Born and raised in the Allegheny mountains of West Virginia, Laura moved to Fort Collins with her family at the age of nine. She graduated from Colorado State University in 1996 with a degree in Russian and East-Central European Studies. She then briefly lived in Seattle before working as an educator in the former Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan. In 2003 she married her best friend, Chad Young, and they now share a home in Fort Collins with Skeeter, an adopted African Red-Bellied parrot. She is the illustrator of several books, including the ongoing AVES series by C.J. Berry.
“I paint and draw birds. I also paint a lot of other things, but birds, especially common or overlooked species, have been a reoccurring theme ever since I can remember. For many of us, birds are the only wildlife that we get to see on a daily basis, if only from a distance. As an artist, I find their varied forms and behaviors to be a never-ending source of inspiration. Pencil and watercolors have long been my preferred mediums, but I've begun to explore oils, as well. There's something extremely satisfying about depicting a living thing. It's as if, by going over every feather, every detail, my preconceived notions get shoved aside and I finally get to SEE it for the first time. My sincerest hope is that my paintings and illustrations will remind viewers that the natural world is still out there, just beyond our subdivisions and lifestyle centers, and is worthy of our consideration.”