At the age of five, Ruby Tanaka abandoned her dreams of becoming an elevator operator when her mother took her to see the movie THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF BROTHERS GRIMM. From then on, whenever anyone asked her what she was going to be when she grew up, she would reply that she was going to write and illustrate children’s books. Ruby did grow up, but somehow in the process that dream was abandoned too. Then one night, desperate to calm a roomful of squealing girls at her daughter’s slumber party, Ruby made up a story about a medieval princess who decides to slay the dragon herself. Not only did it get the girls into their sleeping bags, it got Ruby thinking about that long-ago dream. She is currently working on a YA novel about that aforementioned princess, which won a 2011 SCBWI Most Promising Work-In-Progress Award, as well as writing and illustrating picture books. She has designed and painted sets and backdrops for several local ballet productions; produced a line of greeting cards; had her trompe l’oeil artwork twice featured in the Seattle Street of Dreams; and for eighteen months performed storytelling and puppetry at a local mission for marginalized families. Ruby lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two daughters.
Download a PDF of the artist’s samples here: WPA Tanaka art samples