Prior to illustrating fashion and beauty, she was a women's clothing designer for lifestyle brands she admired – Ralph Lauren, Tommy Bahama, and Calypso St. Barth by Christiane Celle. Karen graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Arts from UCLA. She pursued an A.A.S. in Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City then completed her degree at Polimoda in Florence, Italy. As a founder of Illustrienne, a paper goods brand, she is continually inspired by art and fashion.
Karen is represented by Joanna MacKenzie at Nelson Literary Agency.
Early March of this year, Karen co-founded Share Your Asian Story (@shareyourasianstory) along with fellow fashion artists, Sandra Hsu, Beck Hong and Marcus Kan (the founder of Draw A Dot @drawadot, a fashion illustration community). They created Share Your Asian Story early March of 2021 as an Instagram community for artists from around the world to have a safe space to share their work — to express racial trauma and to celebrate Asian joy and excellence through all forms of art.
They hold weekly interviews on Instagram LIVE with Asian American and Canadian guests who are not typically visual artists to share their stories as well. They have interviewed awarding winning authors, a graphic novelist, a doctor/actor, a non-profit director, entrepreneurs, anchorwoman, and the Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications at UCLA, among many notable guests.
Karen Koh is an illustrator and writer of stories that empower, delight and inspire wonder. As a child, she created picture books about princesses in space by stapling together her stories and illustrations. A former fashion designer turned fashion illustrator, Karen lives with her husband and their three young children in Los Angeles. She is currently pursuing her childhood dream of writing books. Karen is a member of SCBWI, 12x12 and The Writing Barn Courage to Create writing communities. As a former women’s wear designer who has worked with teams on all stages from design to sales, she has found the process of creating children’s picture books a collaborative one, and she loves it.
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