I am an illustrator. I have illustrated over twenty books for children. My clients include the National Geographic Society, NASA, Disney Entertainment, Intervisual, Nintendo, Time, Random House, Alaska Airlines, Sears, and Scientific American. I studied studio art at the University of California, Berkeley and illustration at Art Center in Pasadena, California.
I am an author. I’ve written and illustrated three books. Dangerous Planet: Natural Disasters That Changed History was called "part Jared Diamond ... part Stephen Jay Gould" by the New York Times Book Review. My second book, Outbreak: Plagues That Changed History was called "pleasantly lurid" and “irksomely left-wing” by the Wall Street Journal, and "the stuff of nightmares" by the Denver Post. Dangerous Planet was listed by the American Library Association as appropriate reading for children traumatized by Hurricane Katrina. Outbreak was chosen as the "cover of the week" by Publisher's Weekly, was listed as one of the best books of 2006 by the New York Public Library. It is included in Nancy Pearl's list of best children's books, Book Crush. Both books have been translated into Korean.
My third book, The Genius of Islam: How Muslims Made the Modern World,was published by Knopf in 2011 with an Arabic edition in 2012. The Genius of Islam was selected in 2012 as the top non-fiction book for youth by the United States Middle East Outreach Council and was selected for the master list of notable books by the Children’s Book Council and the National Council for Social Studies.
My original paintings for Outbreak were exhibited at the Smithsonian’s Global Health Odyssey Museum at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, DC and the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, in Port Angeles, Washington. My paintings for the NASA Art Program are in the permanent collection of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.
I am a public artist. I have designed and painted over 200 feet of murals for lobbies at the Janet Sinegal and Melinda Gates buildings at Children’s Hospital in Seattle. The murals were featured on the cover of HealthCare Design magazine and in Health Care Facilities Management. In 2010 I designed windows for the Domestic Violence Court at King County Courthouse in Seattle. In 2011, selected from 194 applicants, I painted a suite of murals for the Beaverton City Library in Beaverton, Oregon.
I am teacher. After a two-year Institute of Current World Affairs fellowship to study visual communication in Southeast Asia, I was invited to be a consulting associate of the Universities Field Staff International. I guest-lectured at ten American college campuses on Asian art, architecture and advertising. Later, I was an assistant professor of illustration in the Department of Art at the University of Delaware, Newark and a senior lecturer in the Department of Illustration at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. I taught painting, drawing and Asian art survey on the University of Pittsburgh’s Semester at Sea program and won a Fulbright fellowship to teach illustration and design at the University Sains Malaysia in Penang.
Currently, I teach International Baccalaureate Diploma Program art and Theory of Knowledge at the American International School Kuwait.
I am a lecturer. I have been a guest lecturer and featured speaker at schools, colleges, libraries, museums, conventions, mosques and World Affairs Councils across North America, and over 35 international schools in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
I grew up in Laguna Beach, California. My mother, Elaine is an actress and writer. My father, Ernest, was an aeronautical engineer for Boeing, Northrop and Hughes. He specialized in radar. With artist Rebecca Parks, I have two children, Wynn and Parks. I live in Friday Harbor, Washington and Maidan Hawally, Kuwait.