is an illustrator and writer, she lives on the unceded and ancestral home territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tseil-Waututh people. She is a member of the Tsilhqot’in First nation with family ties to the Carrier and Okanagan Nations. Her illustrative work focuses on Indigenous and feminist representation with bold collisions of colour and comic influenced linework. She has been published by magazines such as Discorder, Kimiwan and Chickadee (forthcoming); her work can also be found in the following books, #NotYourNDNPrincess and select Indigenous publications for AIM language group.
Karlene studied at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, earning a BFA in Visual Arts. Professionally, she has developed a career that centers on community building and developing leadership capacity amongst women and youth. She served as a board member at grunt gallery Artist-Run Centre from 2016-2018 and currently works as an Academic Advisor for Indigenous students within the Faculty of Arts at University of British Columbia.
For more information on my background with exhibitions and past publications, please click here.
Drawing and Representation
Currently, I choose projects where I have artistic freedom to pursue imagery and concepts that are conceptually interesting to me, offer artistic autonomy, and often include subject matter that explores beyond a visually represented norm of body type within visual media. I gravitate towards feminist-based illustrations, often choosing female-represented characters and have recently expanded this area to gender queer individuals. I am hoping to explore more areas of representation including visual depiction of folks with visible disabilities and an expanded understanding of body shapes, sizes and overall diversity. For myself, growing up, it was rare to see bodies and characters that reminded me of myself — Protagonists within picture books, graphic novels, animated series were often not represented by people of colour and were commonly regulated to the side-kick character. Things have somewhat changed, but there is a consistently a need to consider representation within various narrative formats. Can the character be non-gender conforming? Can we depict them with a physical disability that doesn't immediately become a trope or story arc and is just a part of who they are? How do we normalize various representations within imagery and media? These are questions that I'm starting to ask myself within the various contracts that I undertake and I gravitate towards people that are open to this exploration.
I am currently available for contract work. Email me at karlene.harvey(at)gmail.com
Please feel free to email me to inquire about prints. If I do not have a print readily available, I'm happy to coordinate a new print for you but it will take several weeks as I use a giclee art printer. Email me at karlene.harvey(at)gmail.com for more information