Like many illustrators, I loved drawing and painting all throughout my childhood. I went on to study art and art history at Tufts University, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the University of Melbourne in Australia.

When I graduated from college, I began a career as a web/graphic designer, and I still enjoy working in the field today! One of my websites, Animal Fact Guide, was named a “Great Website for Kids” by the American Library Association. Did you know that wombats’ poop is cube-shaped? You do now! (And no, you’ll never un-know that.)

But throughout that time, my dream of creating picture books persisted. So when a funny story idea wouldn’t leave me alone, I decided to make storytelling a priority. And I’ve been happily dreaming up characters and storylines ever since.

I live in a small Connecticut beach town with my husband and two children. When I’m not working, I can be found running, playing tennis, and eating nachos. (Yes, at the same time.)

I am represented by BookStop Literary Agency and am an active member of SCBWI.

Come find me on Twitter or Instagram and say hi! And if you’d like an insider view into my writing and illustration process, news about upcoming books, and exclusive freebies, subscribe to my quarterly newsletter.

Awards & Honors

New England SCBWI Annual Conference Portfolio Showcase
  • Winner, 2018
PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award
  • Winner, Picture Book, 2017
Tassy Walden New Voices in Children’s Literature Award
  • Honorable Mention, Illustration Portfolio, 2018
  • Winner, Illustrated Picture Book, 2017
  • Honorable Mention, Illustrated Picture Book, 2016

“SNOW DAY FOR GOAT AND BADGER had a wonderful sense of humor and a real understanding of the relationship that kids have when they teeter back and forth between fun and fear.”
~ Tassy Walden Judge

SCBWI Draw This!
  • Winner, February 2018, Prompt word: Blustery Illustration Contest
  • Honorable Mention, 2018

Around the Web

The Day: Picture This! Abi Cushman Runs a Children’s Book Marathon and Wins

January 29, 2019 – A feature by Lee Howard about the inspiration behind my debut picture book, SOAKED, and how I sold the story to Viking Children’s Books. BONUS: Includes a life-sized photo of my face.

Rhys Keller: Interview with Author/Illustrator Abi Cushman

January 16, 2019 – Rhys Keller interviews me about my 2020 picture book debut, my art process, and how I decided on a career in the arts. (HINT: It involves cat gonads.)

Storyteller Academy Success Stories: Abi Cushman

November 20, 2018 – An interview with Myrna Foster about my publication journey and how Storyteller Academy changed the way I create stories. Includes photos of my rough dummies.

Sub It Club / The Postcard Post: Abi Cushman

August 24, 2018 – I talk with Dana Carey at Sub It Club about illustrator self-promotional postcards: How I choose images for postcards, how I build my mailing list, where I get my postcards printed, and more.

KidLit411 Illustrator Spotlight: Abi Cushman

July 1, 2018 – An interview with KidLit411 about how I got into children’s book illustration, my art process, and how I approached the assignment for the KidLit411 banner design contest.

Kathy Temean’s Illustrator Sunday: Abi Cushman

August 27, 2017 – A critique by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Associate Art Director Sharismar Rodriguez.