Jena Ball is the beloved author and illustrator of the CritterKin book series, and an educator on a mission to debunk the myth of perfection and empower others to ignite and express their creativity.
Jena likes to call herself a connoisseur of imperfection. It's a phrase she coined in 2013 after discovering that children as young as seven, eight and nine believe they're expected to be perfect. The realization grew out of work she was doing with a group of third graders who were extremely critical of themselves, saying their "not perfect" work was, "stupid, broken, bad, ugly, messed up and wrong." Subsequent visits with elementary school students around the world revealed most children felt the same.
Jena's answer to the myth of perfection is The Not Perfect Hat Club book and related programs and presentations. Based on the lives of three recovering perfectionists, the book chronicles the characters' journey as they learn that mistakes are stepping stones to discovery and they can only be perfect at being themselves.
"What identifies us as human beings above all are the powers that flow from our deep resource of imagination –creativity and empathy. Creativity is fundamental because we create our own lives." – Sir Ken Robinson