My Bio

My friends and I in high school. I made this jacket in Home Economics class.
My friends and I in high school. I made this jacket in Home Economics class.

Tamara R. Belland


I grew up in Williamsburg, Iowa, for the most part cultivating the left side of my brain (I'm left-handed which means right-brain dominant). My high school years left me with an intense desire to communicate. After high school I attended St. Luke's nursing school and then got a degree in nursing from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Not long after, my creative self took over and brought me to the West Coast where I began to explore the arts. 


I worked as a nurse for three years in Seattle when I discovered during a life-changing seminar that it wasn't the best direction for me so I left that career (a background, however, that I'm grateful to have). Eventually I went back to school and learned how to write poetry, graduating with an MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from the UW in Seattle in 1989. However, I was always a visual artist too, and in 2004 I found out the difference between being an artist and an illustrator.  When that was clear I went BACK to school to become an illustrator and spent four years with kids less than half my age which had its challenges and benefits! I received my BFA in Design/Illustration from Cornish College of the Arts. Over the years I learned other crafts/skills: fiction writing, screenwriting, writing for children, color theory and application, singing and songwriting, and fundraising management, among other things.


This has all been about communication, I would say, in every form I could think of. Currently I'm working/playing to put all this together.