Emily McIlroy was born and raised in Norman, Oklahoma with her twin brother, Ross. She received her BA in Studio Art from the University of Arizona in 2005 and her MFA in Drawing and Painting from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa in 2011. She served many years as an instructor and art educator for the Honolulu Museum of Art School and the Hawai'i State Art Museum, and currently teaches in the Drawing and Painting Program at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. When she’s not teaching or in her studio, Emily enjoys reading, writing, and walking and swimming her way through various terrestrial and aquatic wildernesses. She lives and works in Honolulu’s Pālolo Valley with her very vocal Siamese cat, Gormaen.