About My Background:

I first dreamed of writing and illustrating books when I was very young.

Picture: Me at age 8

My tattered childhood copy of Ezra Jack Keats' Snowy Day never failed to enchant me: I wanted to make collages someday too.

When the awards committee stuck a golden sticker on my entry for a young author's contest in 2nd grade, I beamed as bright as the sticker.

Kjersten sewing a book

So it's no surprise that I took up writing (mostly in the form of journaling). Writings, drawings, and found objects cluttered book after book after book until I finally learned to make my own journals and the books themselves became part of the "writing," at least in a visual way.

Kjersten making paper

For years I sold thousands of handmade journals, mostly at big art or craft shows. Each handmade book was like a color or texture study, helping my medium become intuitive. Like any regular practice or studied discipline will do, it settled skills into my bones, veins and heart.

picture of a handmade book with birds

It's an honor that my handmade journals have been used as safe harbors for so many others' dreams, hopes, pains, gratitude and precious memories.

I've been an active member and frequent volunteer for The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) for over 10 years. I've also participated in numerous conferences, workshops and the SCBWI Nevada Mentor Program.
Illustration: Dorothy defeats the wicked witch
Nothing makes me happier than hanging out in my studio, reading kid books, writing, drawing, cutting paper and piecing together collages.
Illustration: Opossum, Crow and Armadillo find a leak
I aim to fill my work with wonder, adventure, courage, and play. Life at its best for me has always included these things; so too should my art.
Monkeys Knitting

Kjersten's Family

Outside of making art, I love eating with Bryce, my foodie husband, and I love playing with my sons, Oscar and Lars. I also collect pottery, tapestries, and other handicrafts; and try to prove to myself that the world is round by traveling whenever possible.

The view from Kjersten's studio in Malaysia

To that end, from March 2010 through February 2012 I lived and made art in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The picture to the left is a photo of the view from my studio window.

As a result, I carry many amazing experiences with me that I hope will influence my art for years to come.

Illustration of a Malaysian Tea Party

For more about me, check out the links on the right. Or catch up with what I've been up to most recently on my blog. Thanks for visiting my site!

Kjersten's picture goes here

kjerstenhayes@gmail.com 360-734-6555