The daughter of adventurous parents who brought their family to live in Tehran, Iran, in the mid 1970’s. Sparked by her experiences as a child living abroad, Kristina realized she wanted to be an adult who explored the world by developing a team building workshop that brings children and adults together through a “Who Am I?” publishing platform. As a child Kristina struggled with dyslexia. The frustration of seeing words jump around on a page, skipping lines and inability to focus on reading, sparked the idea of creating art that would help tell a story. What she discovered was the therapy art exercises she began developing with the help of others, gave children confidence and focus to put pen to paper.
After high school, Kristina moved to Boston, MA to attend The Art Institute of Boston. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art and made Dean’s list. While in college she began working for Beacon Press, creating illustrations for cover stories. Right after graduating she was hired as a jr. designer by William H. Sadlier, a Christian curriculum publication on Wall Street. Soon after she was hired to work at Scholastic Publishing, NYC as a junior designer and art buyer.
Kristina moved to Longmont, Colorado and became part of the digital illustration boom, creating hundreds of illustrations for Microsoft. Kristina was also commissioned to create illustrations for the inside of tea boxes for Celestial Seasonings’-Wellness Teas. Kristina started a greeting card company called Oryx Mountain Studios, creating the ABC Endangered Animal Collection. The card line sold at Pier One Imports, The San Diego Zoo, The Denver Zoo and Barnes & Noble. Caravan International bought the card line from Kristina in the late 1990’s.
Seven years after moving to Central Vermont and having two young children, Kristina was inspired by Eric Carle, the author and illustrator of the “Very Hungry Caterpillar”, who was known for creating unique paper art in his illustrations. With the mentoring of two Vermont, retired school teachers, Roger Crowley and Newton Baker, they quickly began to work together to create the first Kids Share Workshop with local Vermont school children. Kristina taught the children how to create beautiful paper art to be included into their own artwork and Kristina’s co-created, professional illustrations.
Kids Share Workshops was born in 2008.
Two years after the first book was published, Kids Share Workshops was honored with the United States Board on Books for Young People (USSBY) Bridge to Understanding Award for their cross-cultural sharing.
Kristina was hired by Bitsela.com, to create many Jewish illustrations, when she lived in Colorado and after she moved to Vermont. And in 2011; New York Times bestselling author Cokie Roberts and Steven V. Roberts, found Kristina on Bitsela.com and called her at Kristina’s home to ask if she would illustrate their book, Our Haggadah: Uniting Traditions for Interfaith Families published by Harper Collins.
Starting in 2010, Kristina trained volunteers and teamed up with Partners of the Americas to teach Kids Share in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Oregon and Costa Rica, where she traveled and taught on and off for four years in Latin America. She then became a student of the Spanish Language.
April 2013, Kids Share Workshops was invited to teach the vulnerable children, who survived the school shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Kids Share was invited back in 2015 to teach at the temporary school location. The children were happy to see Kids Share return.
In 2016, Kristina and her organization began building a Kids Share Workshops with Rahsaan Graham, Senior Director for Child Protection and Education with World Vision USA, based in NYC. In 2017, Kids Share Workshops taught its first successful program with the World Vision team in Zambia, Africa.
In April 2018, nearly ten years developing Kids Share Workshops, Kristina decided to officially close the doors to Kids Share Workshops as a nonprofit and registered business. From her incredible training and experience with Kids Share, she created a new company that would focus on all ages and a wider range of creative arts, Novaturient Workshops, LLC.
Personal life-Kristina is married to a British man and has two teenagers and three younger step-children. She lives with her family in London, England and New England, USA.
Education-BFA, The Art Institute of Boston/Lesley University-Dean’s List
Kristina’s LinkedIn Profile