Hillary Gore was born in Chicago. At age four her family relocated to Georgia, where her unconventional family set her apart from evangelical neighbors. This lack of acceptance by (and therefore exposure to) other girls led to a much more open interpretation of gender roles. (She perceives herself to be a quintessential tomboy.)
During her twenties, an abusive relationship created a catalyst of long-dormant feelings of restraint and repression. Painting became an outlet for this resentment, and much of her work continues to depict themes drawing from that experience.