ABOUT KAREN WINDNESS
Kaz Windness is a published author and illustrator specializing in creepy-cute characters and spooky humor for kids of all ages.
BIO: Kaz studied children’s book illustration at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD) where she was a valedictorian graduate in 2002.
A proud SCBWI member for over fifteen years, Kaz gives back as the Rocky Mountain Chapter Illustrator Coordinator (2009-present). She is passionate about helping others succeed and believes education is key. She teaches illustration at RMCAD (2013-present) and is an RMC-SCBWI illustrator mentor.
Kaz is obsessed with dogs, tacos, and all things spooky and witchy-woo-woo. She loves working in acrylic, collage, pencil, and Photoshop. There’s not much she won’t turn into an art supply.
Kaz is represented by Tim Travaglini at Transatlantic Agency http://transatlanticagency.com.
MY STORY: I like to say I was born with a black crayon in my hand. While other kids drew puppies, flowers, and princesses, I drew spiders, ghosts, and monsters. I’ve always been curious about what lurks in the shadows, and telling those stories through art is my passion.
As a kid, I was an Army Brat and moved around a lot. I had a hard time making new friends and always felt like an outsider. I was lonely and my drawings kept me company. At eight, my parents divorced and my mom moved my brother and me to Utah to be with family. Although I shared the same religious beliefs as many of the kids in my class, the community was a closed one and not quick to welcome newcomers, especially not a poor kid with a single divorced mother. I escaped into books, art, and writing dark humor, meanwhile becoming increasingly curious about all things witchy-woo-woo, even though my mom did her best to police it.
It wasn’t until high school and discovering alternative rock that I found my tribe. With Depeche Mode and The Cure as my soundtrack, I joined a community of creative outsiders who found joy in challenging the norm and letting their freak flags fly.
As an adult, I never lost my creamy goth-filled center, nor my curiosity for what lies in the shadows. As it goes with most things, if you look hard enough long enough, you’ll find what you’re looking for. While I was pregnant with my first child and living in a house previously owned by a self-proclaimed white witch, I began seeing spirits, ghosts, and (MUCH) creepier things. After a few years of being terrified and seeking help and answers (Am I crazy? No. Can I turn it off? No. Now what?!), I discovered my gifts as a clairvoyant and medium and began giving professional psychic readings. My firsthand experience with the spirit realm influences my writing and art and continues to be a source of endless inspiration.
If you like creepy-cute characters and spooky macabre humor, welcome! I’ve been expecting you.