Tamara Moan - Artist, Writer and Teacher

“When I was small, I’d ask my mother to ‘Write me a picture.’ To me it was all the same and even now I’m still writing pictures and drawing stories.”

Tamara Moan received her art training at the University of Washington, earning a BFA in graphic design in 1985. She later received an MA in literature and creative writing from the University of Hawai‘i.

Moan’s imagination feeds off her eclectic interests and varied work experiences. Her early career included jobs in libraries, bookstores, a photo studio, and work as a designer, researcher, legislative aide, production manager, theatrical scene painter, usher, and massage therapist. Other influences are an enduring love of travel, reading, and the natural world. 

Moan’s non-fiction magazine work has been published in American Artist, The Artist’s Magazine, Pastel Journal, Sculptural Pursuit, Hana Hou, Island Scene, and Honolulu magazine. Her poetry has appeared in Hawai‘i and mainland U.S. literary journals. In 2011 she received the Bamboo Ridge Editor’s Choice Award in Poetry; in 2016, she received the Lorin Tarr Gill First Place in Poetry.

Moan’s artwork ranges from drawings and watercolors, to prints and books. For years she painted plein air but her more recent work veers to abstraction, still reflecting a sensitivity to landscape and sense of place. She frequently combines techniques, adding drawing to paintings, or piling collage, drawing and painting on top of prints. Her books offer a space where images and words can combine in a narrative format.