When you’re born into a family of artists there are only two options: pick your poison or go work in the “real world.” Growing up on an isolated reserve in the backwoods of Alabama with her award winning parents (clay artist Becky Bolton Crisswell and painter Troy Crisswell) Alyssa Crisswell learned about the creative process from day one. She attended her first art show when she was two months old and has been hooked ever since. In high school, she showed promise in painting and drawing but developed a keen interest in music and theatre instead. This led her to attend Emerson College in Boston Massachusetts where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree. For six years she made her bread and butter by painting scenery for over 50 operas, musicals, and plays in Boston, Providence, and eventually back home in Birmingham, AL. Crisswell began to develop her own compositions inspired by the art of natural history illustrators, the witty images of surrealist Rene Magritte, and Italian artist Luigi Serafini’s Codex Seraphinianus, an illustrated encyclopedia of an imaginary world. She has built a collection of what she calls “natural and unnatural curiosities” – half flora and fauna from the real world and half imaginary subjects with a twist.