Born and raised in the Allegheny mountains of West Virginia, Laura moved to Fort Collins with her family at the age of nine. She graduated from Colorado State University in 1996 with a degree in Russian and East-Central European Studies. She then briefly lived in Seattle before working as an educator in the former Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan. In 2003 she married her best friend, Chad Young, and they now share a home in Fort Collins with Skeeter, an adopted African Red-Bellied parrot. In addition to plein air painting, she is currently working on several projects, including illustrating the children's novel series, AVES by C.J. Berry.