His passport stamped with travel destinations including Israel, London, San Francisco and Tulsa, Donald Ross – also known as SCRIBE – has transformed himself from inexperienced Boston street-tagger to Mid-West wall-guru and family man. Incorporating a variety of reoccurring characters and objects including rhinos, bees and toilet plungers, even, SCRIBE gives his humorous murals and characters depth through interpretation. “The rhino has always been a self-portrait. Rhinos are solitary animals and many of their characteristics I identify with.” He relates the struggle of his aggressive and bug-eyed bees with the struggle many face with religion. “I grew up in a Christian home with parents who pastor a church around Boston. The bees are an illustration of peer pressure, a part of a mindless hive mentality [to do what you’re] assigned to do until you die – in the world and in church.” Plungers, on the other hand, simply appeal to the childish side of SCRIBE’s sense of humor. “The plungers are a weapon for the rhino. I grew up on Tom and Jerry frying pan humor. It seemed only fitting.”


SCRIBE’s work has changed with each city he has painted. “Boston is where I got my intro to graffiti. I was drawing what I saw around me – straight forward city styles. Now, I live in Kansas City and my work has changed. Graffiti has spread through out the world, anyone can see that, but I don’t think it is right for people from more remote areas to try to be coastal and copy what they see. Their style and subject should reflect where they are.” With 15 years of wall-work under his belt, SCRIBE reminisces on his first piece in Boston, a simple character he called Bubble Boy, which his mentor EAST had him paint in high contrast colors to help him see definition in the dark. “That was 15 years ago and it changed my life. Graffiti will always be the biggest part of what makes my style what it is today.”


Without a college degree, SCRIBE works hard to turn his passion into a paycheck. “Without formal school it was a very long journey. I worked in sign shops, digital printing and even a candle factory,” says SCRIBE, adding, “I worked my way into learning computers while spending my breaks painting and drawing. Remaining a servant where I could be used changed my job description into doing artwork all the time.” Today, SCRIBE walks the line between urban artist and professional parent of two. He holds down a day job with a local hospital, creating murals to promote wellness amongst the facilities’ patients and juggles a variety of gallery shows. “I enjoy my work at Children’s Mercy Hospital on so many different levels.”


Also the illustrator and co-author of the children’s book, There’s an Octopus Under my Bed, SCRIBE’s recent work could be considered a step away from his urban roots. Still, many find his pieces to hold a deeper meaning aimed at adults. Religious and political undertones are present in his work, although SCRIBE is careful not to push his views on young audiences. “If a kid comes to my show and asks me, then that is cool. In my book and at work, I don’t do it. I’m not here to push my views on them in [an artistic] setting.”


SCRIBE is quick to list his mentors in the graffiti world. EMIT, EAST, SUB, DALEK and RAPES each had a great influence on SCRIBE‘s technique. Still, SCRIBE reps the Mid-West, identifying his experiences in Middle America as “the most tangible effect on my work,” and names Mid-Western artists such as Thomas Hart Benton, Frederic Remington and Walt Disney, even, as further inspiration. No wonder SCRIBE’s diverse body of work takes on a cartoonish vibe, directing itself – intentionally or not – at a market of both children and adults.

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Auriane de Rudder

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  1. Deanie Lyons says:

    Scribe is a wonderful person to work with, I get to watch his talent up close. I also get to hear the comments made about his work from the families and children that come through our hospital and it makes me proud for him to hear the wonderful comments made about his work.

  2. Can I get a …..

    Scribe is the man, a true professional. Jason and Don just did simultaneous shows at Plastic Chapel, and Andenken in Denver. Both shows where not only epic, but original , unique, and inspirational. Both guys came in and just killed it, with time to spare, and did a few walls as well. Not quite sure just how they do it, but as I said great guys and great attitude, to match their skills. If you get a chance … check out Andenken, or Joy Engine, both have great flicks of the Andenken show. PC should have up drawings from the “dogfight” show available for purchase shortly, we are relaunching our site in a few weeks. Way to go
    Scribe, your the man.
    Respect !
    D and D from PC

  3. yo scribe your famous son your hip hop skills are really paying off ……but seriously if you ever meet this guy ask him to see his back hair shit is mind blowing …….ps. that photo posted in the comments is not scribe ,well at at least not the scribe we are all talking about ….

