Kern Samuel was born on the island of Trinidad in the West Indies. He is the son of tradespeople and his mother Maudlyn ran a small sewing shop from home. There is where he discovered art, spending many evenings keenly observing his mother as she created outfits or just doodling quietly to pass the time. At fourteen his family migrated to the United States and settled in New Jersey. By that time, he had developed a strong passion for art and creativity and knew he wanted to be an artist. At eighteen he received a full tuition scholarship to attend The Cooper Union in New York City.
After college he became very interested in community building and became a part of The Sable Project, a small off-the-grid artist community in Vermont. There, he had the opportunity to collaborate with many dance artists, often recalling his formative years at home with his mother, to create original costumes for performances.
He took his interest in community and collaboration back to New Jersey where he works as an Educator at The Newark Museum.