About T.R.A.

Hello I’m Todd Ryan Ackerman a freelance Illustrator. I chose the website artbytra.com because T.R.A. are my initials, and my initials backwards is ART! Took me half of my life to realize that! It also has taken me half of my life, and then some, to sharpen my Art skills.

The Tattletale Whale

When I create illustrations for stories I’ve discovered I enjoy the scene set-ups, the character design, and all the little fun details that can go into making a story special. As someone who grew up using a real phone, having a paper route, and rewinding a VCR tape…I can appreciate the craftsmanship dedicated hard work, and most of all, the patience that comes with the picture/visual book industry.

I currently reside in Queens, NY where you’ll find me sketching on my commutes, meeting up with other kid lit artists, and drawing and discussing all things relating to sequential storytelling. When I’m not creating illustrations, I’m spending time with my beautiful wife, I enjoy entertaining friends with a nice cheese and charcuterie board, watching sports, and having drawing contests with my nephews. I am from the Midwest originally from (one of the most creative cities I know) Toledo, Ohio. Home to the Mud Hens, Walleye hockey, and of course Marcos Pizza. Besides the great food and sports, Toledo artistically, is one of the most happening places!

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” -Joseph Campbell

​ I am constantly crafting my visual storytelling skills, for a life as a professional children’s book/picture book/educational/app illustrator-Not necessarily in that order! I just would love the opportunity to showcase my skills for the right project. I am partial to drawing bears, nostalgic scenes, and stretching the silliness in my illustrations as much as I can. I’ve written and now dummying a story for the hopes of sharing with the world soon!

I am currently seeking representation. I am a member of SCBWI.

Also! Over the past few years I have submitted cartoon gags to Nobleworkscards.com – a not so traditional greeting card company. Follow the link up top to check out my cards, and their website too! -Todd.

I like to sketch out the idea fully, then scan in and color digitally.

Thank you so much for visiting.

We didn’t officially meet but I found my doppelgänger…

If you would like to talk about your project with me, I can be reached at [email protected]