Photo of Abi Cushman

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!


Awards & Honors

New England SCBWI Annual Conference Portfolio Showcase
  • Winner, 2018

New England SCBWI 2018 Portfolio Winner


PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award
  • Winner, Picture Book, 2017

The Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award honors emerging writers and writer/illustrators from New England.

Goat and Badger sledding illustration


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

The Tassy Walden Awards is an annual competition that encourages and nurtures the creation of exceptional books for children by unpublished Connecticut writers and illustrators. It is judged by senior editors and art directors at major publishing houses.

“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

Draw This! is a monthly contest for illustrators put on by the Society of Children’s Books Writers & Illustrators.

Highland cow (hairy coo) illustration


KidLit411.com Illustration Contest
  • Honorable Mention, 2018

Birds on a wire illustration


Around the Web

Illustrator Spotlight: Abi Cushman
July 1, 2018, KidLit411

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.


Illustrator Sunday: Abi Cushman
August 27, 2017, Kathy Temean’s Writing & Illustrating Blog

A critique by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Associate Art Director Sharismar Rodriguez

“Right off the bat I want to say that this was a great selection of pieces, I can envision a variety of scenarios for this adventurous bunny. This combination has a few themes that are timeless and precious: having dreams, parent-child relationship, it has some fantasy elements, overall really cohesive.

“…these pieces are filled with magic and I’ll encourage you to continue developing this story, if you haven’t done so yet.”

~ Sharismar Rodriguez, Associate Art Director at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt BFYR

Bunny flying airplane illustrations