When she was small, Karen spent most of her time drawing and painting, and making library tickets for her books. A little older, she continued to draw and paint gaining a First Class honours degree in Fine Art from Liverpool, followed by an MA from the Royal College of Art.
Karen then brandished very big paint brushes on film sets, often from very tall ladders. This made her arms ache and her legs wobbly, so she climbed down and bought some very small brushes. Around this time she became a mum, and her two boys demanded she read them three picture books every bedtime. So she got them library tickets and they spent a lot of time in the library choosing stories. And this gave Karen the idea of what to do with those small brushes…
In 2009 she won the Waterstone’s Picture This competition. Her prize was to illustrate Freddie and the Fairy for Julia Donaldson. Happily, this means that Karen still spends most of her time drawing and painting for picture books – she writes too.
Her own books no longer have library tickets, but she works part time as a primary school librarian, where she joyfully scans library books and reads stories to a never ending supply of small children. Karen lives in Bristol with her family and their cat Dr Calamari.