My name is Polina Gortman and I am an illustrator living and working in Seattle, Washington.

I was raised in Siberia by my grandmother, and spent my childhood exploring taiga, feeding burdock leaves to cows and making up stories about precarious adventures of toys lost in a vegetable garden. As a young girl I spent hours poring over illustrations in kids magazines and story books. My biggest illustration influences, old and new, are Pyotr Repkin, Tony Wolf, Quentin Gréban, P.J.Lynch, Qin Leng, Lita Judge, Alexander Steffensmeier and LeUyen Pham.

When creating illustrations and developing characters, I draw inspiration from old fairy tales, wildlife and everyday playground shenanigans. I also enjoy picking apart stalagmites of picture books that grow in random locations at my house, board games and stargazing.

I’m an proud member of Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Western Washington and a local author-illustrator critique group "The Broad Strokes".

To see what I'm up to right now, follow me on Instagram and Twitter.



Drawn to Books, group exhibition by SCBWI Western Washington chapter in Seattle City Hall (2017)


Blue Star from Kirkus Review, 2019 (Randall and Randall)

Recent illustration clients

  • Blue Whale Press

  • Wiggling Pen Publishing