  4. Nancy Baker says:

    It is such a pleasure to work with Scribe at Children’s Mercy Hospital. He has helped my department on many special projects & always brings in a wonderful creativity and quality to everything. I never worry about our joint projects because with him in charge I know things will get done with great care. I was fortunate enough to watch his book go from inital drawings to a published book. It was great fun. Thanks Scribe for letting me into a small portion of your world.

  5. Hey Dan, Thanks for the kind words, but that link to the photo is not a photo of me or my work?
    I have not had the chance to go to Montreal but I will be doing a show there with Jason Brunson at the OOg Gallery this coming October.
    Thanks again.

  6. Been following his work for mad years. It’ll be a pleasure to see his canvas work in person. Thank god for pay day!

    Much deserved highlight on one of the most original, technically skilled graff/fine artist in the country.

  7. I am very fortunate to be able to see Scribe’s work every day at Children’s Mercy South Hospital. Each day I walk by the donor wall mural I see something new I hadn’t seen earlier..It makes me smile to see a child gaze up at the animals, birds and bugs in wonder and amazement. Thank you Scribe for sharing your creativeness with us.

  8. more people need to be more like this fellow then like me. what a lovely example of human rightousness. Definatly Friends…xoxo

  9. Really? Dang, I thought the style looked some what off but I asked a mate of mine from KC and he said it was definitely your stuff.

    I thought it was too much of a coincidence, you being in freaking Canada and shit.

    Ah well, my previous statement still stands.

  10. Scribe needed no mentoring, just a lil’ direction and advice. He has more raw talent in the hairs on his back than I have in my whole body! Forever an inspiration, my “Devout Friendship” with you is a blessing never to be taken for granted…thanks for all the great memories and killer backgrounds you painted, which made us all look good! You’ll always be “At The Top”!!! Holla!

  11. all these comments are great ,and nice, but seriously this dude is hairy like a gorilla i’m not talking a little hair here i’m talking years worth of serious growth if anyone at childrens mercy has any treatment programs for the hair troubles this guy is going through ..please help a dude out !!!!!!!! and most of his talent is smoke and mirriors ,i mainly paint all of his artwork because my skills are so far superior …hahahahahhahahahahahhhaaha..yeah right …

  12. Jennifer Galvan Ross says:

    Scribe is my big brother. I am so proud of him for following his dreams and making them a reality. I love his artwork too. He is an inspiration! Keep it up!

  13. Amy Foster (EAST's wife) says:

    The beauty of Scribe’s work is only an extension of the beauty that lies within him. His humility and acceptance are rare qualities in the graffiti community, not to mention the world at large. His friendship to our family has stabilized our journey through this life. COngrats, Donnie!

  14. king scribe, you cant go one block in kansas city without coming across a scribe wall, a scribe billboard, or a scribe bus for that matter, this man runs shit!!! thanks for the inspiration! DEATH FORCE 07.

  15. King Scribe…always “Authorized To Terrorize” the walls of the world…thanks for the inspiration over the years.

    I’m happy to see that we all stayed friends through the ups and downs (NUTS Crew..what!) and have kept our sense of humor through the early years of building the “Knowledge City” graffiti scene…

    I hope my bombing didn’t cause too much grief….

    Stay Up…


  17. “like scribe,if I could be like scribe”
    In a medium were being prolific usually has a funny way of getting us into trouble and street cred and underground infamy is the ceiling of our success, “Scribe” has shown us that there is more then getting up,There is getting out.Scribes style of ultra clean pieces with sick color work and universally translatable subject matter is shining a positive light on graffiti and hip hop culture. BIGUPS Scribe, thanks for Giving site to the blind eyes who see Hip Hop culture as a negative. “DEEARE1″ dayone

  18. Hooray for Scribe! He is my favorite “heart-ist”! World class talent and a world class man.

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