(714) 932-6451 kelso.karen@gmail.com



  • Confers and collaborates with photographers, illustrators, and editors on presentation of stories and packages for the print, magazine, and online publications.
  • Designs daily pages on deadline for various sections of the newspaper, including special sections, packages, and investigations.
  • Leads group critiques of work (40 designers), mentors, and leads brainstorming sessions.
  • Coordinates and directs the work of designers; recruits and hires designers; hires and negotiates fees with freelance contractors.
  • Provides one-on-one coaching and managing of larger group projects.
  • Works with the production department in pre-press and on-press supervision.
  • Influences various departments with strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Acquired an overall understanding of publishing by working in various departments.
  • Maintains staff schedules and budgets.


  • Photographed daily assignments.
  • Edited and scheduled daily assignments and special projects for photography staff.
  • Recruited and hired photographers.
  • Recommends photo use for various section fronts.
  • Conceptualized, planned and art directs large-scale location shoots with photographers.


  • Works with editors, reporters, and designers on the presentation of graphics and illustrations.
  • Proficient in: Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Photo Mechanic, Excel, MS Word, PowerPoint, and CCI.
  • Works and art directs artists on illustration concepts.
  • Recruited and hired staff and freelance artists.


  • Creative Director/Coast Magazine  –  Jan. 2015 to June 2020
  • Design Team leader/The Orange County Register  –  July 1999 to Jan. 2015
  • Creative Art Director/Home Magazine  –  Aug. 2003-May 2008
  • Presentation Team Leader/The Orange County Register  –  April 1999-July 1999
  • Graphics Team Leader/The Orange County Register  –  May 1996-April 1999
  • Design Editor/The Orange County Register  –  May 1990-May 1996
  • Photo Editor/The Orange County Register  –  May 1989-May 1990
  • Assistant Graphics Editor/The Cincinnati Post  –  Oct. 1988-May 1989
  • Photo Editor/The Knoxville News-Sentinel  –  Sept. 1987-Sept. 1988
  •  Asst. Photo Editor/Photographer/The Orange County Register  –  June 1986-Aug. 1987
  • Staff Photographer/The Vacaville Reporter  –  June 1984-June1986


  • BA in Mass Communications with an emphasis in photojournalism: San Jose State University; Graduated with honors 1984
  • Masters work in Communications at Ohio University 1987
  • Web Design class at Santa Ana College 2008
  • Multiple staff and individual Society of Newspaper Design awards