Pat Cummings was born in Chicago. Since her father was in the US Army while she was growing up, she never went to the same school two straight years until she was in high school. Her imagination ran wild as a young girl living in a range of countries from the United States to Germany to Japan. She says she was always drawing as child and her interest in art helped her meet other kids at each new school. While she was a student at Pratt Institute she free-lanced for children’s theaters and developed a portfolio of posters and flyers that enabled her to work as a successful free-lance illustrator after she graduated.
Pat says that her ideas for stories or for pictures often come from things around her or from her dreams. Sometimes ideas just hit her "smack in the head when I'm doing something like swimming or reading." Pat sometimes gets up in the middle of the night to start painting because an idea is keeping her awake. She often likes to use her family or friends as models for her work. In addition to a successful career as a children’s book illustrator, she is now writing as well as illustrating her own picture books. Along with her work as a successful author and illustrator, Pat enjoys teaching at Pratt Institute and currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband Chuku Lee.