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Winona Nelson was born in 1983 and grew up in Duluth, Minnesota. She has drawn all her life and began painting digitally as a teenager. She studied classical realism and art for the entertainment industry at the Safehouse Atelier in San Francisco, then worked as a concept artist at Flagship Studios and Planet Moon Studios.

She now freelances fulltime, working in illustration, concept art, comics, and fine art. Her work is featured extensively in both video and table top games. She has created over 137 cards and tokens to date for the game Magic: the Gathering, and in character design and storyboards for The Last Of Us Part II for Naughty Dog. Other clients include Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Aftershock, Final Form Games, Kabam, Night Shade Books, and Warhammer Black Library. Her fine art often focuses on the stories and history of her tribe, the Ojibwe of Minnesota, and on the experiences of women and minorities.

Past publications include DC: Women of Action, Women of Wonder, Spectrum 17, Spectrum 18, Spectrum 19, Spectrum 20, Spectrum 23, Spectrum 24, Gorilla Artbook, Exotique 2, Exotique 4, and others.

Winona lives in Philadelphia with artist beau Anthony Palumbo and their gentleman cat, Diego.