Author Kaleigh Hastings grew up exploring the swamps, springs, beaches, and backwoods of Florida with her family. Her love of nature and passion for exploration are still apparent today. Kaleigh's background is in landscape architecture, so she's got an eye for balance and scale and a deep appreciation for how man-made design can honor nature. She has designed parks and outdoor spaces, worked on farms - she even hiked the Appalachian Trail by herself! Kaleigh believes that the intersection of natural history, cultural identity, and a tiny bit of mischief is where the best stuff happens.
Illustrator Becca Barnet's fascination with animals and creating art goes back as far as her ability to hold a crayon. As a kid, she turned her family's basement into a full-scale diorama - learning from her mom how to use household materials creatively to simulate nature. Becca hasn't stopped making art since. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design and has created exhibits for institutions including the American Museum of Natural History, the Charleston Museum, and the South Carolina Aquarium.
Together, Kaleigh and Becca are the team behind Sisal Creative, where they make curious and detail-oriented art installations for public and private spaces. They use their sense of wonder, respect for the natural world, and aptitude for problem solving to create unexpected artwork and unique spaces. From illustrations and murals to restaurant interiors and museum exhibit design and fabrication, Kaleigh and Becca bring distinct perspectives to Sisal Creative and are able to make so many different things!
You Animal! is their first children's book together.