My Background

My name is Karen Jarvis and I live in Titirangi with my husband and two teenagers. I have an eclectic background. I love the arts, working with people, exploring ideas and creating things. I have worked with elderly, children and adults with diversity, preschool, primary-aged children and teenagers in a variety of capacities including writer, photographer, performer, director, artist, caregiver, nanny, art teacher, dance teacher and TESOL tutor.



Master of Creative Writing (AUT) 2015

Graduate Diploma of Arts in English (Auckland University) 2013
Diploma of Design in Visual Arts (Unitec) 2010-2012
Bachelor of Arts in History (Otago University) 1989-1991
Diploma of Clothes Design (Wellington Polytechnic) 1987-1988



Painting and drawing

I have been painting. drawing and creating collages for thirty years. 

My work is figurative and influenced by an eclectic range of artists including Kay Donachie, Diebenkorn, Bonnard, Bosch, Luc Tymans, Marlene Dumas, Richard Lewer, Gerhard Richter and many children's illustrators.

Groups Shows:

roinn: A group show, Northart, 2019

Pocket Edition: Small Works for Large Walls, Northart, 2019

I have recently been combining painting with photography to create digital composites



Photography feeds my lifelong obsession with light and its transformative effects.  Favourite photographers include Alan Schaller, Fan Ho, Paul Strand, Andre Kertesz, Josef Sudek, Vivian Maier, Maggie Taylor, Richard Avedon, Diane Arbus and Man Ray.

Click here to view my photography



I wrote privately commissioned biographies for Life Stories for five years.

Read about Life Stories and memoir writing


To Cut A Long Story Short: The Life of Ian Devereux, Life Stories, 2017 

Good Clean Fun, Life Stories, 2018

A Skylark Sings, Life Stories, 2019

Children's books:

Star Fairy’s Top Secret Guide to Fairyland,

Pan MacMillan, Australia, 2007



As co-founder and Creative Director of children’s theatre company StarFish Magic, I was able to combine my love of children and their imaginative worlds with writing, performing and creating shows. I also enjoyed making all the costumes and props.  For 14 years, StarFish Magic performed an average of 200 shows per year at preschools, schools, festivals and public and private venues throughout New Zealand and Australia. Prior to Starfish Magic, I was a member of

The Aunties for three years, performing and writing shows, making costumes and marketing.

Click here to see Starfish Magic photos and reviews


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