Kialla artist turns paintings into puzzles

By Jessica Ball

The vibrant, swirling colours of Nicky Kriss’ artworks are normally hung in beautiful homes; they have even featured on The Block.

And now they have been shattered into 1000 pieces.

It was a simple message from a friend — "Puzzles. ASAP." — that inspired the Kialla artist to turn her art into a cure for isolation boredom.

“I am always looking for new projects ... so I did a lot of research and got the ball rolling,” Ms Kriss said.

“The best thing is, the business I found to make them is in Victoria so it's really wonderful to be able to keep it local and have Australian made products, especially at a time like this.”

Working in early childhood education, Ms Kriss often finds herself putting puzzles back together to reset the room and admits even the wooden animal jigsaws from the 1980s frazzle her.

“This week I've started a sample 300-piece from my range, and let me tell you, it is not easy,” she said.

With the final product due to arrive mid to late May, Ms Kriss said the reaction had been unbelievable.

“I hadn't really anticipated such a wonderful response and had to order more.

“They are still available to purchase and will be ongoing, with new designs released gradually.”

Artist Nicky Kriss' vibrant paintings make difficult puzzles.

Ms Kriss said being an artist and small business owner in these unprecedented times had its challenges and its advantages.

“It's been difficult in the respect of not really having any idea when a sale will come through my website,” she said.

“But on a positive note, I've had time to create work without pressure of deadlines or briefs that I'm really proud of, and thankfully has been received well by collectors.

“I've been getting a lot of painting and business ideas into motion because there are so many hours in the day.”

While she is busy creating with new cat Chia, Ms Kriss said it was also a chance to take a step back.

“I think it's been a big wake-up call to slow down and enjoy a more simpler life.

“I've been talking with friends a lot, and loving the chance to stop and be grateful.

“And I bought a cat, and I hadn't ever been a cat person — so isolation has done weird things to me, that's for sure!”

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