Surviving As A Survivor

Indecent Exposure
Indecent Exposure

I’ve been trying to compile this in my mind for a while now. I want to get the words just right, but every new headline or news article creates a new emotion. I figured at a certain point I would just get over it or someone else would express my feelings for me.

First, to all survivors of trauma reading this, I believe you. I stand with you. You are not at fault, and you are not alone. I myself am a survivor of sexual and emotional abuse. I grew up in a very abusive home. Throughout my childhood I dealt with empty love and trauma. I use my experiences to help those who have encountered the same type of situations.

I first started creating art in high school, I was a quiet emo girl who listened to rage music and worked two jobs so I wouldn’t have to go home. My home life was toxic, my parents divorced when I was in the 3rd grade. My father was abusive and into heavy drugs, my mother was a victim of abuse. Eventually, my father ended up in a situation that put him in prison for 15 years. My mother always did what she thought was best for my two older sisters and I, sadly it wasn’t always the safest option. We would be exposed to many different strangers. This of course led to unsafe situations for me, it’s how I became a victim of sexual abuse at the age of eleven in my own home.

As I continued to grow into the person I am today, I struggled with relationships. I still do, actually. You may be familiar with flight or fight responses, for me, I freeze. When situations arise; especially emotionally charged ones. I close my windows, board my doors and nestle myself into a dark corner of my brain. Which leads to a whole new problem, my internalized self-hate. In that moment, all my doubts are free to consume me. Suffocating any happiness I could hope to find. My only salvation has been creating.

When I get into these moods, I find it best to paint. It took a lot of trial and error (self medicating) to get here. I am far from okay, I still have random triggers and PTSD I deal with. However, It’s especially hard in today’s society. We have so much negativity, so much judgement, so much hate so easily shared. As Twenty-one Pilots would say, “Fight it, take the pain, ignite it.”

That’s what my art is, it’s a public display of fighting, never giving up. I share my creations in hopes to help victims of abuse. I want to be able to create a safe space for those who have endured trauma. I want to be the voice that makes you feel like you matter. I want you to keep trying, keep pushing yourself even when no one else seems to be on your side. I want you to take back your life and show the world no one can stop you. Because you are important, you are heard.



Life and I haven’t always had a great relationship. Just like most people on this planet, lady life has kicked my ass a few more times than I think necessary. The amazing thing about life, it surprises you. Just when you’re ready to pull out every strand of hair, lady life gives you an amazing gift of opportunity.

Being an artist is the epitome of the unknown. When will my next show be? Can I find it in my budget to hold a class right now? I just paid to show art here, what if no one buys anything? What if no one shows up? I’ve had to deal with these things constantly. If I hold a reception without turning a profit, I still count it as a success. I consider it an achievement because I got off my butt and tried. It’s not easy, if you hold three shows in a row with little turn out it becomes disheartening. That is probably one of the reasons why I haven’t touched a paint brush in two months.

Before I get too far ahead of myself here, it’s perfectly fine to take breaks from your passion. What’s not okay is giving up completely. I recommend switching hobbies when you’ve hit a creative road block.

I did just that, I’ve been pouring my heart and soul into a non-profit that can’t promise me stability or income. I knew that going in, so why did I choose to dedicate myself to something like this?  It’s really simple, my heart’s in it. Nothing is more precious to me than my time, I choose who and what are worthy of me. If I had a choice, I would dedicate every ounce of my time to this organization. I say this because it’s brings me so much love and healing. I have been working with un-Defined since September. It’s breath taking the amount of things we have already set the foundation for.

Un-Defined is a non-profit organization located in Sioux Falls, SD. Our mission is to empower, educate and support women and children who have experienced domestic and sexual violence in their life. We do this through peer support groups, mentoring, offering resources to the community and awareness.

One of our current projects is a fundraiser happening in April. I can tell you one thing, I had no freaking idea how much work went into this stuff! Seriously, asking people for help is hard enough for me. However, in order to hold a function like this, you gotta ask a ton of people for a ton of things; for free.

I couldn’t do this without the founder of un-defined. She is a literal life saver. I say this because she is the “pusher” I never had, she checks in on you (she’s a mom).  We all need that person who motivates or inspires us, we all have dreams and goals but I’ve learned I really need someone to keep reminding me that my work is a route. Not something I pick up and put down, I need to commit myself if I ever want to accomplish anything. I also need someone to help me.

The crazy thing is…that’s what un-defined is all about! This remarkable woman who has been through hell and back is helping me achieve my goals. Mentoring is such a powerful thing.

I fully believe that if you put good in you will get good out. It’s not easy to stay positive with this motto, you can give all the ‘good’ you have and still have a terrible day/week/month. That’s just how life goes. BUT, today life rewarded me with something I never could have imagined would happen. Today, I was asked to hang my artwork for two months at a gorgeous venue. Even though I had stepped away from my passion to re-center myself, now I feel as if life is pushing me to my passion. It’s giving me signs to share my heart with an audience. The best way I know how; through art.

You suck sometimes, but thank you life. Thank you for this great opportunity.


art, blog



Okay, I’m good… I think.


Hello everyone, my name is Kristine. I enjoy spending long hours in bed cuddling my dog. When I’m not asleep or lazy, I’m pouring my soul into my art.

“Art is _____ .” That is the phrase that has been buzzing around my head ever since I started making this site (please don’t judge, it’s a work in progress, just like my life). I’m known for creative ideas, I’m also known for finishing a handful of projects I start. (I blame my ADD). I want to be better with accomplishing my goals, hence the work in progress site. I’m not gonna let fear hold me back, I’m running face first at the world.

My main goal is to share my art with the world, I want to change peoples perspectives so they feel confident enough to step out of their comfort zone. Easier said than done, obviously. If I were ignorant I would tell you that I chose art to help the world, but I’ve learned a few things in my 23.8 years here on Earth. I didn’t choose art, it chose me.

I hope you all follow me on my journey, I will be posting about my upcoming series, my life, my struggles as an artist, and my happy moments.

Stay tuned…