Kirsten grew up surrounded by the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She became fond of both wildlife and drawing at an early age, and combined her love of both subjects into stacks of animal drawings and paintings. She took art classes in high school and was even given the opportunity to exhibit one of her pieces at the Washington State Capitol Building during her senior year. As she grew older, however, her studies leaned more toward science, including biology and zoology.
In 2006, she graduated from the University of San Diego with a bachelor's degree in biology. During this time, a course in vertebrate natural history introduced her to birdwatching, which quickly became a passion. After graduation, her exploits took her through volunteer and paid positions working in zoos before she wound up in Florida. The natural areas in central Florida and the Space Coast had a huge impact on her art. She spent much of her time there hiking, birding, and exploring. Many of the photos she took there have become the inspiration for art that followed. Later, she returned to the Northwest, where she attended the University of Washington's Natural Science Illustration certificate program and finished in June 2012. Currently, she is living in the Bay Area for a visitor services internship at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Outside of the studio, she enjoys hiking, birding, photography, marathon running, and reading. Her love of nature has led her to other outdoor hobbies including geocaching and trail running.
She works with a variety of media, both traditional and digital. Traditional mediums are her first love, particularly graphite, colored pencil, pen and ink, and acrylic. She loves to experiment with different media, and is always open to trying new ones! She is also comfortable using a digital tablet and software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
In addition, she loves to share with and learn from her peers, so she is a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators. To keep up with her zoo and wildlife interests, she is also a member of the American Association of Zoo Keepers and the National Audubon Society.
She uses her art to teach people about the natural world, and hopes that, through it, more people will appreciate and understand the planet on which we live.