“When we effectively convey our humanity and ideas—we can connect with the people who need us most and make the world a better place.”

These words are central to everything I do in my work. However, meaningful communication can be challenging. Early in my career, I struggled to communicate my ideas in a nuanced way through words, design, and imagery. I used techniques I learned in school but didn't fit me, and I felt uncomfortable. Finally, through trial and error, I discovered that to have an impact, I needed to pursue what resonated with me—creating heartfelt communication that connected people with what they cared about.

I realized that my love of storytelling was integral to my communication style. My natural traits such as empathy, compassion, noticing subtleties, and being deeply moved by art, music, and story, were precisely the skills I needed to become an effective communicator. This combination helped me develop a 35-year visual communication career focusing on web design, SEO, and empathetic marketing for the last 20.

After business hours, I continue using storytelling to help protect the natural world around us by creating stories about how humans affect nature. I specialize in making environmental topics accessible, relatable, and specific to what my audiences hold dear. Brainstorming solutions to problems rarely stops for creatives and entrepreneurs after the workday ends!

A decorative font glyph for the number 3 from the font Stringfellows Ornaments.

I understand firsthand how challenging it can be to communicate the fundamental principles crucial to your business or identity. But I also know that it feels fantastic to be true to yourself while doing so—and it's ultimately more effective.

Along the way, I learned you don't have to use awkward jargon or strategies that don't resonate or spend countless frustrating hours trying to fit into a mold that doesn't suit you. All you need to do is get to the heart of what you do and discover your communication style, whether marketing a business or product or doing good in the world. When you find your true voice, getting the word out becomes easier. It's a joy for me to help folks do this and watch them soar as the unique humans they are.

A decorative font glyph for the number 3 from the font Stringfellows Ornaments.

Schedule a time to discover how to find your communication strengths & get on the path that fits you best.

Or click to learn more about working with me & see a partial list of my clients.

A decorative font glyph for the number 3 from the font Stringfellows Ornaments.

Always an artist. Images of Kristen painting at 5 at an easel wearing a smock and setting off to art school with her portfolio

Painting at five (left) and off to art school (right).

I grew up in an art gallery. (Yes, I did.)

I got into business early. For one venture, when I was 12, I made little creatures called “Nice Mice” and sold them at the India Street Art Colony Jazz Festival.

I have been using Apple computers since 1980.

In the 80s, I worked for a software company called Beagle Bros. that made games and utilities for Apple computers.

Image of the Beagle Bros staff from a 1983 article in SoftTalk magazine

1983 SoftTalk magazine article with the Beagle Bros. crew.
That's me (aka Minnie Assembler), second from the left.

I have been living, working, and playing in South Lake Tahoe, CA, for over 30 years.

One of my first jobs after college was doing paste up for a newspaper. (If you don't know what paste up is, here's a video explaining this lost art.)

In the early 2000s, I developed a method for printing on raw silk and was featured in a Rochester, New York, art show with fellow art printing innovators.

I had the tremendous honor of being chosen to work with author/illustrator Yuyi Morales in the 2009 Nevada Mentor Program through the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

I wasn't aware of how much I use my hands when talking until I animatedly described some illustrations during a live radio interview. I managed to unplug all the sound equipment with one enthusiastic gesture.

I wear many hats in my life, many of which are helmets.

Our grown child, a computer scientist/linguist, is a Ph.D. student studying fairness and privacy in natural language processing. (We don't understand everything, but we try!)

Photo of our black kelpie dog

Our brave dog.

When we rescued our dog, she was afraid of trash cans, tree stumps, people, other dogs, and shadows. She is currently only scared of our houseguest—a cat named Wren.

The most validating thing a publishing house art director ever said to me:
“You can obviously draw the hell out of anything.”