Tami Traylor grew up running around the woods of southern Virginia. When she wasn’t exploring some abandoned, ramshackle barn or unknowingly rolling in poison ivy, she was reading and drawing. There was always a connection to stories from her earliest memory and her mother and grandmother cultivated her artistic and literary endeavors by keeping her in constant supply of books and paper. She was the kid all the librarians knew by name and she knew from an early age she wanted to share her own stories and ideas with others.
She earned a BFA in Illustration and Graphic Design at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1993. After graduation she started working in graphic design, where she stayed for fifteen years, still plying the art of storytelling to beautiful design in the commercial and government sectors.
Somewhere in all that chaos, she decided to walk away from the her career in design and retrace her steps back to her first love, writing and illustrating books. She joined the SCBWI in 2005 in order to learn everything there was to know about the business of creating books for young readers and she remains a member and volunteer in the Mid-Atlantic region today.
She finally took the leap into a full time freelance career in 2010 and now divides her time between writing and creating illustrations for young audiences in both digital and analog media. She especially enjoys working in graphite, acrylic and gouache.
Tami still lives in southern Virginia with her husband, two children, one diva cat, and two guinea pigs. She still loves the woods and finds inspiration in mid-century illustration, Russian folk painting, abandoned buildings, vintage book, animation…but, most of all, she is inspired by stories.