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About the Artist

Karen in the forest.jpg

I'm an Illustrator from St. Louis, MO.

I love making tactile, hand-crafted objects that expand the relevance of my 2D work; and in my illustrations I  combine colored pencil drawings on toned paper with messy digital brushes and scanned textures to achieve an energetic, traditional feel.

Throughout my life animals have always been a source of inspiration. They are the best at being themselves, and filling their particular niches in the wild world. I most enjoy illustrating mythological tales of animal guides and tricksters, as well as fairy tales and other stories that cast animal characters to convey relatable narratives.

Recently I self published my children's book "The Little Orange Man," with co-author Justin Melendez, and collaborated with Draque Thompson to produce the 85- card Tarot deck, "A Darisa Tarot."  I have also published work with Line By Lion Publications, Sofawolf Press, and various self-publishing authors; and I'm always ready to help bring new projects to life!

Contact me at


Artwork & Design © Karen Swartz

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(314) 202-4067‬

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