Meet the Team

Amber Scardino is the founder and owner of Figment Creative Labs. She opened the process art studio, Wee Warhols, in 2013. Along with a name change has come huge growth, from a studio that doubled as a garage to our new location at 7809 Brodie Lane, which includes an art studio, makerspace, discovery lab, creative preschool and toddler art play group space as well as an outdoor play area.

A mother of two and coauthor of the book series STEAM Kids, Amber believes that art should be a stress-free process that promotes self esteem and confidence. She hopes that Figment will inspire creativity in people of all ages, bring families together through art and encourage learning through play.

Hanny Marin is an artist and teacher from Trinidad, Cuba. She speaks Spanish fluently,  and can implement it in the classroom. She has a degree in Film-Making and worked at Haligon Fine Art  in Miami where she helped artists realize their creations in 3D. She came to Austin in 2015 to restore a sculpture at Dimensional Place and it was during this trip that she fell in love and moved here in 2017.

Just a few years ago she started working with children as a creative instructor in a bilingual Montessori school. In this setting, she found her passion! Hanny’s favorite thing about process-art with children is seeing them exploring, expressing themselves, and enjoying the process and experience of art.

You will find Hanny teaching in our Creative Pre-k, Spanish Immersion, Art Birthday Parties, and Toddler Play Group programs.

Melissa Stimac is a multidisciplinary artist from Southern California, who has spent several years teaching children’s art workshops. Additionally, she has extensive experience working as a Paraeducator substitute teacher for preschool and K-12 grade levels.

Her favorite aspect of teaching visual art is helping children to bring their own creativity and vision to life. You can find Ms. Melissa teaching one of our Creative Pre-K Classes and assisting with Figment’s After-School Program.

Randi is Figment’s catch-all person! She does everything including toddler playgroup, substituting classes, home visits, and more. She studied advertising in college, with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. She has always been drawn to art throughout her life, especially tie dye! She has also always been interested in drawing, printmaking, glass blowing, sculpting, painting, and photography.

Interestingly, before Randi started working at Figment, she was in corporate outside sales. It didn’t take her long to want to work somewhere more fulfilling and imaginative, and that is where Figment came in! She has loved working with the kids and has done everything she can to help them express their creative sides.

Sarah Kamalsky is a multi-faceted maker with a focus on ceramics, print making and fiber arts. A transplant from New England, she has been creating art and tinkering since her youth – determined to take on any project that could be made by hand. L

eaving behind a corporate career when her son was born, Sarah found her joy in connecting with other families and creating various art and nature based homeschool co-ops in the South Austin area, while building her home based ceramics business.

She loves finding community through art and watching the delight on children’s faces as they bring their ideas to reality through making. You can find Sarah teaching in our Homeschool Program.

Adriana Uruena is an artist and skater from Caracas, Venezuela. Her first language is Spanish and can implement it in the classroom. She has a BFA in dance where she started teaching children and fell in love with it! She recently moved to Austin from Los Angeles, California where she got her Early Childhood Associates and was simultaneously teaching art and skating.

Adriana’s favorite thing about teaching art is being able to see children’s imaginations through different outlets and being able to create a safe space in the classroom for them to fully express themselves so they can create beautiful things that challenge and excites them! You can find Adriana in the Creative Pre-K program.

Brooke Andrews is a Creative Pre-K teacher at Figment and a home grown Austinite. She graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition. Brooke has worked with children for the past 22 years in preschool settings, fine arts programs, as well as dance, gymnastics, and fitness.

Her experience ranges from infants through Pre-k. Ms. Brooke enjoys facilitating children’s learning and development through play, art, music, and nature.

Mary Helen describes herself as a compulsively creative individual. In addition to making and selling her own illustrated art and ceramics, running her own mini art studio, and teaching at Figment, Mary Helen works as a food stylist for culinary media productions. She has even dabbled in creating props and special effects for small films.

Mary Helen loves art best of all, but science and technology are also huge passions for her. She is Figment’s resident geek, in charge of all things 3D printed, laser cut, and computer focused. She even helped design this website.

M.H. teaches homeschool, after school, Figment’s classes for grownups, and the after-school science lab. When she’s not making a mess at Figment you can find her making a mess at home with her two kids.

Piper is a native Austinite and artist who began working at Figment after living in Mexico City, where she also taught art classes (but in Spanish). Piper has been working with kids for 12 years now and has learned a thing or two along the way, most importantly to always have snacks on hand and to be patient. You can often spot Piper wearing pink, since it is her favorite color, and her love of bright colors is also reflected in her art and the projects with the kids. She also likes to focus on using recycled materials, and teaching art as a method for kids to explore and share their inner worlds.

Celia Sampaio is an avid crocheter and recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin. She has a bachelors in journalism and minor in media and entertainment industries. She’s originally from Houston, but fell in love with Austin as soon as she came to the city for college. 

She has past experience nannying as well as being a camp counselor, where she first realized her joy of being around kids! Celia spends her free time creating crochet clothing and accessories and cuddling any animal she can!

Debbie Tate is a childhood educator with over 25 years experience and a Certified Life Coach for kids & artists. She has a Montessori Certification and an Associate Degree in Child Development. She loves to bring lessons to life through children’s literature and creativity. Debbie grew up in Sugar Land, Texas and taught at schools throughout the Houston area, eventually opening her own children’s art studio.

She has adopted the city of Austin as her new home, since moving here three years ago, and has enjoyed soaking up the local, creative culture. She lives with her dog Linus and paints in her free time. She creates Austin inspired art as well as abstract hearts that are part of her Emily Love Collection. You’ll find Ms. Debbie hosting Figment’s Art Birthday Parties and leading cool projects for our Home Visits.