is an illustrator, artist, & writer who lives in Vancouver, BC. She is passionate about arts-based publishing, which originally began with a love for graphic novels and zines. She studied at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, earning a degree in Visual Arts, this focus on visual and social-based content development inspired her to pursue a career focused on communications and community programming.
Karlene is from the Tsilhqot’in, Carrier and Okanagan Nations, with strong ties to her mother’s territory. She has spent the majority of her life in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and has lived in Vancouver for over a decade.
Professionally, she enjoys working at the community level and has worked for numerous arts- and health-based organizations. She continuously works at creating spaces that are engaging and inclusive; as well as developing leadership skills and facilitating leadership capacity, in group- and team-based situations.
From 2012-2015, Karlene worked as the Communications Director at grunt gallery, an Artist-Run Centre in Vancouver, BC. In 2016, Karlene returned to grunt gallery as a member of their Board of Directors. She currently works at the University of British Columbia as an Arts Academic Advisor for Indigenous students.
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 to 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 such as including people 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.
Contract Work &
I am currently unavailable to take on contract work until 2019. Please check my website to see when I have posted availability.
Typically, I am available throughout the year for illustrated contract work but due to working a full-time job, I do require longer time lines to complete work than a full-time professional illustrator.
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
For more information on my background with exhibitions and past publications, please click here.