Polina Gortman is an illustrator living and working in Seattle, Washington.

She was raised in Siberia by her grandmother, and spent her childhood feeding burdock leaves to cows and making up stories about precarious adventures of toys lost in a vegetable garden. She now spends her days reading picture books and drawing funny characters for her five year old daughter by day and painting watercolor worlds by night.

Polina draws inspiration from old fairy tales, wildlife, nature, and everyday playground shenanigans. Her hobbies include picking apart stalagmites of books that grow in random locations at her house and stargazing.  

Polina is an active member of Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and a local author-illustrator critique group "The Broad Strokes".


  • Illustrator Intensive at the Highlights Foundation, July 20-23 2018

  • "Real-world Art Direction for a Fantasy Assignment" workshop with Kristine Brogno and Richard J. Watson, spring 2017

  • "Children book illustration" with Evgeniy Antonenkov (online at lectoroom.ru), winter-spring 2017

  • "Introduction to picture books" class with Dana Sullivan at Kirkland Art Center, winter 2017 and fall 2017

  • "Introduction to children's book illustration" class with Craig Orback, winter 2017

  • "Craft and Business of Illustrating Children's Books" class with Mira Reisberg and Julia McGuire, fall 2016

  • School of Visual Storytelling, summer 2016 - fall 2017

  • Two-day Schoolism live workshop in Seattle, spring 2016

Group exhibitions

  • 2018 Picture Book Illustration at Kirkland Art Center, Kirkland, WA

  • 2017 DRAWN TO BOOKS by SCBWI Western Washington at Seattle City Hall, Seattle, WA

Conferences attended

  • 2017 SCBWI of Western Washington 25th Conference for Writers and Illustrators in Redmond, WA