Authors and Contributors

Ray Troll - Illustrator

Ray Troll

From his tree-top studio, high above the Tongass Narrows in rainswept Ketchikan Alaska, Ray Troll draws and paints fishy images that migrate into museums, books, and magazines. Basing his quirky, aquatic images on the latest scientific discoveries, Troll brings a street-smart sensibility to the worlds of ichthyology and paleontology.

Born in Corning, New York, in 1954 and raised in an Air Force family, artistically driven Ray earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas, in 1977 and an MFA in studio arts from Washington State University in 1981. Troll moved to Alaska in 1983 to spend a summer helping his sister start a seafood retail store—and stayed. He is an honorary member of the Gilbert Ichthyological Society, the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, and S.P.O.O.F. (the Society for the Protection of Old Fish).

Troll's unique blend of art and science has culminated in two traveling exhibits and several books, including three with author Brad MatsenShocking Fish Tales, Planet Ocean, and Raptors, Fossils, Fins, and Fangsand Life's a Fish and then You Fry by Chef Randy Bayliss. Troll also wrote and illustrated a children’s book titled Sharkabet: A Sea of Sharks From A to Z.

He and his wife, Michelle, own and operate the SOHO COHO Contemporary Art and Craft Gallery, which is located on a spawning stream in the former red light district of Ketchikan. The gallery features Troll’s artwork, t-shirts, and fish juju, as well as original artwork by other local artists.

Over the years Ray has done artwork for various conservation organizations including the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council.

Ray Troll is a contributing illustrator to Salmon in the Trees: Life in the Tongass Rainforest (Braided River, 2010). To view his work, visit