Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Speaker Profile - Tanja Bauerle

Illustrator and Writer

Region: Arizona
Age Levels: 5-10, 11-13, and 14-17
Will Travel: Anywhere in the world
Skype Visit: Yes
SCBWI Profile: Member Profile
Speaker Email:


After many years, I escaped from the corporate arena of design to pursue my love for children’s book illustration. I ventured out and started my own Illustration and Design business in 2003. Since then I have worked on many various illustration projects with my focus being children’s illustration.

I have illustrated three picture books as well as the “Wright on Time” middle grade series.  My books have won a variety of awards including the Bronze Medal for the 2011 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, the 2010 Arizona Book Awards and the 2008 and 2010 Annual International Latino Book Awards.

In addition to design and illustration projects varying from character studies, book illustrations, greeting cards and marketing collateral, I have also enjoyed working on numerous book jackets ranging from children’s titles to adult fiction and nonfiction. My love of storytelling drives me to continually refine my craft. Traditional mediums such as acrylics, acrylic gouache, water color as well as pen and ink are my favorite, often combining many of these into mixed media creations. However, I also love the freedom that digital tools, such as Photoshop, offer.

Currently, I am developing my own stories. As story ideas escape from my pen and pencil, I’ve realized that many find root in my childhood. My culturally diverse background makes me a rather shuffled deck. I was born in Germany, just outside of Munich, with a passion for art and drawing.

At age eleven my family moved to the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. Not being able to speak English when we arrived, meant learning very quickly as I attended a regular English-speaking school. To this day I speak with a jumbled German Australian accent which many find difficult to place.

Growing up in Australia was wonderful. I worked at a German Restaurant where I had to wear traditional dirndls that made my Bavarian roots happy. I was passionately in love with horses and so spent most of my free time with my horse, Calypso.  The hours I spent riding by myself through the Australian bush are still some of my fondest childhood memories.  The Australian wildlife and environment hold a very special place in my heart and have found their way into several of the stories that I have written.

When I was twenty I moved to the United States. I now live near Phoenix, Arizona, with my husband, Kevin, my daughters, Isabelle and Zoe. Having always been an animal lover, I share my home with my menagerie of three dogs, three cats, one foster horse, one alpaca, nine chickens and a tortoise. Life is good!

I have been a member of the SCBWI for many years and am always working on improving my craft in both writing and illustrating by attending workshops and conferences. I am also the Assistant Regional Advisor for the SCBWI Arizona region. I visit many schools where I aim to inspire kids to read, write and draw. Seeing the immense value in such visits lead me to create the Visiting Authors Committee at my children’s school. Since its formation I’ve been able to bring authors and illustrators to our school to wow the students. These have included Tony DiTerlizzi, Jennifer Nielsen, Kelly DePucchio, Mike Curato, Dav Pilkey and many more. Life is stupendous!

In my free time, I love to go kayaking, hiking and camping with my family. We are self-confessed National Park Junkies and are always looking forward to our next adventure. Because drawing and reading are two of my main passions, there is always a sketchbook close by and a book at hand.

Could life get any better? I am so lucky because I simply love what I do!