For years she had filled blank spaces with doodles of words and pictures until one day Fryma Mantel decided to seek guidance for her art.
First, however, she needed to make a decision: "I couldn't decide whether I wanted to take a writing class or a painting class."
Vague indecision was followed by a visit with a psychic channeler who told Fryma not to walk but "run to your nearest community college and start taking an art class."
Inspired, she enrolled in a cartoon class. To her amusement the class was completely filled with promising artists under the age of 10. "I think I must have been the only adult by myself," she recalled with a glorious peal of laughter that bubbled up through her body to escape infectiously into the air around her, "The kids must have looked at me like, 'What is that old person doing in here?'"
But Fryma knew exactly what she was doing. Confident in her growing skills, Fryma displayed her art in galleries and coffeeshops around Seattle to critical acclaim and audience enjoyment. However, with the state of the economy leaving few art lovers with money to spare, Fryma no longer focuses her efforts on showcasing. Rather, she radiates her creative energy through brush strokes of paint onto canvas and dressing herself in brilliantly colored hats, scarves, and outfits.
As a barista and greeting card maker, Fryma devoted her time and energy to a job that was eliminated in a wave of downsizing. She heard about Real Change when collecting signatures for a political initiative on Capitol Hill in 2005, and has been selling papers since. To her customers, Fryma fondly says: "I enjoy laughing and having a fun conversation while selling the paper... thank you all so much."
Fryma can be found at the QFC on 15th Ave. E. on Capitol Hill. n