Tom was born and raised in Mill Valley, California, on the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais. The rugged scenery of Marin County and Northern California inspired him from an early age to create landscape prints. He studied History at UC Santa Cruz, where he was introduced to fine book printing by William Everson and Jack Stauffacher. In 1975, Tom produced his first illustrated book on UCSC's Cowell Press.
Among his influences are both the Japanese ukiyo-ë landscape masters Hokusai and Hiroshige, but also European and American wood-engravers such as Eric Gill and Rockwell Kent. Using Japanese carving tools, Tom creates wood and linoleum block prints of landscape images he has first sketched on site. He carves his images into cherry, all-shina plywood, Amsterdam linoleum and other block materials using Japanese handtools. He prints his often elaborate, multi-colored images on handmade Japanese kozo papers using oil-based inks and a German hand-cranked proofing press.
A Fulbright scholar and a teacher, Tom has traveled extensively in Europe and Africa, developing his multi-color woodcut prints. He was also featured in the Process episode of Craft in America. Killion is currently working on a series of landscape prints for a future book, including treescapes, coastal and mountain views. His studio is located on Inverness Ridge near Point Reyes, California.