Joanna Walitalo grew up in Oil City, MI, where she took art classes at Bullock Creek Schools taught by Mr. Matherne and Mr. Myers; both very talented artists, and teachers with endless patience. She earned a BS degree in Biology and Envi-ronmental Studies from Central Michigan University, and took art classes at the Midland Center for the Arts, where she had the opportunity to study under Armin Mersmann. While studying at CMU, she took art classes form Dietmar Krumrey II and Michael Volker. From there, she moved to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where she earned a Master of Forestry at Michigan Technological University. A strong love of the outdoors, and wild places, has led her to incorporate her pas-sion for art with her professional education in order to bring the beauty of wildlife and wild places closer to the general public through scientifically accurate artwork. By far, the artist that influenced Joanna the most throughout her life has been her mom, Barb Rogers, who taught art at Coleman Middle School, MI, for many years, and always encouraged and guided Joanna to incorporate art into all her endeavors. Today, Joanna continues to live with her loving husband James, and son little James, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, working as an artist and illustrator.