I have been illustrating and designing professionally for over 30 years and worked for a graphics imprinting company, a newspaper and an ad agency before I set out on my own as a freelancer. I've designed, illustrated and written for educational exhibits, designed and illustrated books of all kinds, studied botanical medicine, and I'm deeply inspired by nature and committed to protecting the environment.

Current client projects involve many types of illustration, small business branding, website design, collateral material in all forms, print ads, and digital marketing. Gaining an understanding of client topics, point of view, and goals is at the heart of what I do. A love of research, ability to handle technical aspects—including code, and a strong ability to empathize and communicate keep things moving along seamlessly.

All of my experience in work and life has fueled the storyteller in me and collaborating with my clients to develop their ideas is a phenomenal way for me to share my skills. The resulting efforts empower my clients to connect with their audiences in a way no one else can.

Kristen Schwartz photo

Feel free to contact me if you have a project you would like to discuss, consult on, or have me bid. Asking for a bid is always the best way to get a more precise cost breakdown and to discuss ways to get what you want for a specific budget.

Off to Otis Parsons

Heading to Otis Parsons at age 19

I grew up in an art gallery. (Yes I did.)

When I was 12 I made little creatures called “Nice Mice” & sold them from my own booth at the India Street Art Colony Jazz Festival.

I studied Illustration and Graphic Design at Otis Parsons and SDSU.

I have been a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) since 2005.

I had the amazing honor to work with author/illustrator, Yuyi Morales in the 2009 Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program.

In 2018 I became a Co-Regional Advisor for the California: North/Central region of SCBWI. (I was Illustrator Coordinator before that.)

I wasn't aware how much I use my hands when I talk until I was animatedly describing some illustrations during a live radio interview a few years back. I managed to unplug all the sound equipment I was connected to with one enthusiastic gesture. Sound techs sure can move fast!

I have been using Apple computers since 1980.

I have been living, working and playing in South Lake Tahoe, California since 1988 and have illustrated and designed for people all across the U.S.

I wear many hats in my life and a lot of them are helmets.

When we got our dog she was afraid of trash cans, tree stumps, people, other dogs and shadows.

Our formerly terrified rescue dog

The most validating thing a publishing house art director ever said to me:
“You can obviously draw the hell out of anything.”