I’m an interdisciplinary artist who writes children’s books and draws pictures. I also collage, do theater improv, dance, paint, and knit colorful sweaters. Ever since I was little, my favorite kind of play was to create things with my imagination and my hands. When I’m happy, I make things. When I’m stressed or sad, I make things. For me, creative play is always the way forward.
My published books include:
Behold! A Baby
Elvis & Olive
I've been a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award multiple times, and my novel Pencilvania was named a Best Book of 2021 by the New York Public Library. Book-writing opened the door to teaching writing and drawing workshops to grades K - 8. Over the past 15 years, I’ve taught both adults and kids at the Loft Literary Center, public libraries across Minnesota, Minneapolis Public Schools, the American Swedish Institute, and more.
For the past two decades, I’ve also worked as a freelance copywriter and content strategist, writing for Target, 3M, Ecolab, Best Buy, Boston Scientific, Microsoft, Medica, Ameriprise Financial, and many more. This work is very different from my creative art practice. But the experience of collaborating with a wide variety of organizations and people has taught me to be flexible, adaptive and to connect with groups quickly, so we can build something great together. These skills translate to leading workshops with groups of all ages, backgrounds and ability. I'm not afraid to dive into the deep end with a group of strangers. In fact, the deep end is where I'm at my best.
On the personal side, I’ve sailed the open seas of clinical depression and anxiety for the past 25 years. Ahoy, matey! I teach from a place of lived experience and empathy. Drawing, writing and improv and other art practices are strategies that I personally use to navigate both stormy weather and smooth sailing, and I love helping others to learn to do the same.
I'm a proud graduate of the Minneapolis Public School system and hold a BA from Sarah Lawrence College.
"Stephanie's varied approaches to creativity in her workshops are rigorous—yet playful and supportive. Stephanie is a joy to work with."
Susan Marie Swanson
Caldecott-winning children's book author and educator