independent art studies course in the summer between junior and senior year. She's had some of her work exhibited in contests where she placed 1st - 3rd.
Pebbles studied fashion design and merchandising management at the international academy of design and technology. At the age of 19 she decided to focus on her child. Since then, she has touched on face painting, body painting, costuming, modeling, drawing, painting and more.
In 2019 Pebbles started face painting and serviced locals such as The Greater Independence Park Neighborhood Association (GIPNA), The Independence Park Advisory Council (IPAC), Jefferson Park Sunday Market and The Wicker Park Chamber of Commerce. She has also participated in Jack's Pumpkin Glow, block parties, birthday parties and various other events. The pandemic of 2020 shut that down. She began to do body art on myself and post it on social media. Some looks were inspired by muralists Kozmo, Matr, and Sirclasik.
In 2021, she redesigned and painted the information kiosk for IPAC. That is when she was introduced to the heart flower publicly. Pat Clark of Gipna wrote an article about the Independence Park community kiosk.
As of early this year, Pebbles is working on modeling and has been published internationally.
This spring she was introduced to an art show at Happen Space Gallery by Don. She had never been to one like this before. It was a game changer in my life. Pebbles began attending art shows regularly. Being an introvert and feeling awkward at times, talking to people was and still is a challenge for her. Getting to meet artists and see their work live is really inspiring. Pebbles began posting more of my artwork on Instagram.
As far as her work is concerned, she just keeps up with the flow. Pebbles enjoys experimenting with different mediums. She feels like she is continuing to find herself as an artist. Finding my style. There is much for her to learn, and she is eager to do so. In her pieces you can find fun, happiness, humor and joy. Other pieces are darker and she still needs to get that feeling out, so she puts it in her art. Clients who commission me are always beyond happy with my work. The biggest commission I received this summer was for a small local business called The Scent Queens Candle Co. & Apothecary Shoppe. They just won an award for outstanding new business in Albany Park. It fills her heart with sunshine to be chosen to serve her clients.
For like a decade and a half, she's asked people here and there to teach her how to use spray paint as a technique, but It hasn't happened yet. This summer, she met Megan Kind while she was working on a piece. She told me she grabbed a piece of wood, some cans and taught herself. When she got home, across from my garage, there was a giant wooden board. How perfect! A couple days after that I saw muralist Natalia Virafuentes finishing up her piece. Pebbles walked in and got a board and a couple of Rust-Oleum and Krylon cans she had. She gave me some handy cans and tips. She was on her way. A couple of other artists gave me cans as she continued practicing on my piece of wood. Soon after, Pebbles was invited to work on a group mural this summer. Pebbles is currently working on a portrait mural for an indoor space. She also was invited and participated in the "Meeting of Styles” this summer. Pebbles got to meet so many muralists, and was in awe.
This summer she was in an art/vending show for the first time. What made it even more amazing was that it was at Happen Space. So many people gathered to support me. She is forever grateful to them and the curators for making it happen. She has been invited to a few more shows coming up and she is incredibly honored to have her work displayed alongside amazingly talented artists. It's a dream come true.
The first time she put quotes/inspiring messages or what have you on slaps was a few days after a very traumatic and surprising event in her life. On August 18th she wrote these things at night before bed as a form of journalism. She hadn't journaled in months prior to then. The next day I headed to the We Paste Show and handed them out to people there. I also bought a piece. Additionally, I bought a piece by Alex (Instagram: @daremelife_) that she was strongly about. With a space helmet on, watching the earth explode. That's pretty much how she felt. She felt her world had ended and believed she had been betrayed. It was so cruel. She was devastated.
Today, Pebbles continues to work on herself and her skills. She goes on to say "Practice makes progress in all aspects. Some difficulties are more difficult than others. Don't harm others, do your part. Do what you love. Listen to your body. Be kind. High fives and good vibes."
(All artwork shown is by Malissa "Pebbles" Schmalz - Owned All Rights Reserved by Artist)
Go and Follow "Pebbles" right f*cking now! She has original art for sale, open for commissions and more!
Written by Candice Alise | Background Info by: Malissa Schmalz | Article Edited by Wilhelm Duke @wilhlemduke