Illustrator Spotlight: Traci Allison

© Traci Allison


Dec. 1, 2023

We are pleased to feature illustrator Traci Allison and her banner design for December as well as her book, Beautifully Blemished: Learning and Celebrating Skin Differences, written by Leanne Stuckley (Beautifully Blemished LLC 2023). Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below!


Tell us about yourself and how you came to illustrate for children. 

© Traci Allison


I've always been an artist, and received a lot of encouragement growing up. I studied art in college, and was a graphic designer and art director before starting a family. But truly, I always wanted to illustrate. I have a small collection of favorite picture books from my childhood that always inspired me. 

Fast forward to 2014: A friend invited me to illustrate her first self-published children's book. I knew nothing about illustration, nothing about narrative or character development or plot or movement.  I made many mistakes at first. I joined the SCBWI, immersed myself into the world of crafting picture books, and learned to illustrate both analog and digital. That first book turned into two more books for the same author. To date I've illustrated six picture books.

© Traci Allison

Congrats on your banner design for Kidlit411. Can you tell us how you approached this design and project?  

I love penguins (and other quirky birds) - they have so much personality.  And just like humans, penguins are a nurturing community!  I thought it would be fun to let them interact with the kids on the ice!

Congrats on your picture book, Beautifully Blemished!   Tell us about it and what inspired you.  

Thank you! Written by Leanne Stuckey, Beautifully Blemished helps children see the unmatched beauty in their uniqueness and provides an understanding of various skin conditions. Leanne and I both felt the characters should be diverse and inclusive. Since Leanne lives in Chicago and I live in Atlanta, we video chatted every two weeks throughout the process! The book has received a ton of local and national buzz, has been used as a learning resource at organizations including the Sturge-Weber Foundation and the Texas Children's Hospital, and has even made its way to other countries including the U.K. and Canada.  The book was even featured in People Magazine online.  Needless to say, we are very proud of this project!

What projects are you working on now?  

Lately I've been really drawn to mixed media - I love the tactile feeling of working with paint & collage! It's been a nice break from working digitally. One of the authors I collaborated with a few years ago has asked me to illustrate another picture book. We will be working on that this winter, and the book will be published next year. I'm also tinkering with writing, though I'm a long way from completing any manuscript!

What advice would you give to aspiring illustrators?  

© Traci Allison

Social media can be a great source of inspiration, but if we're not careful it can also be deflating! When you're feeling discouraged, unmotivated, or just creatively blank, try to pivot to something else for a while (I go for hikes and do some baking, sewing, or crocheting/knitting). Be gentle on yourself - sometimes you just need a break!

What is something most people don't know about you?  

I'm a runner who loves to cook and EAT!  I’m also half Puerto-Rican.

Where can people find you online?; @traciallisonart on instagram. 

Traci Allison is an artist/illustrator living in the lush mountains of north Georgia.  She has illustrated picture books for children, and designed greeting cards, stationery, & paper products.  She is also a graphic designer, and earned her BFA from Georgia State University.  Traci and her husband have four grown children and four grandchildren. 



a Rafflecopter giveaway