top of page

Kami M. Koyamatsu

/biography

Bio

Born in Seattle, Washington, 1988

-2007 - 2011 Studied Environmental Science Resource Management, Wildlife Conservation at the University of Washington

-2013 - 2014 Natural Science Illustration Certificate Program at University of Washington

-2019 - present Master of Art in Biology, for Social and Ecological Change, via Project Dragonfly at Miami University of Ohio

Kami grew up in the boonies of Ravensdale, WA, where she developed her love for wildlife. Her childhood home stood on the edge of 40 acres of forest where a large variety of birds and animals were always present. She often spent time outside watching and trying to photograph the large variety of birds, animals, reptiles, and insects. Once a bat got inside the house, her family kept it all day in a Tupperware container until the next evening when she put the bat outside and it flew away, this helped spur Kami's passion for bats. She has participated in many class field trips to zoos and the aquarium, and grew up with a variety of pets including dogs, birds, fish, and a hedgehog.

 

Kami experimented with a wide variety of arts and crafts as she grew up. She did anything from drawing and painting to rubber stamping, embossing, decoupages, glass etching, sewing, papier-mâché, oil pastels, and of course play-dough. She would also go around looking for round rocks that she would draw ears and faces on, and give them as gifts for mother’s day and birthdays. She joined several art clubs and even an art committee in junior high, where she helped select pieces of art to be displayed in the building, and took as many art classes as possible during all her school years.

 

During her undergraduate years at the University of Washington, Kami struggled to choose between a major in fine arts or environmental science.  She finally opted for the BS in Environmental Science and Resource Management with a focus of Wildlife Conservation, while still taking as many art classes as possible. For her environmental science degree she studied bats, with a capstone project that involved using a bat detector to study them in Ravenna Park. To continue her passion of art, she took intro to drawing, figure drawing, mono-print making, sculptures and intermediate dynamic sculptures. Towards the end of her undergraduate year she submitted two prints to Hall Health where they selected her pieces to be displayed for a year, one of which they purchased to add to their permanent collection. 

  

Post college, Kami volunteered as a wildlife rehabilitation intern at PAWS Wildlife Center. Afterwards she volunteered at the Woodland Park Zoo, she has always wanted to work as a zoo keeper and volunteering gave a good chance to work close to the animals. She did all this while working as a cake decorator, something she has done since college. Having graduated and working a full time job then allowed her to take a Natural Science Illustration certificate program.

 

The certificate program was that combination between art and science that she had been searching for. Kami learned lots of new skills and was able to hone old skills, such as pen and ink, scratchboard, carbon dust, watercolor, acrylic, and colored pencil. Since the certificate program Kami has participated in several shows. 

She moved to and lived in Las Cruces, NM for 3 years while her husband attended grad school. There she continued with her art. Once her husband graduated they moved back to Seattle, where Kami is currently attending graduate school with a focus of bats for her Master Plan.

 

Kami’s inspiration spawns from the love of animals and her fascination with the natural world. As the artist Janet Fish said ‘I feel as though I haven’t seen an object until I actually start painting it.' Kami also believes that people need to become more aware of the natural world and the wonders that are out there. This she believes can be achieved by art, visits to zoos and parks. Hopefully by getting people’s interests piqued they will be more active in saving what little of the natural world we have left.

Kami is inspired by the natural world. She believes it is important to pique people's interests in nature. She hopes her illustrations will encourage children and adults to look outside of their normal lives and become motivated to help preserve the environment and wildlife that is so easily overlooked and forgotten. 

bottom of page