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Mischief Blog

Journey to Mischief, A Note from Founder, Sarah Frisken

Blog Created 4 years ago

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When I was 8 years old, my parents signed me and my sisters up for piano lessons. We’re a musical family, and it might have been a great gift, but these were group lessons and I was painfully shy so the lessons became my personal nightmare. Fortunately, my parents had the compassion to pull me out and enroll me in a painting class instead. I was one of only two children there but that class opened up a whole new world for me. I have loved drawing, painting, art, and being around artists ever since.

I took all the art courses offered at my high school as well as courses offered elsewhere on weekends and evenings, but I also had a great love for math and science. When it came time to decide what to study at university, I made the practical choice (if unconventional for a woman at the time) and enrolled in engineering. It wouldn’t be quite true to say I never looked back, but I’ve had an incredibly fulfilling career full of interesting challenges and opportunities as a researcher, scientist and engineer.

I continued to take art classes when I got the chance but, as is often the case, life intervened – the needs of your children come first and work that you love can be all-consuming – and my progress seemed to stagnate. Sometimes I would go for years without picking up a pencil to draw. Like many amateur artists, I often wondered why I was still trying. Yes, I enjoyed it, but my closet was stuffed with drawing pads full of work that I will never show anyone, let alone hang on a wall.

And then, a few years ago, I was given the opportunity to do a consulting project for Disney Research. I took leave from my position at Tufts University and began what became a four-year project to develop a new platform for digital drawing. During that time I was able to observe and work with incredibly talented artists, watching over their shoulders and asking lots of questions to help me understand what they needed. When the research project ended, I took a leap and founded a company with the goal of creating software for artists that was both high quality and accessible; thus Mischief was born.

Now we have begun a new step on this journey. I’m very excited to be working with The Foundry and with Chris Cheung and the other talented members on the Made With Mischief team. We are dedicated to the vision that everyone has a little bit of artist inside of them looking for an outlet and thus high quality, easy-to-use tools should be available and accessible to all. The move from a small, 1-2 person company to being part of The Foundry and Made With Mischief will allow us to provide better support for our users and to be more responsive to user requests. It will allow us to build new applications and reach more people while keeping the focus on our vision.

Working with so many talented artists during the past few years has been an amazing and fulfilling experience (if intimidating to my inner artist), and it has encouraged me to get back to my love of drawing and painting. Somewhere along the way I read Julia Cameron‘s The Artists Way and I have taken to heart the idea that if you want to be good at something, it’s important to do it every day – even when you don’t think you are getting anywhere. So yes, I am still drawing. And no, I still won’t show you the sketchbooks in my closet. But someday maybe, just maybe, I’ll submit something (anonymously of course) to the Mischief gallery. I look forward to seeing your work there too!


Sarah Frisken
Founder and Chief Scientist
Made With Mischief


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    FurrryMonsters December 10, 2014 at 12:18

    Sara... our hero!!!

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    arplaszlo December 08, 2014 at 13:52

    Mischief is something else. I don't have a handle on it like other apps but it just seems like a massive leap forward.

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    davidkmanuel November 21, 2014 at 06:28

    Thanks for sharing a bit about yourself Sara. It sounds like you had an adventure. I am excited about this tool being in my kit and look forward to the future of Mischief. Well done!

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    caminoone-nines November 19, 2014 at 02:13

    In the process of joining the Foundry, I hope you were able to retain copyright/patents to your creation. Mischief is incredible. The addition of the "eraser tool" has made the program even better. Thank you-thank-you-thank-you for a resolution independent painting program. I can finally say goodbye to Photoshop. Keep up the great work. :)

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    45H November 17, 2014 at 22:53

    Congrats Sara!

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    umami November 13, 2014 at 22:19

    Chris Cheung is on the Foundry team? Awesome!

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